Taking a simple cube rig I produced 3 short sequences of it feeling different emotions.
Showing these to the focus group it was clear that recognition of these was difficult and there was no conviction in the responses received.
To better understand why conveyance through this object was difficult I looked at a existing example of a personified object, Aladdin's magic carpet.
Taking 3 images of the carpet conveying emotion, I showed these to one group who were able to recognise what each emotion was with ease.
From past artefacts, hands had been a key signifier of a characters mood in several cases. The design of the carpet allowed the tassels at each corner to replicate hand gestures. Realising this I took these same images and, editing out the tassels showed them to a second focus group.