What I have learned:
This project has been a huge learning curve for me and as a result it has been very beneficial. It has been an aim of mine for a long time to use 3D animation (CGI) in my work. This project was the first time I used it on a larger scale and I enjoyed it a lot. I used the program Maya and this was one of the things I had to develop my skills in the most in order to end up with a professional outcome. The other skills I learned were layout design and paper craft skills. My graphic design was something I could always improve and in this project I feel my layout of my book and grid structure was to a standard that I am happy with. My craft skills and hand made skills would always be the hardest part of the project for me. I struggled at first but after days of developing my pop ups and dozens of mock up later I was able to manipulate the paper how I wanted. Looking back over my project I feel I picked a project that the three main elements (layout, 3D animation, hand made craft) were element that I normally struggle with or had no experience with, however the only way you can improve yourself as a designer it to challenge yourself and to practice what you are weakest at. This might have been a bit risky for my final project but I am very pleased with what I have learned and produced. I feel I have improved as a designer and animator as a result of it.
My final Outcome:
For my final animation I needed to take on new challenges to create the correct style of video. I had to think like a director and decided where best to place my three cameras to get interesting and different angles of me using my book to focus on different elements of the book, animation or myself. I also needed to edit my three cameras and four camera angles so that they pieced together perfectly. This was also a hard hurdle to overcome. The top view had to be converted into an image sequence to be imported into Maya then exported into another image sequence then as a quick time, whereas the other videos did not have to do this. This lead to the length of the video being altered so if all the videos were played at the same time the top view that which format had been changed a lot was slightly slower than the other footage. This meant a lot more editing and was a pain.
My development through the project was never ending, the pop up trial and error was the longest part of the project and I looked at well made pop up books such as “abc” and “123” to help me. My layout design and development was based on a lot of research on DK layouts this helped me a lot and cut down the amount of time needed to make my book as they were very helpful from the start. My animation development luckily was mostly error free as it took 8-10 hours to render a page I made sure that when I did an animation that I knew exactly what I was going to do before I started and therefore made little errors and saved time.
Why my idea can work:
It is no secret that children and teenagers in school do not like doing homework, the vast majority don’t even like going to school. This is because learning isn’t fun. This is why I came up with a solution that is possible with recent technology and includes the curriculum of school standards as well as making it enjoyable for the user. Children love animation and movement, with the vast majority of children preferring kinesthetic learning and 50% of secondary pupils preferring it, movement and interaction seemed the best way to get learning fun for pupils and them to start to enjoy education.
Targeting the audience:
I chose movement and animation to act as a incentive for pupils to read the book and to remember what they have read. Movement and animation is targeting the kinesthetic learners which make up the vast majority of school pupils. With this information I will also be able to target the parents because if their child will learn better using a certain style of text book (kinesthetic book) then they will want them to do that. My space book is only one of many topics could create. To promote to schools I would create a math, English, history, geography book. However, I would make the topic interesting and split it up further. So instead of history I could create a whole book on the battle of Hastings where they could interactively battle and follow the story through visual animation and augmented reality once they have answered the questions correctly and learned.
An element that i failed to produce an out come that i was satisfied with was my binding of my book. My hard back book went ok however it was a bit thick. Compared to my lasted book which included developed cards (card thickness) and smaller text the hard back was better. However the thinner a3 books layout was better. I would have loved to have created a hard back version which had the pages of my thinner a3 model but time put me under a lot of stress and i panicked therefore i homemade it and that is when the errors happened. I feel it is a shame but for my animation the book looks well designed and professional, and my animation is the main element of my project.
As a result of me working in 3D animation
rendering took a long time to do. This is why i planned my animations before i created them in maya, this saved a lot of time and very few errors were made. This is why it doesn’t look like i had developed my animation much from when i started making it, but this is just because i was very prepared due to caution of saving time and not many errors were made.
If i were to do it again?
If i were to it again i would have experimented more with 2D animation. I was very excited to use 3D animation because i have wanted to for a long time and i am glad that i did, however it was a big effort to learn from scratch. I hope this is noticed that i tried to build as many new skill while at university as possible even if it meant taking a risk with exploring the 3D animation realm. I do feel like 2D offers a different aesthetic to 3D and i feel i could have looked at more ways to include 2D animations in my book. Another thing i would have changed would be not to create a pop up book. It made everything so much harder especially the binging. I believe that is why the binding failed. The pop ups did make it more interactive but made it look less professional and made it look more chunky than it needed to be.