The brief asked for an animation which helped 6-8 year olds understand why sitting still for an MRI scan is a good thing to do and helping them to not be afraid of the process. The animation had to be fit for the audience, using the appropriate language and using imagery which would appeal to them.
I wanted to create something which at the heart of it was fun and would be more visually interesting for the audience. In the end i kept things simple, and didn’t take too many risks with this one. After effects is a useful tool but takes some getting used to, so i spent my time working out what went wrong and fixing things half the time. I would be much more ready to make an animation completely in after effects now, and would spend more time developing characters and ideas. My idea was nice and simple, a character who loves to dance, but of course he wont be able to dance while he has his scan!
I wanted the animation to be something that would be enjoyable and kind of silly, so that the children could enjoy something while being more informed about the MRI scan.
Improvements i could make:
- Add a smile! The character is missing his mouth, which would help to make him look happy and friendly, which would be more appealing to younger viewers, and perhaps help to make them feel more relaxed with the character.
- I would have used more close up shots with some expressions, like worried when the MRI scan is mentioned, but smiling again when the narrator mentions that it is a perfectly safe procedure which in the end will help the doctors a lot.
- I would play around with the background a bit more, and perhaps also have some imagery pop up next to Sammy to help visualise things for the children.
In the end i am happy enough with the animation, as it helps children to understand that MRI scans are safe, and that they must be still when the scan is happening. I thought that this information was explained appropriately. I could have also included other information, like the MRI scan being loud, so children were aware of that, but there are a couple of reason i didn’t.
- Not a long animation, didn’t want to have too much going on to distract and confuse the audience.
- Hospitals will provide headphones or even DVDs for children so the loud scary noises are often not really loud scary noises for children, they are low rumblings at best. So really it would be something that they may not need to know even exists, and the nurses would tell them the relevant information anyway.
Also i left out the information about making sure not to take metal with you, this is because:
- This information is more for the guardian of the child, they will make sure that the child doesn’t wear inappropriate clothes and things like that. The child shouldn’t and doesn’t have to worry about that.
- When the child gets to the hospital the nurses will explain to them that they cannot have any metal on them and they will help them to make sure they do not have any. So really that information is completely unnecessary for this short animation.
Anyway i learnt a lot about After Effects and would like to revisit it in the future, although in my own time with a different idea so i can approach it differently and try a few things i didn’t get a chance to from the research i did.