1. What skills have you developed through this module and how effectively do you think you have applied them?
Before the design for digital module I had never used the after effects software. I have had some basic experience with Flash but I found after effects quite different. However I think that I learned the basics of the software quickly and acquired a good understanding of how to translate ideas of motion in my head or on storyboards logically into a sequence of transformations in after effects. I think that I have used these new skills well in the module, my storyboard of my final animation included quite complicated animation with a lot of different movements simultaneously and I was able to break this down into smaller movements and build up the animation logically.
2. What approaches to generating work and solutions to problems have you developed and how have they helped?
I have realized in this module the importance when creating motion graphics of story boarding. I think it is nearly impossible to sit straight down in front of a computer and think of a narrative while at the same time animating it. Having a set format for storyboards was a big help to me as it meant I could photocopy this many times and get down my ideas across several frames quickly without having to think about how many frames I would need and drawing them all out. Also I found annotating my story boards very helpful because as much as it is it possible and important to tell the story just through image, when you are drawing quickly and getting ideas down when you come back to the story boards it is very helpful to have a small written blurb so you know exactly when is going on.
I found that in this module the biggest solution to problems when animating is planning. When you are creating a piece of motion graphics that involves several movements happening together it is very easy to jump into the software and starting animating then reach a point of problems and realise you have animated the whole sequence in the wrong way. The best thing you can do is before you get onto the software, really study your storyboard and plan exactly which images you will need separately, as well as what is going on different layers and which movements will be nested in their own compositions.
3. What strengths can you identify in your work and how have/will you capitalize on these?
I think that I have quite a high skill level on computers and I can learn new software quickly, this has definitely helped a lot in this module as had I not gained a good understanding of after effects I would not have been able to create my animation. Also I often work in a vector style of illustration using quite basic lines and shapes. This has lent itself well to this module as working in vectors can be a big help when you are animating you can resize as much as you like without having to worry about pixelation. Also illustrating like this allowed me to fairly quickly create a body of images to use to storyboard with or to use in animations. I also think that I conveyed well the visual language of the sideshow and the circus, using the correct typography and colours as well as more subtle thing such as layout and composition, as the composition of my animation is based as the layout of a vintage cirsuc poster.
4. What weaknesses can you identify in your work and how could you exploit these more fully?
One of the main weaknesses I definately find in my work is that I work at a very fast pace, especially when I get an idea I want to execute I can create and finish it very fast. This was a weakness for my in a module like this as I was able to finish my animation with probably a week to spare. When in this time I should have been fine tuning the animation and looking at how it could be improved, I in fact took a back seat and didn't get much more work done. Also I think that my research was maybe a bit limited, I compiled a good body of relevant imagery but I think that there was probably some better primary research I could have done.
5. Identify five things that you will do different next time and what do you expect to gain from doing these?
1. Make sure I properly document any specialist research I have done.
2. When I think I have finished, analyze and improve.
3. Do not take a back seat once I think I am done.
4. Document more of my design process from storyboard to final animation.
5. Think more about the music and animation can flow together, even if it fits thematically, the pace and timing needs to be carefully considered.
6.How would you grade yourself on the following areas:
5= excellent, 4 = very good, 3 = good, 2 = average, 1 = poor
Attendance - 5
Punctuality - 5
Motivation - 3
Quantity of work produced - 3
Quality of work produced - 4
Contribution to the group - 4