Evaluation methods

Towards the end of my project I’d like to evaluation the success of this produce using the following methods:
•   Over-the-shoulder testing
•   In-class testing
•   Age specific focus groups

 

Key questions to evaluate effectiveness:

•   Is the product intuitive and enjoyable?
•   Do kids just follow along with the story or do they interact more with the world around them?
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Mood, Character and Plot Notes

Some thoughts on mood

Progressive, expressive, warm, innovative, fun, aimed at both genders, casual, energetic, spontaneous, contrasting sound, solitary but also collaborative, familiar with a twist, young, fresh.

Character

Blaze, Uninspired, Lazy, Unmotivated, Dependent, Frustrating, Proud

Transition to…

Lively, Energetic, Creative, Inventive, Open minded, Joyful, Inspired, Humble

 

Plot points

Boredom and repeated expression of boredom.

World loses colour and life as boredom expressed.

Character realises the drab world that has been created.

Has to search, be proactive and seek out the beauty and wonder in the world to restore it to its creative potential.

Through gradual process of discovery colour, pattern  and sound gradually comes back into the world.

Change of thinking expressed through new ways of seeing – expression of character.

Adobe InDesign and DPS

Adobe Creative Cloud site –

Adobe Digital Publishing Suite Single Edition

Workflow based in Adobe InDesign (CS5, 5.5 or 6)

–          layouts

–          interactivity

–          preview and create .folio file

Import into DPS App Builder

Generate final DPS App File

Submit to Apple App Store

*need CS6 Adaptative Design Tools option to create compatibility between different portable devices

* CS6 Folio Overlays panel – can create hyperlinks, slideshows, audio and video, panoramas, and pan and zoom to page layouts.

Single Edition also automatically scales content so it can be read appropriately on all display types.

Do need a MAC to run the DPS App builder and submit to the App store.

Single Edition content can be viewed on iPad 1, iPad2 or new iPad. Professional Edition and Enterprise Edition can be viewed on iPads, Android tablet devices and desktops.

To preview on ipad need Adobe Content Viewer (free app).

Each .folio file corresponds to a different issue of the magazine or newspaper

inDesign experiments:

Animation panel

Fly-ins etc.

Can be tested in browser

Timing panel – on page click versus on page load?

Smoke effect – longer in original state?

Felix animation test – crashed computer – file size?

Importing flash files? E.g. walk sequences and more challenging animation

Media

Can link to URL  http:// or rtmp:// for video clip located on a flash media serve or flash streaming service

Found that Youtube clips don’t appear to be compatible

– download using converter first?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8PHEqFmsnU

H.264 files – best video format for digital publishing output

Compatible with InDesign 5 and 5.5, Adobe Flash Player, embedded into Acrobat 9 and X, and Reader 9 & X. Supported on iPad, iPhone and iP dt Touch, and viwable on both Mac and Windows. These are the video formats used on youTube, Vimeo etc.

Can create these files using Adobe Media Encoder 5 or 5.5

(CS5 or CS5.5)

Quicktime 7 Pro or Quicktime X.

File extensions for H.264 files can be seen as MP4, F4V, MOVand M4V

While these files are supported in Flash player, they aren’t exclusively Flash files (which means Apple products which don’t support Flash files will still play them).

These file types can work in interactive PDFs and SWF files created in InDesign.

Audio files can be imported in MP3 format

Liz Castro, author of EPUB: Straight to the Point, did some testing of different formats on Apple’s iOS devices. She found that the format which worked the best is “H.264 video compression, AAC compressed audio, all contained in an MPEG4 container, with a .m4v extension. While there is not much difference between .mp4 and .m4v, the latter is specifically for Apple and works in both iPad and iPhone.” (In addition to her original eBook, she has also has available on her website a small eBook about creating files with video and audio for playing on iOS devices and the Nook.) As shown below, I found that MP4 seemed to work just fine.

http://indesignsecrets.com/picking-the-best-video-format-for-digital-publishing.php

Issues: put in URL for Youtube clip but doesn’t seem to acknowledge that it’s a Flash compliant file. (According to all internet commentaries, YouTube works with H.264 files. Will convert to MP4 and try again).

Object states in InDesign

Bob Bringhurst, has written a nice overview about Multi-state objects here.

