Monday, 4 November 2013

How To Start Your Animated Short Film


So, you’ve prepped your great idea for a film, you’ve developed your story, you’ve done your designs, your storyboards – you may even have recorded a guide track and completed an animatic. Everything is good to go, but you’re wondering… What do I do next? How do I start?
In stopmotion and CGI (and somewhat in Flash), you need to get your characters built, rigged and into animation tests as soon as you can. Without these, there’s no way forward. The big danger with stopmotion and CGI (this also applies to constructing characters in Flash), is that your project now turns into a modelmaking exercise. You shift from the relative safety and security of pre-production into a similarly snuggly, safe and secure craft-based modelmaking discipline. This takes time. Everything must be perfect – all the characters, the rigs, then the sets and props… My advice is to plough through this phase quickly. Set yourself definite deadlines. Get some of your characters done and get animating. Your results onscreen will inform your modelmaking process. You need to find out early what’s working and what needs more work. There’s NO point in ending up with beautiful looking models in four or five month’s time, only to discover that they don’t animate. Build some, animate early, then build again, based on your animation learning from your tests.

This brings me to the question of time… How long DOES it take to produce a 5 minute animated short film? I would say it takes on average around 6 months. It can take substantially longer – it’s rumoured that Tony Donoghue took 8 years to shoot his beautiful ‘Irish Folk Furniture’. I made my 2010 ‘Mister Heaney, a wee portrait’ in one month and I shot the first full pass of ‘Furniture – Murder and Love’ in 23 hours (including voice record and voice edit and a nice 7 hour sleep). On average though, it takes around 6 months to make a 5 minute animated short. Time is your friend and your enemy and time must be managed. Find out NOW how many days you have to your deadline. Map out the different tasks you need to get done – character construction, set construction, props, animation, animation, animation, compositing, reshoots and reanimations, effects, final edit renders. If you haven’t any previous production experience, guess how much time it’ll take you to do each task. I would say try to allocate at least a third of your available time to animation. At least!

I generally start in the middle of the film and work my way to the end. Then I work back from the middle to the very start of the film. In this way, the opening shots are possibly the best animation, because I’m well up to speed by then. The first shots you shoot (unless you’re flukily lucky) will often be terrifyingly terrible! Don’t worry about this. In a week, or a fortnight, you’ll have ironed out whatever problems you’ve found and you’ll be animating smoothly. Keep pressing forwards, shot by shot. Do NOT redo shots at this point – press ahead with the next shot, then the next shot. You can do your reshoots and reanimations at the end of the first pass.

Keep an edit line alive. I drop my animatic (if I have one) into the edit line and then, each day, I drop the shots I’ve animated onto the edit timeline, replacing the animatic shots. It’s a good idea to watch the entire edit timeline from the top each day, just to give yourself a feel for the overall shape of the film, and to encourage you that you’re making progress in your production.
Animate your first pass as soon as you can, then go back and reanimate the bits you hate the most and keep doing this until your animation time runs out.

In CGI, my advice is to render early – every day if possible. Do NOT leave renders to some vague three week block at the end of your production. Get stuff onscreen, in the bag. It can always be rerendered later, with much more polish and finesse, time permitting. Get stuff onscreen asap. This also applies to complicated comping or effects passes with stopmotion or 2d animation – get them rendered now, get them onscreen now. They can always be tweaked and improved at a later date, time permitting.

That’s it – take a deep breath and start.


I’ll be shooting three animated short films over the next six months – one simple (a second ‘furniture’ film), one secret (I can’t say anything) and one more finished and complex. I’ll keep you posted on progress.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Graduation! Postgraduate Diploma in Learning, Teaching and Assessment!

24th October 2013 in Athlone Institute - the second cohort of LIN Dippers graduate! Great to spend the day with Mick Mc Grath, John Ryan, Anne Marie O' Brien, Carmel Kealey, Nuala Harding and Miriam O' Connor. Sinead Bracken and Marion Palmer were missed by all of us! Great also to meet some of the families, who've been supporting us all for the past few years through our long (but hugely rewarding) LIN teaching and learning journey!

As I said to John Ryan as we sat waiting for the ceremony to commence 'we never thought it would end here'! And our teaching and learning journey doesn't end... Next stop 'The Masters'.

Thanks to all and well done to all!


Mick, John, DQ @back, Anne Marie and Carmel at front


The Three Musketeers


Unlikely Scholar!

