Animation Process

Starting this part of the project was a little bit daunting. We each took 7 frames from our final storyboard, which equated to about 15 seconds each. I took the first 7. I was a complete novice with After Effects, however I overcame my nervousness and started. At first glance it felt completely alien, however I soon got into the swing of things,  youtube videos really helped, as well as our lecturers. Even though it is a slow process, its is really satisfying to see our vision in the storyboard come to life.

For the voiceover We decided that the voice of a child would help bring empathy to the animation, it leaves an impression for myself when listening to a child use adult language. It also brings a bit of humour to the end of the animation when the voiceover shouts “Whats your Legacy?” Makes myself smile and think about what is it that I want to leave behind for future generations. However the recording of it wasn’t as simple as I thought,  took more takes than I would have liked, but was an enjoyable experience overall.  I don’t think that it is perfect still, but it gets the message that was wanted by the group across. It was rather difficult to place the voiceover with the animation, I had to stretch some of the animation to fit with everything that we wanted to say. Which probably left room for more animation within. When making an another animation I think that recording the voiceover before the production would be more productive.

Working as a group came with a few hiccups as placing all our individual animations in together, as we worked on separate parts it was hard to have consistency throughout, I think that this shows in the final outcome. But all worked hard to get it done and I really like our animation, it has an appealability to it, even though it has a somewhat amateur feel it to, its not going to win any animation prizes. I suppose its like learning to draw, my skills can only get better with time.

I could have worked on this a lot further than our given submission date and if I had to tweak it I would have liked to get a more poignant message across, I feel that the narrative isn’t as strong as I originally envisioned. As we decided to aim this at graphic designers I think that it could have been more polished, the animation of the text needed to have more of a dominance in the animation, with more of a visual design. However the whole process of producing this animation has given me an insight into what needs to be thought about and how time consuming the actual animating part is. Research and planning is key and to have a really well thought out storyboard makes the process less difficult to tackle. However I enjoyed working as a group, it was good to bounce ideas off other people and get the support and feed back needed.

After working with After Effects I have noticed more and more programmes on the television that probably use After Effects or something similar to create parts of their production. Its something that I have never thought about before, and it has opened my eyes to the possibilities of what can be created with After Effects. Im looking forward to learning more and improving my skills with this programme, it could be a really useful tool for future projects.

This is our final animation

 

I animated the opening credits – On reflection it could have been a lot better. It was the first thing that I animated and by the end of the process I could have done a lot more with it, made it clearer and more visually pleasing, also the possibility of playing with different sound effects such as the sound of trees being cut down.

Overall I really enjoyed this project, it was a challenge to learn something from scratch. The six weeks that we had flew by, was a really enjoyable experience. Especially enjoyed working with Joe and Maris, think that we worked well as a team.

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Deforestation Ephemera

After almost finishing our animation, we were able to concentrate on the ephemera to go along side it. As we had all the images that we wanted to use it was a case of how and what we wanted to use to market the animation, and bring awareness to our deforestation campaign. We decided upon a gif, leaflet and poster.

If this was a real life project, I’d be thinking about the printing process and materials that we would use to produce all of these pieces of ephemera. It would be a bit hypercritical if we didn’t use recycled and environmental friendly products.

Booklet / Leaflet

We wanted to come up with something different when it came to the leaflet design. Our initial thoughts were to have a pull tab leaflet which had the planet on and when the tab is pulled turns into a dried up planet.IMG_2633 With our tag line “Whats your legacy” on there. From doing some research into making the pull tab, I came across some other designs that could be used as well, and may even be more interactive for the viewer to experience. This is the youtube video that I took my inspiration from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u73qAckkyOQ . I downloaded the template and started to recreate the waterfall card design. I came out really well, simple but think that it will be really effective.

For the design on the pages of the booklet I used the animation illustrations and picked out some of the parts of the voiceover to turn into text. The use of black card instead of the green gives the leaflet a great finish.

Gif design

Our colleague within our group designed the gif to go along side the animation for the digital ephemera.  It has turned out as the initial leaflet design was going to be, changing from the planet earth to a dried one.

This what the Gif would look like in context on Facebook.

Poster

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Final Presentation - Deforestation images .005

BlipPAR

I received this leaflet in the post from Green Peace – the campaign has plenty of info regarding plastics in our oceans. The thing that I found interesting was  BlipPAR a visual discovery app which brings the physical world to life through smartphones, something that I thought we could use for our own campaign ephemera.

I set up an account and linked the images used in our poster and booklet to show the gif, animation and a link to the WWF webpage. Im quite impressed with how simple it was to set up, use and how visually pleasing it is to see something pop up and come alive on the screen.

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The above are screen shots of what happens when you scan the leaflet with the Blippar app.

I enjoyed making the ephemera, especially the waterfall design leaflet. Im looking forward to displaying all in our exhibition, and getting viewers reactions and input on our animation.

Deforestation – Visualising our ideas

Looking at other animations was a way of helping us to come up with some ideas on pace and movement within our own animation. As well as admiring some really skilled animators out there.

This animation below, is a mixture of cute and horrifying, which is a Australian public service campaign by Metro trains in Melbourne to promote rail safety. The animation itself is quite simplistic. But just shows you that simple things can really have a impact. There is a case study that states that there is a correlation between an improvement in accident figures and the campaign. Making this animation highly effective to the viewer.

As well as the video distribution the campaign appeared on local radio, newspapers, and outdoor advertising, it also has an gaming app released a year later, it invites the players to avoid dangerous activities. The creators figured out the right way to reach a younger audience. The thing that I learnt from reading about this campaign is that the distribution is equally important as the creative side. The marketing team chose their distribution really well. The results speak for themselves with millions of views world wide.