InDesign CS5 introduces a new kind of page item designed for creating slide shows in a SWF file. A multi-state object changes its content when a button is clicked in a SWF file. To create a multi-state object, place a bunch of images in your document and align them in a stack. Select them all, and then click the New button in the Object States panel to create a multi-state object. Then use the Buttons panel—which has been enhanced in InDesign CS5—to create navigate arrows that jump to the next or previous state in the multi-state object.

http://blogs.adobe.com/vikrant/2011/03/multi-state-objects-in-interactive-pdfs/

Coding and the Apple Developer Website

I spent about 2 hours reading about what is involve to utilise code to create an app. I read through a big chunk of the ‘iOS Technology Overview’ pdf from the Apple Developer site. This revealed to me how incredible complex coding is, and how (especially for the sake of a 16 week course!) it’s completely beyond me. Longer term, I don’t feel very interested in pursuing it either as I’m really not interested in coding at all, more the design side of things.

This makes me all the more grateful that Adobe has developed Edge Animate, DPS and Muse for anti-code types like me!!

Visual Inspiration…

itchy

“The Itchy Bear” Ebook by Barrowfolk (XYZ Studios)

This ebook is probably the closest I’ve seen to the aesthetic and functionality of what I’m aiming for. The simple white background and expressive illustration really allows the interactivity to shine. The use of zooms, sound effects, touch sensitive movements of the characters is similar to what I’m aiming for. I found the constant sound annoying though – it  was a bit much and sometimes silence or ambient noise is better than lots of music or loud noises.

girl-linocut2

Linoprints retrieved from Google images

I’m hoping to trial linoprinting to create an edgy look for my work. I’ll then scan it in, trace it in Illustrator and colour in Photoshop.

theloop

Ebook page by Angeline Matasari, retrieved from www.theloop.com.au/Angeline.Mayasari/project/56746
I liked the simpilicity of the layout in this design and thought the texturing was also quite effective.
ipad2
“Cutie Monsters” Ebook by Little Phoenix Interactive, retrieved from http://www.littlephoenixinteractive.com/tag/cutie-monsters/
While this e-book is aimed at a much younger target audience, once again the simplicity of the layout and interactivity is along similar lines to what I was imagining. I was also considering experimentation with texture similar to this – although perhaps a bit more moody (not as bright a colour palette).
snicket1
Closing credits, “Lemony Snicket’s a Series of Unfortunate Events” retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JoBnHYKcCRU
Perhaps the most influential for me as far as aesthetics goes, the integration of texture and pattern with simple hand drawn heavily inked illustrations is really appealing. This gives me a lot of ideas for the stages in the story where the colour has gone from the world and gradually the pattern and colour saturation could slowly start creeping in. I think these illustrations are a bit heavy/dark for my target audience but the simplicity of the movement and layering of objects to create depth is really effective in this animation.