2013 LIN conference!

A fantastic 2013 LIN conference on Thursday 17th October in the Ashling Hotel in Dublin! Inspirational presentations from Mick Healey (on 'Sustainable Models for Engaging Undergraduates in Research and Inquiry') and from Newcastle University's Colin Bryson and Ruth Furlonger on 'Engaging Students Through Partnership'. Ruth, Newcastle's Student Engagement Officer was, for me, the STAR of the entire conference - a recent grad who drives student engagement through student-driven initiatives! An inspiration to us all! Well done girl!

Other presentations I saw were NCBI's Antoinette Fennell piece on 'Facilitating Design Students engagement with older people and people with disabilities',  IADT's Clyde Doyle's presentation on 'Making Makers' and The Maker Movement and Mary I's Margaret O' Keefe's presentation on student placement in drama education.

Marion Palmer and Nuala Harding did a great exposition on the LIN Flexible Pathway and the LIN Capstone and I, for my sins, did my provocative presentation on IADT Animation's 'links with the animation industry - not a complete bed of roses'.

Thanks to Niamh Rushe, Marion, Nuala and the LIN team for working incredibly hard to setup and run a great day for us all. I emailed them that it was 'like coming home for the day, into the LIN teaching and learning family'. LIN and the LIN conference must persist in some way, shape or form for the future!



DQ does his provocative presentation at 2013 LIN conference

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Halle - Day 2 Session 1 - Mike Riemenschneider

HALLE DAY 2

session 1 Mike Riemenschneider (IAMA - DE)

Presentation of the Animation Talent Award

i won't bother you with the funding issues we had..
International Academy - non prof founded in 2004

we produced a lot of student films
started with 9 months and then cut that to 3 months - they had to be v precise

we have individuals, companies
the question was how can we attract people, attract students
how do we stay alive in the market?

can we do it alone? or do we need partners?

tried to find a niche - the idea was to create a festival but there are tonnes of festivals (260 animation festivals) in the world...
how can we find a niche...

maybe do something with music??

not starting with animation, but start with the music...

a web-based short film competition, where you can earn your production budget to turn your ideas into an animation film
warner set some conditions - streaming yes, download no...

design guideline - 
transfer concept into web and digital media
how can we bring everything together?
licencing?


a few people were totally happy to give us music from their new albums...
but the lawyers were a little more difficult...

alan doherty plays the flute - he's from ireland but he lives in Halle - i met him by chance...

pitch video from students who're proposing their projects...
top 10 projects
pitching mode
then they communicate and find additional budget (through crowdfunding pledges)
building up a crowd and then find money
an ongoing process... (still live)

click to support the projects you like...
having found that you can buy 1000 facebook fans for 360 euros, we decided not to rely on facebook

through google analytics - we could see that we were being watched in 90 countries
LinkedIn a great thing to do..

how it's going right now?
they're in the middle of producing the top 10 videos
they needed to get 100% of the money before 20th October - if they're missing 5%, they get nothing (standard crowdfunding)

E2,500 euros is the main prize from ARTE

ARTE is the most important partner
a link with Adobe - unlimited licence of CrativeCloud for 1 year for 3 projects

voting
sharing
like
production
donate
support

we want to establish ourselves as a partner for the animation schools
we were asked if we can licence ATA for India - but I don't know if it's a real offer...

we have projects from
bristol
portugal
belgium
phillipines/indonesia
poland etc etc


www.startnext.de - crowdfunding platform
www.animationtalentaward.com

end of Mike's presentation


were you genuinely surprised by the worldwide interest?
definitely...
also we're talking to samsung, canon

we will then support the finished films
the rights belong to the people who make the movie
but we can use the films for non-commercial projects

normally we'd be finished production, but that was postponed because of the flooding in Halle!

it will happen again next year - if you all help us, we will succeed!


Brainstorming in Halle!

GREAT brainstorming session to finish Day 1 of the ETNA conference in Halle! Topics included 'Student Project Management' and 'funding models'. Strong possibility that we'll establish a rotating presidency for ETNA - to impel our collaborations forward! A pan-European postgraduate animation flexible pathway beckons!

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Halle - ETNA conference

Morning One of the ETNA (European Training Network for Animation Schools) annual conference. Good presentations by Richelle Wilder (script development for animation) and Keith Hopwood (music and sound effects for animation).