This animation I really like, there is a likability to the character, which make me as a viewer feel something = gives a human element to it. This in marketing terms gives the animation power, because if a viewer can relate it creates emotions, these emotions have the power to make a difference.

Because of our limited knowledge of Aftereffects going down the simplistic route was a good option for us, plus we would be able to get our points across in a clear and precise way. We decided that by having the planet earth as the central focus it would be an effective way visualising the message we had to convey.

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These are the initial sketches that I did before coming up with our narrative story.

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I also made a planet earth in Illustrator as a starting point to work from. It took me a bit of time as I had not made a 3d object before in illustrator. But a few youtube tutorials later I cracked it.

However having done this, once I placed the 3d image into Aftereffects it was flattened to a 2d image again and I was unable to make it spin. Some more youtube videos later along with the help from one of my tutors Matt, we discovered that I was able to make a 3d global actually in Aftereffects. It was very satisfying to see my global spinning.

However before we came to the animation we needed to come up with our storyboard, to help us visualise our narrative. The target audience that we decided to aim towards was graphic designers, as they stand between a business and an audience, they have the power to shift the status quo towards more sustainable solutions within design. Design is about effecting a change, by aiding the development of green markets.

These are the sketches produced from brainstorming as a group. IMG_2545

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This slideshow below, shows the storyboard that I developed after our brainstorming session.

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However, as a group we came up with a slightly different narrative, we are going to develop this one further ready for the animation process. IMG_2547

Now to get started!!!

Design as Activism Research

For our research into deforestation we mainly used the internet to search for agencies and charities that are campaigning to save our worlds forests. The main ones out there are WWF, Rainforest Action Network, Greenpeace, world rainforest, the size of wales. We wanted to look into the kind of campaigns that they used to get their message across.

Here are few that the WWF have created to raise awareness for deforestation.

The two images with animals I find particularly effective, with the tagline ‘stop the chopping,’ they conjure up empathy for the animals.

Main causes of deforestation

  1. Urbanisation
  2. Greed
  3. Mining
  4. Agriculture – One of the main causes

The effects

  1. Carbon emissions
  2. Loss of biodiversity
  3. Effects the weather and water cycle
  4. Soil erosion

The are steps that have been put in place over recent years that many governments have adopted, they have started to preserve their forests, understanding the need to have them protects. Also the banning of illegal wood.

This campaign ephemera below is one that I appeals to myself. Its something a little different. The use of the real trees within these are clever. Its a lot more hard hitting than the use of just photographs of trees. Bringing a real element to it, which encourages us to have emotion. Emotion has the power to get the viewer to make a change.

https://www.behance.net/gallery/28146159/No-Tree-No-Animal

Activist and campaign design has changed some what over the years. Design activism as these Ephemera above, they try to bring about change by generating positive alternatives to the status quo. Making you think about your own position. Ultimately, most design activism is about better understanding the problem, rather than acting with certainty towards a single right answer. Giving the viewer something to think about rather than being told what to do.

Design Activism involves taking action that makes a claim for change on behalf of a wronged, excluded or neglected group —it is driven by the identification of a wrongdoing or problem that needs changing. This ongoing piece of work below by Douglas Coupland called Slogans for the 21st century  is another example of a design activism piece. He says wants to “try and isolate what is already different in the twenty-first century mind as opposed to the twentieth.” The seem some what humorous but are ironic and questionable. All have been hand painted on plywood  Coupland states, “If you were to attach a stick to each of these slogans and carry them in the street, would they read as protest or would they read as complicit guilt? For example, twenty years from now, were I to look at a picture of someone holding up a slogan reading ‘being middle class was fun,’ would that read as heartbreaking prescience or as rational acceptance of a by-then sociological certainty?”

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I find this work by Coupland thought provocative. Something that I want to gain though my own campaign, perhaps with the use of a clever tagline to go along side of the animation.

Design as Activism

For this collaborative project we were asked to develop a campaign that raises awareness of certain issues whether it be political, social, cultural. The campaign has to incorporate a 45 – 60 second animation, one printed and one digital piece of ephemera with a consistent visual language throughout to tie all the pieces together.

Within our group of 3 we decided that we would like to explore the idea of a campaign for the environment. The aim to make our chosen target audience more aware of their contribution to the environmental crisis. Because of the vast amount of different campaigns we could pursue about the environment, we decided that we should concentrate on one particular area – Deforestation.

Deforestation is one of the biggest contributing factors to global climate change. This is a massive issue in our world today, and agree with it or not, it effects every single living thing on the planet.  We started off with some initial research on the internet. IMG_2477

We also watched a video on a chap who calls himself Prince EA. He is an american spoken word artist, poet, rapper and filmmaker. His videos are hard hitting with some really valid points made, that really makes you think.

His passion and deliverance is unquestionable which what make it impact on myself personally. The text that appears in the video of key points made, are something that I would like to recreate in our own animation.

Here are a few website for organisations that are currently working and campaigning to save the rainforests of our world.

http://sizeofwales.org.uk 

https://www.ran.org

http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/forests/solutions-to-deforestation/

http://wrm.org.uy

https://www.rainforest-rescue.org

Its devastating to think that if don’t radically reinvent the way that we work in order to operate within very real ecological limited we will be the demise of our selves and our home.

Im really looking forward to getting stuck into this project, as its a subject really that I am passionate about. A little apprehensive about working with Aftereffects as its something that I haven’t used before, however its going to be a positive learning curve, Im sure.