Narrative notes

*clang clang clang!*
Tobias remembered feeling such amazing excitement and joy when the school bell finally rang yesterday. He thought it was the best feeling in the world when the holidays arrived.
Today, however, he’d been on holiday for almost a whole day and things didn’t feel quite the same.
He’d slept in.
He’d watched TV.
He’d eaten lunch.
He’d kicked the ball in the backyard.
…but now what?
[what do you think Tobias should do? – interactive pop-up with space to write in answer]
As Tobias heard your suggestion all he could say was “but it’s booorrriinggg!”
His mum suggested going for a walk to the park or playing a board game but guess what he said?
“Mum, that’s boorrrriinggg!!”
The problem with this was the more Tobias said how bored he was, the more bored he became!
“I’m borrreeeddd!!”
“that’s boring!”
“but I’m soooooo boreeeeddd!”
And the more he said he was bored the more life and fun and energy drained out of his world. His house even sounded boring! He began to feel sad and lost all his energy. He wondered if he’d ever have fun again. As he looked out the window he was shocked to find things looked quite different than he remembered.
But his mother didn’t seem to notice and kept making cookies….and then he realized … He couldn’t smell them! Tobias loved cookies but he didn’t want any because he couldn’t smell them!
Something was very strange here. The colour had gone, the smells had gone…and wait….
The sounds had gone too! He couldn’t hear kids playing in the neighborhood, he couldn’t hear the birds in the trees.
He turned on the radio…
…nothing.
Just when he was about to despair he heard a quiet little voice saying “over here! Follow me!”
“who said that?” said Tobias.
“down here!”
And sure enough, as he looked down,Tobias saw a tiny little ant on the kitchen floor madly waving his arms in the air.
“but where are you going?” Tobias asked without any real interest in the answer.
“you’ll have to find out!” the ant mysteriously replied. And with that, he scuttled across the tiles and under the back door.
[have a look around your kitchen and out your back door. Are there any ants trying to get your attention? You may like to get a magnifying glass do you can see what the ants are trying to say!]
Tobias followed his secretive new friend out the back door and along the side of the house. But suddenly the ant stopped and turned around and said,
“if you follow me too far you might get lost in my world. Draw yourself a map so you know how to find your way home from the ant city!”
[get some paper and some markers and create a map of your ant’s journey – you could use dotted lines or small footsteps to show the path he takes.]
He got down on his hands and knees and followed the ant with a magnifying glass as he scuttled into the blades of grass. As The ant crawled over and around stones and pebbles, grass and sticks, Tobias noticed that many other ants were heading the same way and his ant friend joined a long trail of ants who all knew where they were going. It was like an ant freeway as they whizzed along one after another busy and enthusiastic to get home.
Eventually Tobias’s ant friend crawled up to a crack in the concrete next to the house and paused.
“this is where i live – the ant city. Are you coming?”
Tobias looked confused but his curiosity was too much and he couldn’t help but ask…
“how can I get to your city? The crack is too small and I’m far too big!”
The ant wrinkled his brow as if trying to remember something from long ago.
“there’s an old story”, said the ant, “about a drink with special powers. But it’s very hard to find.”
“tell me please!” Tobias said, “I want to know! I know I can find it! I know i can!”
The ant didn’t look like he believed Tobias But he continued the story until he knew what he must do. With a new sense of purpose he shouted goodbye and ran back inside. And all the while didn’t have time to notice that the world was gradually changing.
Tobias searched frantically through his house for a boat but there wasn’t one. He had to cross the dangerous pirated waters of Loungorium but how would he do it?
[can you find these things at home? Make a boat using these things so that Tobias can sail across the dreaded waters of Loungorium to find the magic shrink drink]
Tobias stood on the bow of the ship and looked across the waters. All had been quiet until now but gradually it was getting louder and louder and he was getting worried.
The waves began to rise and they lapped at the boat as the wind scwalled.
“… Take down the sail!” Tobias cried to his first mate, “we’re going to capsize!”
…but there was no answer.
“take down the sail!” he cried again, looking at you with desperate eyes. (oh, did I forget to mention you’re Tobias’s first mate?”). [quick! Take down the sails!!]
But the sails were stuck and you needed a hand. So you yelled for another sailor to help. [call out to another sailor to help you so you don’t capsize!]
Finally with all hands on deck, the sails were down and the boat was buffeted by the wind and waves, rocking and rolling and bobbing in the sea. The sailors grabbed a blanket and all huddled together for warmth as the wind blew.
And as quickly as it came up, the wind died away, the sun came out and the boat stopped rocking. It was time to raise the sail – full steam ahead!
Tobias thought he could see land but he wasn’t sure. He needed a telescope but he didn’t bring one with him. Maybe you can help? [find a lifeboat and go and hunt for a telescope. Look for: an empty paper towel roll, some cellophane, some sticky tape, some aluminium foil.]
“land ahoy!” you shouted back on board the boat. It was small but you could see the island and Tobias was relieved and overjoyed.
As the boat came into the shallows you dropped the anchor and all jumped in the lifeboat, rowing to dry land. You dragged the boat up the beach and sat on the sand, exhausted.
It was then that Tobias asked, “…but where do we go next?”
There was a rustle in your pocket and Tobias’s little ant friend scuttled out and waved his arms again.
“your map! Your map!” he exclaimed with excitement.
[find your map of the ant trail]
—-
Re-drafting will be necessary to reduce overall length of story as a couple more chapters are still necessary so it would be quite long. Multiple paragraphs of text per page will be necessary as there will be too much happening to illustrate or animate every few sentences.