I was talking to my supervisor about my project and I got some great help and ideas! It has helped give myself a clear indication of what to do and how to carry it out.
What I need to do is first work out the scenarios for the 4 sections, so far I have 3 done but I still need to figure out the animation for each of them. Getting this done allows me to start the storyboarding for the scenes. I will concentrate on finalising one scene to ensure I get one section done with the AR working, then if I have time I will work on another scene and so on.
Storyboard & Retention Span of Children
Next is to storyboard the scene. I plan on having a 10 second animation of little cube characters interacting with the background and an accident happens. I want the animation to remain short due to children’s attention span at the age of 4-5. I have been trying to find out retention guidelines for children but nothing comes up for animation, word and sentence limits, only word limits for books.
What I have found out though is the attention span average between the ages of 4-5 is between 5-10 minutes depending on how interesting and fun the activity is. I plan on having the total length of the animations about 1 minute or even less, while a little activity is played afterward to help remind the children what was taught. My supervisor will be helping me gather information on guidelines of retention limits for children from his connections which will be extremely useful.
Animation & Instruction Video
At the end of the scene the child presses the screen and it directs to a YouTube video stream I will make in 3D Studio Max. The video I will make will be an instructional video to show the child what to do in the situation such as the accident played out.
The main character for the scene will narrate what to do and as they mention a step, an icon pops up on the bottom of the screen which represents the step in the process. After completing the first aid treatment, all the icons appear at the bottom. I plan on having the icons as the marker for each of the scenarios. They could also be printed on cards for the children to take home and scan and use again with their parents.
What I want to achieve is repetition of the steps to teach the children the steps. This method works well with kids to help retain the information.
Think: Green Cross Code
The Green Cross Code itself is a short step-by-step procedure designed to enable pedestrians to cross streets safely. This was highly targeted to children and it was memorable with the singing and animation. While the Code has undergone several changes over the years, the basic tenets (“Stop, Look, Listen, Think” or “Stop Look Listen Live”.) have remained more or less the same.
Do you remember the cute little hedgehog in the road safety campaign for children? It certainly was memorable for children, check it out if you haven’t seen it:
Illustrations & Pop-Up
I need to work out the style of the background for my project and the pop-up piece’s so I need to test this out and finalize the style. I’m still considering vector style similar to the Powerpuff Girls background art and possibly isometric, but I need to not overcomplicate things and give myself too much work that I can’t complete in time.
The pop-ups will take some time to work out and plan as I have experienced before during semester one. I need to do sketches, a quick prototype and print the real thing off with the graphics designed and ready to be folded together.
The less polygons I have in one scene the more animation Junaio can cope with smoothly. As I have modelled my characters at a minimal of 300 and below polygons, I will have no limitation on length of animation. Though I will keep the animation to 10 seconds. I did a sting for one of my university projects which was 10 seconds long so I have an understanding of timely etc. I will upload it soon as reference.
I will be doing a sound tutorial next week with my supervisor on Junaio. The sound required will be noises from the little cube characters in the scene playing out the accident.
The instruction video is not constrained to the limits of Juanio which is brilliant! I will be able to put in effects, lighting conditions, more detailed textures and the lip sync will work much better.
My Final Idea
Before you open the pop-up book there will be a marker on the front that you can scan and the 4 main characters appear introducing themselves. (Possibly folding up into the characters from a piece of paper if I have time?). Then you open up the circular pop-up and hold the device over one of the markers in one of the scenarios and an AR animation will appear. This will play out an accident with cube characters acting out the scene. After the animation, which will be about 10 seconds long, the child presses the screen (or an icon?) to stream a Youtube video I will make in 3D Studio Max. The main character for the scenario will tell the children watching, the easy to follow steps that they can carry out in this situation. Each time a step is revealed, an icon representing the step pops up on the bottom of the screen. Eventually after all the steps are covered, all the icons appear and the animation ends. This can be replayed over and over again.
The follow-up activity to recap the lesson will hopefully be in the form of cards each with an icon of the steps and the child can try put them in the correct order.