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3 Tips for Building Animation Character Voices

If you’re interested in developing animation characters voices, this post is for you!

Lets dive straight into the good stuff….


The very first thing you must do to create an animation character is to find the truth for your character within the situation the character is in and play this. One example I often hear in animations is when an actor/voice actor has been cast in a comedic character role. Instead of playing the truth of the character/situation, they try to be funny, which often comes across as over the top, inauthentic and a little bit awkward for you the audience listening/watching it. Finding the truth for your character within the given circumstances will lead to an authentic performance and often allows true emotion to shine through. It also means no more awkward deliveries or trying to play a character, instead you will just be the character.

Let go... Hands up anyone who has EVER judged themselves?

I have judged myself so many times throughout my life, this includes when I’m working.

A few years ago I noticed that instead of being completely immersed in the character I was playing or story I was narrating, there was a little devil on my shoulder taking up about 25% of my concentration. It told me all sorts of stories "I wasn’t good enough" , " I need to try harder", "That sounds rubbish" and so on - quite frankly, it was EXHAUSTING! This constant self judgement and self criticism was not only bad for me, it was also bad for my work because I wasn’t 100% concentrating on what I was doing. I was more worried about getting it ‘right’, than playing the truth of the character and being completely focused.

Once I let go of this constant judgement and unhelpful critique of my work, my characters started to come to life more than they ever had before and my stories became immersive because I was immersed. Try letting go of that judgement, stop getting in your own way and see how your voice overs change!

Unique Vocal Qualities In order to build a believable character for animations, you must consider every factor of their being, this includes most importantly the sound of their voice. This is their unique identifier - it's the sound that is going to be instantly recognisable to audiences and is the only way you’re going to be able to portray their personality. Here are some questions to ask when trying to find your characters 'Unique Vocal Qualities': - What’s the pitch? And how is this adding to the character? - Where does the sound of the voice resonate from? (Throat, nose, chest, etc) - What’s the general mood/temperament of this character? (This will help you to have a base tone for your character, something you can always come back to and what is going to help inform you on your characters opinions, reactions and much more) - What class/social background is your character from? And how does this affect vocal pronunciation, perception of situations, attitudes toward other characters, etc?


Thank you for reading ‘3 tips for building an animation character voice’, if you’d like to keep up to date with my weekly blog posts, click here.

Coach Kat x

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