011013 halle


Richelle Wilder

animation has the widest demographic
animation isn't limited by cultural or social boundaries...

katzenburg 'the idea is king. if a movie begins with a great, original idea, chances are it will work...'

great ideas are rare...

the strongest ideas can be encapsulated into a logline, or 'hook'...

chicken run 'great escape with  chickens'
flushed away 'african queen with rats'
shrek ' greatest fairy tale never told'

when i ran the development department at aardman...
it was a creative forum for generating ideas...

sometimes the originaL IDEA FAILS WHEN YOU TRY TO EXPAND IT...

SCORCESE SAID 'THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS SIMPLE. SIMPLE IS HARD'

pitch: plot, characters, world, tone...

now we're talking about leprechauns...
but Katzenburg didn't like it 'and all our leprechaun ideas left with him...'

hitchcock 'all you need is a great script, a great script, a great script...'

the technical differences between writing for live action and animation are negligible...

writer needs to be hugely imaginative...
all the projects I've worked on have featured multiple writers... a lead writer certainly, but multiple writers...

we follow the three act structure...

it's important the bg designs and char designs are shared with the writer, to make sure he's on the same creative track...

andrew stanton... the first draft is nothing more than a starting point, so be as wrong and as fast as you can...

rewriting can be twenty paces back and five paces forward...
rewriting is about 'getting the story right'

rewrite is about making creative ideas the best they can be...
often multiple stakeholders involved in rewrite - all opinion is valuable...

however, multiple voices (if they're not managed properly) can destroy the script
in indie productions, this role is rarely managed...
managed, not dictated... Dictatorial no...

ideas often get put in the script to please the money people, to greenlight funding...

DEVELOPMENT HELL - the rewrite black hole...
caused by the writing process being poorly managed...
Many scripts get put into development hell, very few scripts get out

dev hell becomes an illogical dance, with lots of crap and random ideas being built into the script...

remember the project's potential, remember the hook...


billy wilder - an audience is never wrong. an individual member of it may be an imbecile, but a thousand imbeciles sitting in a darkened room - that is critical genius...

end


show not tell

anim scripts are approx 80 pages in length, live ation are usually 100 to 120 pages...

chaacter world themes and andience demogrgaphic

screenwriting is an art
screenwriting is also a craft

lasseter 'the art challenges the technology and the technology inspires the art...'

act 1 who is the main char what is the story about what is the conflict? (this is the inciting incident) first 10 pages, first 10 minutes
the suspension of disbelief must happen in act 1, the audience must buy in

want versus need is the character arc
the char want needs to be established early

drama is conflict...

act 2 longest in length
develops the action (A plot)
develops the main char
develops sub plots

it's essential to have more than 1 storyline

A plot is the action storyline
B plot is the emotional storyline
then subplots

there must be multiple plots, or the story will be completely linear

there can be multiple multiple subpolts, adding texture and charm to the storyline

moving between acts is done by turning points - twists

act 3 is the climax
the central premise of the plot is resolved...
shrek gets his swamp back, but with an unexpected twist (fiona)

tv script format...
single drama
mini series (multiple eps)
returning series (many eps)


script development TV:

development workshop
bible
premise
outline - fleshed out without dialogue
scene by scene - again fleshed out without dialogue
drafts x 2 - dialogue in, story structure, basic structure is movie structure with beginning, middle and end (this is usually where finance is greenlit)
polish - final draft, often done by the script editor - script editor ensures continuity across the series

development by committee is a staple of modern TV script development
broadcaster
co producer
series producer

each of the stakeholders will want an active input in the series development (includes financiers, co prod partners and broadcasters), all coordinated by the script editor

all opinion is valuable, but all opinion is 
an effective script producer or script editor offers the writer creative support and managerial guidance.


katzenburg: every single thing you see onscreen came out of somebody's creativity. It doesn't exist. Nature didn't deliver it to us. Everything had to be dreamed.


end

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Postgraduate Diploma in Learning, Teaching and Assessment

The day has arrived - after a seeming lifetime (3 years) through my Teaching and Learning study journey, and following successful completion of my AIT Capstone module (Reflection, Action and Analysis), I have now completed my LIN Postgraduate Diploma in Learning, Teaching and Assessment! A postgraduate qualification! As Mick Mc Grath says 'we are now PGDippers!'

