HomeTICE Creative AreasAnimationExploring VR Storytelling, the Refill Initiative & Life on Mars

Exploring VR Storytelling, the Refill Initiative & Life on Mars

Animation is everywhere. It is a broad subject area encompassing a huge range of varied skills in creating content for the entertainment, advertising and education industries. It requires a huge variety of traditional and digital creative skills – from illustration to storytelling. Here outlines each brief topic and the skills the students gained to produce their project work over three days for the first year of TICE Animation.

Animation project briefs 2019:

Project One: A Sense of Place
Trend: Multisensory experience
Sponsored by: Kaleidoscope CFA and Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens (English Heritage)
Mentored by: Chloe Rodham

Project outline: Without an accompanying tour guide, it is hard to gain an understanding of the history of a place you are visiting. Information boards can tell us facts and stories, but new technology can really help us imagine events in a different time, in an entertaining way by making it feel as if we were really there.

Project outcome: How can experiences be designed to give us the feeling of a place without us actually being there to us stories from history? Can you tell a story through sight, sound and smell? With this project, you will design and mock up a virtual reality or augmented reality experience at Belsay Hall Castle & Gardens which engages all our senses.

New technology allows us to explore entirely new avenues of creativity. After a research trip to Belsay Hall Castle and Gardens, and an introduction to storytelling from Craig Hawkes, students used photoshop to develop characters and animate them. They then used After Effects to mock up how their experience would function in a 360-degree platform, as well as considering what sounds could be added to enhance the experience.

Project results: please view the final results of the students’ work – A sense of place final project.

Credit: Adam Lawler and Jessica Carson from Boldon School. James Taylor, Matthew Brown and Luke Carter from Churchill Community College.

Project Two: Plastic not-so-fantastic
Trend: Mainstream sustainability and Humans Taking Back Control
Sponsored by: Northumbrian Water and Northumbria University
Mentored by: Chloe Rodham

Project outline: Outline: Right now, an estimated 12.7 tonnes of plastic ends up in from plastic bottles, to bags and microbeads ends up in our ocean which damages aquatic life and potentially our own health too. Companies are thinking about how they can help with this. As an animator, your skills can be used to help share important and serious messages in an entertaining way.

Project Outcome: Reusing single-use plastic and paper, create a short, stop motion animated campaign film for The Refill Initiative, directed at both the public and businesses like cafes and restaurants, to encourage the use of refillable water. The film should highlight why we should be reducing single-use plastics and the problems of ocean-bound plastic.

Stop motion animation is a technique which allows you to create moving imagery through moving objects and capturing a sequence of photographs. Using stop motion animation as the technique for this project was an ideal opportunity to reuse some of the materials which are causing so many problems. Northumbrian Water gave us some serious food for thought in their talk about the problems of single-use plastic and really got us thinking about the importance of spreading the message and doing anything we can no matter how small to help the cause.

Project results: please view the final results of the students’ work – Plastic not-so-fantastic Final Project.

Credit: Katherine Martin and Molly Wills from Churchill Community College. Gabriel Santiago, Dominic Mills, Andrew Henderson and Bobby Boyle from St Wilfrid’s Roman Catholic College.

Project Three: Life on Mars
Trend: The new space race
Sponsored by: Electro Cat Studios and Life Science Centre
Mentored by: Chloe Rodham and Phil Jeffes

Project outline: As commercial space travel becomes an increasingly real prospect and we continue to investigate the potential for human survival on Mars our fascination with space grows. Mars has the largest volcano in the solar system at a staggering 370 miles diameter and the average temperature is -60 Celsius. As we continue to explore space and gather knowledge about other planets, our entertainment and education industries will increasingly produce content relating to new discoveries.

Project outcome: How could you use facts to help you to design a game set in space? The game itself exists but requires some elements to be designed and animated. You must create designs for Mars Rover vehicles and Mars Lander rockets as well as collectable items that the Rover can pick up during the gameplay. These components must be animated as loops and exported using the correct formats to work within the game.

Students heard from interactive exhibit developer at Life Centre – Martin O’Leary about how he goes about designing exhibition spaces and content. After undertaking their own research about Mars the students worked in pairs to design Mars Rover’s and Landers as well as collectable objects. They animated them in Photoshop, created sprite sheets and uploaded them to the game.

Project results: please view the final results of the students’ work – Life on Mars Final Project.

Credit: Liam Ramsey, Calum McKimmie and Jonathon Atkinson from Churchill Community College. Brandon Dickinson, Jack Graham, Kaan Kilictas, Logan Ebanks, Alexander James Lyons, Candito Fernandes and Robert Adamson from St Wilfrid’s Roman Catholic College.

TICE Animation Create Stage gallery:

Read more