Sunday, 1 April 2012

Digital module- Infographics animation planning

The planning for my infographics animation is nearing completion. I have yet to compile reference images for the various vehicles that will feature in the animation, though I now have a thorough plan of exactly how the information will be delivered.

Continuing from what I have said previously in relation to this module, I found it very useful to plan the script before making any solid decisions about what to show on screen. The animation is in effect being created to match the script, as opposed to the script being written around an existing animation/plan. As you can see from my scanned planning pages below, I initially devised a range of elements I could add, before researching my topic, creating a script, and lastly seeing what could be incorporated and how. I should note that these planning pages were created before my previous posts on this module.

The script I have used has been finalised, which you can find below:

"There are roughly 61.8 million people currently living in the UK, a number increasing all the time. As the population rises, so too does the number of cars on the roads. In the last decade alone, the number of cars has risen from 24.6 million to 31 million- and with more cars, there are more traffic jams.

"A report in 2010 estimated that by 2025, drivers could be wasting a collective 658 million hours a year stuck in traffic.

"But why do motorways come to a stop?

"It happens to most drivers at least a few times a year. One minute the traffic is flowing normally. Then, the next thing you know, everything has come to a standstill. Eventually, the congestion eases and you start moving again- with no reason in sight for why things ground to a halt in the first place.

"While the underlying cause of a traffic jam might be an accident, drink driving, a bottleneck, or people simply changing lanes, researchers have revealed that it is how drivers react to the cars in front that causes traffic to slow to a halt.

"For example:

"Traffic is flowing along nicely at 70mph, when someone slows down sharply. In this case, car B slows to avoid hitting car A, whose driver swerves at the last second to exit.

"The driver behind must slow down even more to keep a safe distance from cars A and B.

"Further behind, drivers see the brake lights and start to slow down as a precaution- with a resulting effect on everything travelling behind them, which can often be felt as much as 20 miles further back. Traffic planners call this a ‘shockwave’.

"Rush hour traffic could be compared to water flowing through a funnel. With just the right amount, water is able to flow through the funnel as fast as it enters. But if you add too much, the whole thing backs up.

"Researchers suggest that robot driven vehicles could be used to ease traffic jams, particularly in urban environments. But what exactly would this future be like? Are people ready to fully entrust their lives to machines?"

It is for this script that my final storyboard has been created. I have considered all of the appropriate design areas, such as iconography, fonts and the general aesthetic style of the animation:

The final voice recordings for my script have been collected into the following video. This is the primary audio that will be used for my final animation (other sound effects for cars etc. are likely to be included too). Timing was crucial- I am allowed a maximum time of three minutes for this animation, and so it was important to keep everything concise, yet at the same time allow enough time for the animation to play out coherently! The pacing I feel is very good, in that everything flows nicely. The key points have been divided as evenly as possible to create a consistent pace for my animation:

In my last post I detailed my intentions to use CGI to create the motorway sections of my animation. Whilst I have still to look in detail into styles and specific techniques, I have seen a video recently which shows that simple models can look great when done properly!

Here is the link:

I am strongly considering looking further into this technique for my animation! I am deliberating whether to opt for a simplistic style or one more detailed- though must say that my current preference is to keep the CGI sections very simplistic. This would make them easier to understand, and allow me to make elements such as the car brake lights (seen in the CGI reference in my last post for this module) much more prominent.

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