My Unit X project has been a continuation of my authorship project about dyslexia. I decided to dedicate all of Unit X to making a TedX/ School of Life style animation that both empowered and educated audience about having a learning difference. Most of the context for my animation was based on personal experience of growing up with dyslexia, my point was supported by information I had researched over the course of the year. I decided on an animation for my final outcome as my research had shown animation is an innovative, engaging way of capturing audiences attention.
During Authorship I was reluctant to explore animation as a potential outcome because I was unsure of the message I wanted to communicate. However by the start of Unit X I was confident in my knowledge and visual language which made me commit to the decision of making a 2 to 3 minute animated film. I chose to move the aesthetic from the wandering path, inspired by David Hockney’s Yorkshire landscapes to swimming for a number of reasons. Firstly, I had it a wall with my ability to make the images of the wandering path engaging and varied. Secondly, I have a greater knowledge of the swimming world and could draw upon years of first hand knowledge. My process began with observational drawings I made at Manchester Aquatic Centre, to digital to conceptual pieces followed by writing a script and communicating with a voice actor, to the final animation which was done digitally. I committed to a colour palette of blue and orange early on in this process for the simple reason that I enjoy working with complementary colour schemes. Furthermore, by having a limited selection of colours I could be strategic when using colour to infer a the mood at specific points in the animation, for instance, the dominant colour at the beginning of the animation is blue, contrastingly at the end it is orange, suggesting a shift in perception for the audience. I am happy with my choice of material and process for this project, at first I was hesitant that working on the iPad for the entirety of the animation process would limit my visual language. However I found using procreate an incredibly adaptable and diverse tool. The animation feature on Procreate is ergonomic and portable, meaning that despite all of the challenges I've faced due to Covid-19, making a coherent and slick final animation was manageable.
I found not having a real life client to work with a challenge over the course of Unit X as it meant a lot of my decisions were without pushback or support from an outside opinion. Furthermore this has made it difficult to assess how successful my animation has been at communicating with my desired audience. I do intend to contact organisations such as Made by Dyslexia, an international charity and ask for feedback. I also found the lack of studio environment challenging however, I did manage to find an aspect of collaboration through my use of a voice over. I am lucky enough to have an actor in my family who also has access to a recording studio. We went back and fourth and worked on the audio until it had a professional feel which I think gives my animation a mature and polished feel.
I have put feedback and research into practice when executing the clarity of my message in my animation. Having had a tutorial with Jonny Hannah he recommended I use typography as a way to highlight certain bit of the audio. This was a great learning curve as prior to this project I was hesitant to work with typography. I am excited to continue building on the skills I have learnt in Unit X by developing this area of research in dyslexia as well as other future projects.