A short animation by myself and Katie Bridge, highlighting the issue of overprotective parents and the important of unsupervised outdoor play.
Storyboards are an essential tool in the making of an animation as they help to plan and communicate a story. We began with big sheets of paper and many rough sketches as we brainstormed our initial ideas. We then went on to introduce colour, movement and emotion.
Our chosen text was extracted from the article ‘Children need to play outdoors, but we’re not letting them’ by Shelby Gull Laird and Laura McFarland, published on the 2nd of October 2014 on the open source website, theconversation.com. The chosen extract is as follows:
“There are many benefits to unsupervised outdoor play and experiences in nature, including a reduction in obesity and the symptoms of anxiety, depression and ADHD. Research has shown that children learn self-control over their own actions and decisions in this time alone without their parents. Without time unsupervised, children may not develop a sense of self-control or an ability to judge and manage risk on their own. By keeping our children locked up inside, we’re basically conducting a large uncontrolled experiment on our own kids where the consequences are unclear.”
This unit has made me feel more confident in terms of my technical software skills. I have used Adobe After Effects, Audition, Premier Pro, Lightroom, InDesign and Photoshop; some of which I had never used previously. This meant I had to put time into learning how to use them. I attended After Effects workshops and an Adobe Audition sound workshop, as well as receiving support from the technicians with Adobe Lightroom and Premier Pro. I also had to be pro-active and learn elements of these programmes with my own intuition.
In order for our animation to have the effect we wanted, experimentation was essential. As we wanted to shoot our animation with stop motion, we did some quick tests to see if it was effective. Test 1 was shot during the early stages of our storyboarding; I took the images on an iPhone whilst Katie slowly drew out the words ‘To my Mummy’. This experiment highlighted the importance of a tripod and lighting, as did Test 2 of the rocket. From these experiments we also decided that we wanted both hand drawn elements and cardboard cut outs.
An animatic is an animated storyboard which is edited to fit the voiceover and convey timings. We created an animatic as we wanted to ensure our animation was at least 40 seconds and no longer than 2 minutes, as this was specified in the brief.
During the final animation, we incorporated elements of some of the children’s drawings. For the opening scene ‘To my mummy’, we traced the children’s handwriting. In addition to this, we also included a tree and football in the animation, similar to how they drew theirs.
During the first week of this unit, I attended multiple workshops which help build on my understanding of motion graphics. I attended storyboarding and scratching on film workshops.
Before shooting the stop-motion, we had to design, draw and cut out pieces for many of the scenes. Here are a few of the cut outs used in our animation.
After we gathered videos and time lapse’s that we had taken over the course of the project, Katie created this video using Adobe Premier Pro.