Thanks to all my T+L learning network - especially Marion Palmer, Mary Anne O' Carroll, Laura Venables, Cliona Flood, Muiris O' Grady, Thelma Chambers, Barry O' Donoghue, Mick Mc Grath, John Ryan, Fiona Fulham, Eloise Tan, Anne Spencer, Nuala Harding, Miriam O' Connor, Sean Moore, Sarah Moore, Teemu Auersalo, Keith Foran, Damian Byrne, Ron Hamilton, Shirley Casey, Sherra Murphy, Elaine Sissons, Mark Riordan, Rebecca Roper, Ian Ginn, John Parry, Geert Vergauwe, Hannah Barton, Donald Taylor Black, Andrew Power, Jim Devine, Cormac O' Kane, Annie Doona, Joan Mannion, Anne Marie O' Brien, Kevin O Rourke, Leonie Sharrock, Frances Boylan and all the 'elss girls', the IADT Academic Council and the IADT T+L Committee. I know I've forgotten to mention crucial, obvious people here (I've already updated this list eight times) - apologies and thanks to you too!

Thanks most of all to Katy, Sophie, Thomas and Daniel and to my DL041 Animation students - for teaching me everything. Love to all! My learning continues.




Friday, 13 September 2013

LIN Capstone Presentation!

My LIN teaching and learning journey, begun three years ago with the AIT T+L Cert, reaches a significant milestone with Thursday's AIT T+L Capstone presentation. I found the Capstone a very useful and engaging module - far from a formality. The opportunities to map learning gaps and to plan ahead, strategising my professional development, were especially welcome, timely, necessary.

Key learning from the day - Anne Marie O' Brien's 'teaching and learning has been like learning a new language'! Great presentations from all and great to see my buddies Mick Mc Grath and John Ryan! Thanks to Marion Palmer, Nuala Harding, Miriam O' Connor and UCC's Marian Mc Carthy (and Joan Mannion in the background, organising everything)!


The 6 2013 LIN T+L Dippers - Carmel, Anne Marie, John, Sinead, Mick and DQ


The 2013 LIN T+L Capstone staff - Marion, Miriam, Marian and Nuala

Thursday, 8 August 2013

AIT Capstone Progress

I've just finished my first draft of my AIT Teaching and Learning Capstone Assignment One - the core of it is around 4,200 words (target was 3,500), and the entire document is over 10,000 words. A very useful reflection on my Teaching and Learning journey from 2010 - my how our ideas have evolved over three short years (seems like a lifetime).

Document needs some drawer time now. I need to focus on my Research Masters.

Teaching as a Subversive Activity

Postman, N. and Weingartner, C. (1971) ‘Teaching As A Subversive Activity’ Penguin Books. London

‘Teaching As A Subversive Activity’ was a seminal text for me during the earliest stages of my Teaching and Learning journey. Though rather old, somewhat outdated and primarily aimed at primary and second-level teachers, the book contained some persistently relevant ideas – most notably the concepts of ‘selective forgetting’ (page 195, bottom para), the idea of ‘learning to learn’ (page 204) and the essential development of students’ ‘crap detectors’ (page 204).

'Survival in a rapidly changing environment depends almost entirely upon being able to identify which of the old concepts are relevant to the demands imposed by the new threats to survival and which are not. Then a new educational task becomes critical: getting the group to unlearn (to forget) the irrelevant concepts as a prior condition to learning. What we are saying is that ‘selective forgetting’ is necessary to survival.' (page 195 bottom para)

One of the most wonderful notions in the book was ‘the intellectual strategy’ for survival in times of disruptive change… 'Intellectual strategies for nuclear-space-age survival – in all dimensions of human activity – include such concepts as relativity, probability, contingency, uncertainty, function, structure as process, multiple causality (or non-causality), non-symmetrical relationships, degrees of difference and incongruity (or simultaneously appropriate difference).
The learning of such concepts will produce the kinds of people we will need to deal effectively with a future full of drastic change.' (page 204 (para 4 and 5))

'All of these concepts constitute the dynamics of the question-questioning, meaning-making process that can be called ‘learning to learn’. This comprises a posture of stability from which to deal fruitfully with change. The purpose is to help all students develop built-in, shockproof crap detectors as basic equipment in their survival kits.' (page 204 bottom para)

Still great learning for today's environment of disruptive change!

Simpsons Storyboarding...

