Today we gave presentations of our final outcomes of the Persuasion projects in front of our clients and tutors.
Before giving our presentations, we had previously created and rehearsed our presentation which we intended to give today. However, earlier in the day today, before our presentations at 2pm, we had some difficulty putting our animations into the PowerPoint as several of the team’s videos were not completed until very last minute which meant we were not left with much time to import the animations into the presentation. Personally, although my animation was complete, the way in which I had rendered and then exported it meant that the file size was much too big to go on the presentation. After adjusting the quality of the animation, hoping to reduce the file size, I exported it again and although the file size was much more appropriate, the quality had been so much decreased that the on-screen text during the animation was pixelated and barely readable. In the end, due to being rushed for time and the presentation deadline fast approaching, I decided to instead simply show my original final film, which was too large to actually be inserted into the presentation, as a separate file directly from the desktop. Other members of the group ended up doing the same.
Even after these initial obstacles, during the presentations, everything went smoothly. Our group made sure to introduce ourselves to our audience before beginning and then spoke about our project title and the organisation that we were working for, and the mission statement and key aim of the communication that we set out to achieve. Next we went on to each taking it in turns to give a short introduction on our own animation and showing it.
The presentations concluded with inviting our clients to view more of our work, such as the storyboards and other development pieces, and to discuss our animations further. Although our client was unable to stay for long due to her own circumstances, we were able to briefly talk about each of our outcomes with her. She spoke about what she really liked in our pieces, claiming that she really likes ‘Steve’ in my own stop-motion animation, and we were also able gain any more constructive critique and where we could go from here. I am really pleased that they still wish to continue working with me in creating the other three videos for their 4-part video series on the topic.
If I were to do the presentations again, I feel that if we had made sure all of our group member’s animations were completed fully in advance – we could have used the extra time to actually insert them into the presentation, rather than have to navigate off of the presentation to get to, open and play our animations. This would have created a more overall professional looking presentation.
Personally, I also feel that I spent too long looking at and speaking to the screen projection, rather than looking out at my audience and speaking directly to them. To improve, I would engage more efficiently with my audience, and client in particular, by having eye contact and by being a little animated, such as using hand gestures to make myself more inviting and to involve the audience.
I felt that I became slightly nervy during the presentation, partly because of the minor panic of getting the animations onto the presentation beforehand, and although the clients and audience had not witnessed this, I think that I ended up rambling and stuttering more than I would have liked to – next time I will consider using cue cards to keep me on track so that I remember exactly what it is I want to say and when to say it.
Over the last few days before our final presentation on Thursday, I have been carrying out the last final touches to my animation.
I have added multiple details to my animations and trialled out several different ways of doing them in order to get the best outcome.
One of the main things that I have added is text. I added text to a number of areas throughout my animation, to help back up the most important parts of the voiceover. I have used a handwritten-style font called ‘Ammys Handwriting’ and then to make it seem even more realistically handwritten, I added a fractal layer in AfterEffects in order to make the text move and wriggle over so slightly. One of the things I had to be careful of when adding the text, was that I made sure the text was on-screen long enough to be read by any viewer – to get this correct, I tested it out on my peers.
It was suggested that I change the dots that appear on my stickman character, representing different food poisoning symptoms, to a colour rather than black and although I felt that a colour would not work, I trialled the idea of using a grey instead to see if this would look better. Although I am glad that I tested a different colour out, I have decided to stick with the original black dots as I feel that they work and look better. Because my animation is completely in purely black and white illustrations, the use of another colour does not fit with this and is inconsistent.
The final touches that I added to my animation after adding text and testing the colour adjustments, I finalised the credits that appear at the end of the animation and added the logos of Tenovus and SEWAHSP who support the Zero2Five food industry centre.
Inspired by Cath’s talk that she gave us on persuasion techniques, I decided that my next step of the process was to do some research into some existing pieces.
After my meeting with my clients and understanding that the outcome that they desired was a series of short food-wellbeing videos, it made sense that I look into existing animations already out there. This helped me to see what worked and also what didn’t work so well. I began by looking at what ‘food safety’ videos were already out there, but then moved on to a wider research area.
I really like the idea of using simple black and white illustrated drawings which lead me to looking into the technique of using stop-motion. Some other animations that worked really well was the actual use of real food, and although my clients said that their market research showed that viewers weren’t keen on the idea of having food on-screen (as it could bring on feelings of nausea), if I used the food carefully and in the right way, it could work. I also discovered ‘Gulp‘, the largest stop-motion animation ever made, which although I am probably not capable of during this project, was pretty inspiring and amazing to watch and learn how it was created. Considering my clients have already got a booklet that is key to their campaign currently, which uses icons and small graphic pictograms, I believe that the illustrated stop-motion idea has the most potential.
What didn’t work:
Although I found loads of great animations and videos that are already out there, some videos did not work so well at all. When it came to actually ‘food safety’ videos, seeing the use of photographic film to film live food preparation, I can definitely see how this could perhaps bring on feelings of nausea so would not want to use this technique in my own videos. Also, the use of somebody standing and talking into the camera does not work, even if they are ‘doctors’ or ‘professionals’ – personal stories do not work.
After realising that I think I wanted to go down the stop-motion route, several animations shone out to me the most. One in particular was ‘Manipulation‘ by Daniel Greaves. Although this animation is rather old and was created in 1991, it is still a brilliant stop-motion animation which mixes both illustration and photographic image to create an incredible animated pieced all based around a stickman character who is drawn to life. This is one of my favourite animations and I think it would be a great opportunity to create a modern version of it in relation to my food safety brief.