CIU211.3: Critical Reflection

 

The Beginning

Over the past 6-7 weeks, I joined Matt Ives and Jolon Silk to create a cross discipline project based upon Sub cultures, as discussed in CIU211. As a team, we each thought about ideas we had for the project, and concluded that our areas of study (Film, Audio, and Animation) meant that the end product would benefit being an animation, suiting our abilities. There wasn’t really a negative about this decision, although it could have been restrictive in what we could do.

Conception

On the first day of brainstorming, we ended up with a concept to build off, and so I took a bit of time to illustrate it. This idea was later changed in the next meeting we had. This new concept revolved around typically opposing views and wants that both parties could achieve if they worked together.

However, at this stage the link between our concept and any CIU discussion topic was weak (Rather than being about Sub culture, it had leaned towards, and it took the help of our lecturer, Elham Golpushnezhad, to point us in the right direction of researching Cultural and Sub-cultural capital. Research into this capital began and our script, being written by Matt, saw an immediate improvement and that was reflected in the final product.

Pipeline, Teamwork, and Communication

As the project began, the pipeline was simple – and it needed to be. We all expected drastic changes in what we were doing, and this simple pipeline structure allowed for flexibility. In the end, however, it was not utilised. Teamwork between the three of us was top notch, We all helped each other in what was we could, any slippages in production were quickly managed. Meetings were quick and always proved successful in furthering production and clearing any misunderstandings (often caused through text-based communication).

Communication in this project was excellent, even if the primary channel was questionably through Facebook. Aside from some misunderstandings, connection with team members outside of class was great and responses quite quick. Almost every two days, updates on current work we posted and reviewed. This was most helpful on my end being that Jolon could not work on audio until animations were completed, which would be near the end of production. The excellent communication we as a team had was vital to our successful completion of the product. The reason for this is that while we worked on this production, each of us had other commitments, and these commitments left next to no time to meet outside of class all together, meaning we had to rely on our online communication.

This restriction also affected how we needed to work. Strangely enough we were able to figure a way to work around this, and that was to work in a modular fashion. Our initial plan was for myself to create the assets and isolated animations, which were then to be assembled and edited in place by Matt and I. Finally, Jolon would add audio and the finished product would be uploaded to the internet. Unfortunately, the fact that working in the same room was not doable, this was changed. I would still make modular animations, but rather than being specific (To the point of train doors) each modular piece is a looping animation of each scene. This dramatically lowered the complexity and difference in animations, but the effect on the finished product wasn’t too bad, though it was still had a negative effect.

Challenges, Issues, and Technical problems

The main challenge that affected us was our external commitments and the almost non-existent opportunity to work in the same room outside of class. However, it did result in the decrease in quality of the animations and a few missing elements, primarily transitions. The solution we found also meant that Matt and I needed to work outside of our skillsets, rather than just myself.

My own issue was that I am not very proficient in 2D animation, and Matt’s problem was that he is not familiar with the video editing software After Effects. We did solve these, Matt found a classmate who could help him, and the visual style we chose made it easier for me draw and animate. Jolon had the unfortunate task of both creating and syncing audio on the final day the project was due – a result of both the modular process and the ‘disconnect’ between our class times. We are all thankful and grateful to Jolon for being able to pull off this feat.

Technical problems weren’t abundant during this project, but I did have some issues that presented themselves when creating and animating the 2D artwork. The most prominent was file corruption and crashing. Strangely enough I may have done something that resulted in a slightly unstable file. This issue was annoying, but not the worst for time management as the simple solution was to save frequently.

 

The Finished Product:

So, how did the finished animation fare?

Classmate Reviews

Overall, the classmate reviews rated the animation fairly highly, the visual style and presentation were enjoyed. However, there are a few key flaws. Transitions are a bit jarring, the dialogue sometimes become walls of text, and the content didn’t go too deep into the subject matter.

 

Personal View

I am not overly happy with how the project turned out, given what it could have been. I agree that transitions and dialogue had issues, though the fact I don’t quite understand the last issue my classmates had with not going into the subject matter does make me question how well we did in terms of properly representing the topic.

I still think the result was of decent quality and am happy to have had a part in its creation.

 

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