Great link from Teemu Auersalo...

http://www.slideshare.net/cheszter/strybrd-the-simpsonsway

Friday, 19 July 2013

IADT Animation at 2013 Galway Film Fleadh

Great IADT DL041 Animation success at the 2013 Galway Film Fleadh, with grads Claire Lennon, Matt Porter, Rory Kerr, John Peavoy, Natalie ni Chleirigh, Thomas Young, Alan O' Cuileann and Eamonn O' Neill all screening films. DQ also screened his disgraceful 'Furniture - Murder and Love' animation.


some of the 2013 IADT Galway screeners

Rory Kerr won 'Best First Animation' with his 'That's Not supposed to Happen' and Alan O' Cuileann won 'The Don Quijote Prize' with his Frameworks 'CODA'. Congrats to all - screeners and winners alike...


Matt Porter's image of winner Rory Kerr!

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

DRHEA elss 2013 - video projects - 27th June

For my sins, I was walked into doing a workshop for the 2013 DRHEA ELearning Summer School. Thanks especially to Kevin O' Rourke and the elss crew for the invite! What I thought might be a simple hour-long presentation for a few participants turned into a frenzied 2-hour, 5 group, hands-on workshop for 50 lecturers - at the very edges of constructivist learning! Thanks also to Muiris O' Grady for hands-on assistance on the day!

here's me directing one of the chaotic crews, with IADT's Muiris O' Grady laughing at me!


Here are links to the various edited videos... Well done to all!

how to script for video...



why video for lecturers?



voice recording basics...



tripods or handheld...



how not to make a video... 

Dublin Castle - 20th June 2013

Still catching up on blogposts! On 20th June, IADT were asked to provide some students for the 2013 Digital Agenda Assembly. DL041 Animation's Emily Lynch did a realtime visualisation for Lord Putnam's Digital Ambassador speech. Well done Emily! Thanks also to Fiachra and Marcel for their participation.

here's part of Emily's visualisation with European Commission Vice-President Neelie Kroes, Minister Pat Rabbitte, Matt Cooper and Lord Putnam


here's Emily at work in Dublin Castle


and Emily's final visualisation...

AIT Capstone - 19th June 2013 - and a revelation!

July - just catching up on blogposts. Back on the 19th of June, we returned to AIT for the 2nd session of the T+L Capstone module. Great session! I feel this module will allow me finally to PLAN my professional development over the next few years.

Whilst doing the Learning Outcome Mapping Exercise for the module, I had something of a revelation, realising that the LIN T+L modules have been a most unusual postgraduate experience, because the learning from the modules has from the outset, plugged straight back into our professional practice to the benefit of our students. Quite unlike most 'normal' postgraduate activity.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

David Quin at 2013 Corona Fastnet Short Film Festival

7 windows in Schull have been transformed into what Fastnet Film Festival are calling 'a temporary museum' of 36 years of Quin family stopmotion animation! I installed the models on Saturday 18th May, with Katy, Thomas, Maria, Marie and Maurice - a long day, but everything worked great!

 
Mick Heaphey model in Film Festival Office, Schull

The windows are - Schull Dentist's (Bosco and Bailebeag), Festival Office (T'was a Terrible Hard Work), Headquarters Hairdressers (To Forget), Divecology (Dunin and Circus), Whyte's Bookshop (cutbacks), Arundel (The Art of Animation and Daisy Shoe, Floradora, Neddy). I've created a string of blogspots with information on each of the window themes...

http://cutbacks2010.blogspot.ie/2013/05/fastnet-bosco-and-bailebeag-window.html

http://cutbacks2010.blogspot.ie/2013/05/fastnet-daisy-shoe-floradora-and-neddy.html

http://cutbacks2010.blogspot.ie/2013/05/fastnet-to-forget-window.html

http://cutbacks2010.blogspot.ie/2013/05/fastnet-dunin-and-circus-window.html

http://cutbacks2010.blogspot.ie/2013/05/fastnet-art-of-animation-window.html

http://cutbacks2010.blogspot.ie/2013/05/fastnet-twas-terrible-hard-work-window.html

http://cutbacks2010.blogspot.ie/2013/05/fastnet-cutbacks-window.html


Bailebeag characters in Schull Dentist's

On Saturday 25th at 16.00 in The Village Hall, I'll be doing my presentation on 'The Anatomy of An Internet Series'. On Sunday 26th, at 15.30, I'll be chairing a round-table discussion with Darragh O' Connell, Rob Cullen and Gerard O' Rourke 'Irish Animation - Boom or Bubble'.

