Animation Meets Promotion

Inspired by the complex and challenging Curator Project, Mr. Bobyk wanted to find a real world context for the new Digital Animation course where students learn to create visual effects using Adobe After Effects. Complex software takes persistence and significant practice so finding authentic challenges to genuinely engage learners, while they build their skill level over time, is a key strategy for success.

After Effects is by its definition ‘is a digital visual effects, motion graphics, and compositing application’. I need visuals then have students create visual effects with their own choice of composition

“Traditional media jobs continue to decline, but writers and artists with digital media skills can find high demand for their work. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that jobs in advertising, promotions, and marketing will grow 6% by 2029.2 If you’re an editor, writer, or graphic designer, you may be to transition to a new career path by tweaking your skillset.”  Important Digital Media Skills That Employers Value

Mr. Bobyk

So, as Mr. Bobyk prepared this new course, he wondered, “how do I make the learning of a challenging piece of software fun, interesting and engaging to students? I have always admired and respected the work our team does with the ISP Curator Project, in cooperation with the Lobkowicz familyl. The levels of learning that are involved when you give a group of students an object, hundreds of years old, and tell them to use their 21st Century skills and resources to tell its story, is the kind of real life situations to which we aspire. So how can I, as a teacher starting a new class using a very high level piece of technology, keep the learning at its highest level? Oh yeah, throw in that it is happening during a pandemic, forgot to mention that.”

Following basic training and exploration of this professional level software, students were given the following challenge: ISP’s Advancement office needs your help in making a promotional video. You will be given drone footage and the ISP logo created by Graphic Design students.

  • You are applying for a job but I need to see your design and After Effects skills;
  • The client (Advancement Office) has provided some footage and a logo;
  • You need to make a 20-30 promotional video out of it
  • Consider using keywords from the client’s mission

The ISP logo, designed in Adobe Illustrator, is not an image, but selectable, unique layers. The young animators and designers are taking all eight layers and moving them around independently within their design–some are spinning the logo, some are blowing it up and bringing it back together. These animations make the logo much more exciting and engaging than a simple image.

In talking with Valentina, Lucy and Alisa, while they recognized the challenges of developing their technical expertise when in Distance Learning, they are enjoying the creative side of making their own videos as well as the current promotional video challenge. They shared that, “it is fun to make it actually work and to make videos by yourself.” All three of the girls believe these skills will be helpful in the future because “everything is digital” and they feel such skills will be required in most jobs, and it will be “especially helpful in advertising.

Getting constructive feedback from each of their peers, Mr. Bobyk and the Advancement Office, students are working on the next iteration of their promotional animation. Click on the following links to see the girls’ current version: Alisa, Lucy, and Valentina. Those who know about animation will recognize the technical complexity of what they’re developing. Stay tuned for future, revised versions with original music.

The competencies of our ISP Learner Profile –thinkers, team players, and communicators are central when developing one’s digital media skills with content that crosses disciplines and varied expertise to complete the final project. 

Sound is a key part of inspiring videos. However, given the significant copyright constraints, some Digital Animation students are requesting support from students in music classes to create original compositions. Those who are musicians themselves and/or already know GarageBand software are creating their own digital music files to enhance their promotional video. 

Learning needs to be impactful and challenging to our students. Finding ways to allow students to share what they are learning in a real-world environment is vital to building confidence and creativity. I have always thought that learning is most engaging when the students are equal to me and we learn together. Collaborating with other colleagues and classmates only further enhances the learning experience.” – Mr. L. Bobyk