This video is the halfway milestone of my learning design thesis project: Food awareness for tweens. It is produced to meet the requirement of “enabling people to quickly and clearly understand and give feedback on my idea.” The creator of this video(me) was awarded Rudin scholarship by the fanciness presented! Here is a flowchart of how I made this video and I will explain more in the following article.
Why Character Animation?
As you might have seen in the video, I try to use narration for engaging children with the healthy eating topics. To start making people (including myself) believe that I can tell a decent story, I decided to make an animated video pitch. Personified pancreas and liver are the main characters in the storyline because, from my point of view, digestive organs are often underrepresented when we are designing what to eat, yet they are crucial in utilizing energy from foods and maintaining our bodies functioning. Therefore, organs should have a say in framing the eating problems among kids and the importance of solving them in current society. As sugar overconsumption became the biggest problem for American children, I sketched the two major organs participating in sugar digestion: pancreas and liver.
Drafts are scanned and imported into Adobe Illustrator to create vector graphics. Two characters are distinguishable in size, color, and shape. For catering to the earlier stage of tweens, characters are flat and simple.
Making the Pancreas and Liver Talk
The script is consist of two parts: the problem and the solutions. After digestive organs have talked about the issue, I will come in and propose my solutions. As the problem part is rather complicated, metaphor and analogies including “company” or “magic” are applied to make credible and persuasive explanations. The script was revised several times before sending to professional voice over.
Here is latest version fo Video Pitch Screenplay, feel free to click open.
Lip sync and rigging
When the soundtrack is ready, I used Adobe Character Animator for lipsync and simple rigging. The mouth shape of the pancreas was using mouth template provide by Adobe; similarly, the puppet of myself and “Jermaine” were customized from the templet of Chloe.
To make the facial expression of pancreas and liver more distinguishable, I imitated Adobe’s clay lips template and made it align with the flat vector style:
Now the puppets are ready to be imported into Character Animator. The program can animate the lips with the soundtrack automatically, all I need to do is adding simple gestures to make the characters looking naturally when they speak. I am also in charge of the facial motion capture.
Pancreas says hello！
When all the characters are animated, sequences are exported into Premiere Pro: where data visualization and visual aids are added in, and sound effects are merged together. It took me about 12 hours to make it and render, right before our presentation class.
Ongoing Concept Testing
This video was sent out to experts in the field of learning, nutrition and media production. They enjoyed watching this, and also gave me tons of suggestions. Feedback is collected on this page.
For target audience
This video is also going to do concept test among children. Here is the test plan.