10th May - AIT capstone

Friday the 10th of May and the AIT Teaching and Learning Capstone commences! On completion of this, I'll have earned a LIN Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning, which will allow my progression to Lecturer to finally proceed.


Thanks to Nuala Harding and Marion Palmer for leading the session - some good work done! This is Dave's scary mask from one of the reflective sessions - an expression of your professional practice. (I called it 'a Day in The Life of Dave').


Great to see Mick Mc Grath and John Ryan there! Our joint Teaching and Learning Network continues...


Friday, 3 May 2013

Silent - Pat Kinevane

Great night in The Source Theatre in Thurles - Thursday 2nd May, seeing Pat Kinevane's 'Silent' play. It's my second time seeing the play in two years and Pat's really developed it through performance. It's the same play as the one he wrote two years ago, but it's sharper, deeper, darker, funnier.

Pat's talking about coming back in the Autumn, to do a local homelessness fundraiser and maybe a contact project with TY and secondary school kids in the Thurles area... I've offered to document the process through video!

Here's Pat, Sophie und ich in De Burca's bar after the performance!

My Animation MOOC Proposal

For my sins, I decided to put together an IADT application to run an animation MOOC - a Massive Open Online Course - with Iversity in Autumn 2013. We're in the public voting phase, up against hundreds of courses from (mainly German) institutes and universities - subjects ranging from international politics to remote sensing for earth observation. A very interesting process whether we succeed or not. Please log on and VOTE for the MOOC to get it through this phase!

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Assessment and Evaluation Module

A final two days on IADT's Assessment and Evaluation course, as reflective essays, other submissions and our normal work tasks hang over us...

Here are the Assessment and Evaluation gang on the roof of The Cube...


The Prezi of our 'alternative methods of assessment' presentation is at... 

http://prezi.com/81ggyv0n85k6/alternative-modes-of-assessment/


Friday, 26 April 2013

2013 Corona Fastnet Film Festival (Schull County Cork) from 22nd to 26th May

The 2013 Corona Fastnet Film Festival (in Schull County Cork from 22nd to 26th May) has invited me to look at ‘aspects of Irish Animation’. I will be chairing a round-table discussion of Irish Animation studio heads and practitioners. We’re hoping to get Boulder Media’s Rob Cullen, Brown Bag Film’s Darragh O’ Connell and possibly Paul Young from Cartoon Saloon. The discussion will be entitled ‘Irish Animation – Boom or Bubble?’
I’ll also be doing my presentation ‘The Anatomy of an Internet Series’ and one of my stopmotion short films will be featured in the Festival’s prestigious ‘Horsebox’ screening booth, the film interpreted by local artist Deirdre Cairns. Finally, models, props and characters from my stopmotion short films, TV series and other projects will be displayed in themed shop windows around the village of Schull. I’m exhausted already!

Animation MOOC Proposal

Finished an application today for a proposed IADT Animation MOOC entitled 'Animation - Beyond The Bouncing Ball'. The proposed MOOC would run on the iversity platform in Autumn 2013. The proposal says...

This MOOC is aimed at the thousands of individuals who’ve done some formal animation education or training, people who’ve been working in specialist areas of the animation industry and those millions of people worldwide who’ve learned their way into some aspect of animation through graphics, design or software.

Because of the specialised nature of animation and graphics industry and education, many people never quite understand how to become an Animation Author. This is especially true today, when internet video and digital technology allow us to reach global audiences – but we need concepts and ideas and we need to understand the responsibilities of broadcast authorship. And it would help if we could appreciate the value of Critical Thinking and Reflective Practice. And we want to have fun along the way! This MOOC will address all of those issues, in a fun and entertaining learning environment.

Proposal video available below... Click on image...
 

Paperdolls Again!

Monday 22nd April - Paperdolls again with 3rd Year (and a handful of 2nd Years). Great day! I did much better drawings this time around. Laura, Aisling, Louise, Baz, Emma, Ewa, Stephen, Will and the Lisa's missed all the fun...

 
I'm very proud! Melissa also tweeted a jpeg of me drawing... Laura loves the backlight on the head... I'm not so sure about the belly...

Fastnet Recce!

Saturday 20th April - Drive to Schull for the day to do the preliminary meetings and window recce for the Fastnet Film Festival. Great day with the committee and meeting Deirdre Cairns, the artist who'll be interpreting my films in 'The Horsebox'.

