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Final Outcome and Presentation

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.

The Final Touches

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.

Client Meeting and Tutorial

We have one week left until we present our final, finished outcomes to our clients next Thursday 30th March.

Yesterday I had a meeting with my clients in which I showed them the stop-motion scenes that I had filmed so far over last weekend and have put together roughly in iMovie. Before actually showing my clients the animation so far, I had to explain what stop-motion was as they had not seen it before. I was unsure if they would like it beforehand because I was aware that it was in a different style to what they had asked for. Whereas the other members of my group had gone for a vector-style animation created on AfterEffects, my animation is a stop-motion which is very different. However, on showing both of the clients my animation so far, they really enjoyed watching it. They liked how the rough voiceover that I had produced so far was lighthearted and friendly, so not too serious and heavy. Rather than making the viewer scared of the food risks, it just makes them aware of them and that although they are serious, it’s okay if you know how to handle them and obviously, that’s what the video series that I am creating is here to help do. In the voiceover, I have lightened the topic by including short phrases, for example, one particular line in my script is: “…you are more at risk of getting food poisoning, but don’t panic – this is Steve, he’s here to help.” Here the ‘don’t panic‘ works to comfort the viewer, and then the introduction of a helpful character (‘Steve‘) adds to this. The clients admitted that they were at first unsure of the idea of using a character in my animation when I had previously told them this, because they knew from their market research that the viewers from Velindre Cancer Centre had not liked watching and listening to personal stories and actual people talking at them from on-screen. I was aware of this when I decided that I wanted to use a character to create a sense of journey, which is why I chose a stickman. On watching the video, the client agreed with me that my use of the character really worked and they liked how ‘Steve‘ was not human-like: his body (as well as the other stickmen in the animation) are made of single geometric shapes, he has no real facial features – no nose, no mouth – except for a pair of vertical lines for eyes. He is simply an illustration, so is more cartoon-like than human.

At the end of the meeting, I agreed with the client that for our presentation next Thursday, I would finish off the first video, “Food Wellbeing during Chemotherapy”, and have it perfected to present to them next Thursday. I also agreed that I would have all four storyboards finished too. This way it means I can concentrate on getting one video to an excellent standard, rather than having four completed to a rough and poor standard.

Below are a few screenshots taken from my stop-motion animation so far that I showed to my clients today:

Today I had a tutorial with Neil Angove who was really helpful to talk to after my client meeting yesterday, because he gave me several ideas to help improve my stop-motion. He noticed that there were a few long blank spaces in the video which had no visuals, just voiceover. This was because I had had to add in some time where the animated parts of the video had not been quite long enough to fit my voiceover. He said that I could think about my audience, such as viewers who could potentially be hard of hearing – I am going to back up my voiceover with on-screen text, which will also help to fill these blank spaces. Obviously it would better if my text was handwritten and part of the actual original stop-motion, but because this is already completed, I am going to have to add it using other software such as AfterEffects – I am going to attempt to make it as close to hand-written as possible though.