When I first was deciding on what to with my innovator i was actually planning something very different from what I currently have right now. My plan began with making a trailer for an animation using After Effects and including tools such as the puppet tool to animate objects in the trailer. I got this idea from my previous projects and how i used After Effects already in productions such as the profile commercial and the narrative book trailer. However, what changed my perspective with my innovator was inspiration from various youtube animator collaborations hosted by Hyun’s Dojo. Originally I was going to take inspiration from Hyun’s Dojo collaborations and present a trailer for one of the animations as a sort of fan production. However after I thought to myself for a while I decided that it would be a great idea to make one of my own with a comedic twist to make the audience laugh.
During the research process I was developing an understanding of how exactly big name animations grasp the viewers attention and produce a positive reaction. The result was split between various categories: visual appeal, storyline, and expression. Visual appeal dealt with how aesthetic the animation was. How much clutter, detailed backgrounds, detailed character design, and overall image quality. Storyline deals with appealing to a large audience that differs widely and sometimes even narrowly. Expression deals with how thing move in tune with emotions and actions. From moving with a stomp when angry to springy steps when happy, expression ties everything together to create a more “human” aspect. Using these aspects I then used this knowledge to plan out a story and assemble my animation together. This research then lead to my final plan to primarily use Adobe Animate for smooth frame by frame animation
When it came to collaboration I collaborated primarily with my classmate Jared, who was producing an anime trailer that involved animation using After Effects. This was a successful pair due to the fact that we were both working around the same concept. We were both able to bounce ideas off each other that allowed us to fix, improve, and adapt our animations to be more appealing to others by using ourselves as tests. I am in fact very thankful for such a collaboration partner because we were able to improve our skills so much and look back and be proud of our productions.
If I was asked to look back on and improve however I could give you many reasons. Firstly, I wish that I came to a final decision on software to use far more earlier into February so i could have used all of march to finish character production, storyline, and development. Secondly I had to change my animation length plan because my original two minutes of animation would have far exceeded my deadline. So instead I shortened the length to approximately forty five seconds of animation. I however wish that i could have met this goal. If i could go back and redo my animation from the start, I would change my storyline to be a temple runner theme featuring egyptian action music and a large jackal headed guardian protecting a pharaoh's tomb.
21st century skills that I feel I improved on the most on were tech literacy, creativity, and risk taking. I felt like I improved my tech literacy through all of the different softwares i used to produce my animation. I used Adobe Flash for the animations base, Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator for character creation, Adobe Audition for audio mixing and editing, After Effects for additional effects and text animation, and Dreamweaver for website production. I improved my creativity through improving and refining things that looked out of place and touching up moments where there was abrupt stillness. I also dreamt up multiple different scenarios for scenes and chose the best one that I saw that fit the atmosphere of the animation. I improved my risk taking by trying different software that I did not know to even use in the beginning. These softwares were Adobe Flash, the entire base of my animation, and Adobe Audition, the entire set of audio for my animation. The skill that i could have definitely used improvement on however was self direction. Due to setbacks, changes to my overall plan, and large adaptions made to the animation I fell behind on my deadlines. To improve on this in the future, I will be sure to plan more thoroughly and pay a large attention to detail so that I will not have to make adaptations or make changes to a plan that would cost time. This wasn't only a major lesson for just my animation, but my organization in general. I learned to pay more attention in general, whether it be on homework productivity, or improving on my research methods. This project provided great examples of what to do and what not to do in the future for me.
When it comes to innovating my own education I feel like it was a truly life changing opportunity. Having the freedom to pursue your passion and freely express yourself while learning on the way is a rewarding feeling. It broke the usual monotonic school procedures and allowed me to freely express myself and have fun while doing it.
Overall, I feel like the Innovator Project at Freestyle Academy is a once and a lifetime opportunity for any high schooler. It allows you to break free and pursue your passion to the world while still maintaining structure to be considered “gradable.” This truly unique opportunity is what creates value in itself. And I found this project very valuable not only to produce what you're passionate about, but to learn from your mistakes and improve yourself as a person.