Get home at 23.00 - Kt worried...



Masters by Research Approved!

Friday 19th April! Approval letter arrives from IADT Registrar Marian O' Sullivan - My Research Masters (with practice component) is approved. Starts immediately (before the summer anyhow...)

IADT/UCD Science Research Presentations to WIT

Wednesday 17th April - Thanks to Dominic Mullan for the invite to present my work on RaiseYourIQ's Innovation Voucher and on The current IADT/UCD Science Research Projects. Presentation seemed to go well!

Then up to the Animation studio to present IADT/UCD Science Research Projects to Annie Doona, Bernard Mullarkey and Professor Peter Robertson. All very impressed!

Here's an image of one of the scenes in Eilis Hennessey's 'Friends Fight Stigma' project. Backgroiunds by Rebecca Nalty, characters by Sarah Walsh and Animation by Dee Mc Donnell, Sarah and Jamie Greene.

Maynooth - Media Studies

17th April - Thank you to Jeneen Naji and Barry Mc Cabe for inviting me once again to speak to the NUI Maynooth Media Studies undergrads about the 'cutbacks' series, animation in Ireland and internet video platforms. A very engaged group of students. Thank you Barry for looking after me!

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Flu and Moocs

I had such great intentions for the Easter break and then I was floored by some flu bug, completely flattened, felled to a persistently geriatric state. Two weeks on, and I'm realising that I'm still not recovered from the bout.

In the meantime, some excellent guidance on how best to exploit the wonders and potentials of moocs...

http://ryan2point0.wordpress.com/2013/04/01/10-hot-tips-for-moocers/

Monday, 25 March 2013

Eva Kavanagh at IADT Cyberbullying Conference

 
Absolutely great Cyberbullying Conference in IADT on Saturday 23rd March, organised by Dr. Irene Connolly - brilliant speakers and some fantastic (and sometimes terrifying) presentations. IADT's DL041 Animation 3rd Year student Eva Kavanagh did real-time visualisation on the conference's closing session, illustrating some of the issues and topics which had emerged through the day.
 
Thanks to Irene Connolly, Marion Palmer, Pavel (AV), Stefan Paz Berrios, Andrew Power, Annie Doona and Paul Allen.
 
Most of all - well done to Eva!




Animation Debs 2013


210313 - DQ Statement to the DL041 Stage 3 students


Because I was at the GradCAM Seminar, I couldn't make a statement to my 3rd Years when all of the DL041 Animation students got together on Thursday afternoon. So, Barry O' Donoghue agreed to read one from me... Thanks Barry.

My 3rd Years! Apologies, I cannot be here with you today – I’m at a Research conference in town. I will adjourn to Baker’s later in the day – I may become disgracefully intoxicated! I want you to hear this in front of the entire DL041 Animation community, of students and lecturers.

We have five weeks left after Easter but almost to a man, to a woman, I could progress every one of you through to Animation Stage 4 right now without batting an eyelid! You’ve done some great work and you’ve already grown incredibly through this Year. Many of you came into Stage 3 as babies and you have now grown into adults in my eyes. You have transformed. We’ve worked face to face, through Blackboard, through Youtube, Facebook, Tumblr, self-assessment, peer assessment and Journals. We’ve fought, argued, cried and laughed but I am incredibly proud of the learning you’ve achieved. As a group, you’ve won the IADT Christmas card, you’ve done realtime visualisation at the 2012 LIN conference, you’ve won a shot at 2 UCD Research films, done 3 or 4 music videos, a dog video, you’ve worked on 4th Year films, assessed portfolios, you’ve wowed Vivienne, Sydney Padua, Paperdolls, Tara, Eilis, Annie Doona, Donald Taylor Black, Andrew Power, Julian King, Gillian Boland and Geronimo with your maturity and sophistication! With Claire O’ Reilly, you’ve steered the exciting new Anim Soc, and you’ve kicked through your own project work, growing your learning through the year. Many of you have held down onerous jobs outside, or struggled silently whilst waiting for grants, or even chairs to arrive. Respect to you all.

For me, the greatest measure of your adulthood is that I would now like to count most of you as my very good friends.

Try to get some break over Easter, whilst I DQ struggle to make a film for Galway. You’re all exhausted, run-down, tired, ill, worried, even injured. Get some rest! We need you fresh and rearing to go for the weeks after Easter – one final push to clinch individual learning victory for each and every one of you. Keep me posted on your progress and thoughts through Journals! This means you.

People of DL041 – remember that you are the sexiest course in the sexiest Third Level institution in this country – it’s official according to the recent HEA Creative Arts Dublin Report. Everyone wants to be you. But only you are you! You’re already a gifted, talented and highly connected elite. All of you. Do not underestimate your selves!

Thanks to Barry, Laura, Damien, Keith, Geoffrey, Andy, Teemu and Steve for their mega mega inputs with my 3rd Years during this year. Most of all, thanks to you 3rd Years for being some of my finest students ever. I mean it. You inspire me. Thank you.

You are my friends. You are the future.

Maybe see you later.

Revisiting Practice Research


Revisiting Practice Research Gradcam

21st March, 10.30-4.00pm

What has come to be termed Practice Based Research has been in a feature of third level and research cultures of the last 15 years. Yet it’s emergence has not been a greeted with consensus nor has it been without challenges in both its traction or implementation. Each institutional setting has performed PBR in different ways.  Across many of the institutions involved in Art and Design on the island of Ireland, PBR has been adopted at the PhD level though Level 9 is now a prospect.

In this context, GradCAM with the Learning and Education in Art and Design (LEAD) network are hosting a platform that takes stock of where we are and where we have been with regards to this emergence and its surrounding debate. It will allow for a focused discussion on the nature and problems of conducting PBR in the Creative Arts, Art and Design and Media at this current moment. We are inviting a number of partners and contributors across the network to present position papers on what they understand by PBR or Practice Led Research and all of the permutations in between. However, rather than only leave it at this top level discussion for senior staff and supervisors, we also seek presentations from researchers recently graduated that ground and anchor the actualities of PBR in these institutions.

I like the way the descriptor has refused to describe such research as 'practice based' or 'practice led'. An incredibly interesting discussion and an obvious sense that IADT is trailing far behind in this postgraduate area.


Wednesday, 20 March 2013

2 Coursera MOOC - Distinctions!

It is with great pride (I know - I live a sad life) that I report having passed my first two Coursera MOOCs with Distinction! The results from both Emory University's 'Introduction to Digital Sound Design' (thanks to Professor Steve Everett) and Edinburgh University's 'E-Learning in a Digital Age' edcmooc (thanks to Jeremy Knox, Dr. Sian Bayne, Dr. Jen Ross, Dr. Christine Sinclair and Dr. Hamish MacLeod) have come though and I'm delighted. Thanks also to all the great MOOC students - boy did people take these courses seriously! Both MOOCs great (and quite different) learning experiences... My Coursera Certificates of Accomplishment have already arrived!



No more MOOCs for me until the summer at least! Two IADT Level 9, 10 credit modules to complete (Technology Enhanced Learning and Assessment and Evaluation) over the next few weeks.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

DQ's edcmooc final artefact

A final video artefact from David Quin for the Edinburgh University edcmooc.  Featuring video from inside the Chernobyl contaminated zone and making some observations about online education, dystopia and being human.


Does this mean I'm finished my second MOOC in a week? Not quite... But the edcmooc finish line beckons.

Sunday, 24 February 2013

David Quin - TEL Online Article Critique Assessment


David Quin - Technology Enhanched Learning - Online Article Critique Assessment

‘MOOCs and the AI-Stanford like Courses: Two Successful and Distinct Course Formats for Massive Open Online Courses’ (2012) by C. Osvaldo Rodriguez

February 21st 2013

Rodriguez, C. (2012) MOOCs and the AI-Stanford like Courses: Two Successful and Distinct Course Formats for Massive Open Online Courses. European Journal of Open, Distance and E-Learning [Online]. Available at: http://www.eurodl.org/?article=516 . [Accessed 20th February 2013].

Introduction

I decided to review ‘MOOCs and the AI-Stanford like Courses: Two Successful and Distinct Course Formats for Massive Open Online Courses’ (2012) by C. Osvaldo Rodriguez. The article was published on the eurodl.org site by The European Journal of Open, Distance and E-Learning. The article compares two types of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), concluding that the pedagogical models on the selected online courses differ greatly.

Summary

The first MOOC model described is what Rodriguez refers to as ‘Stanford AI’ (referring to a 2011 Stanford University course on Artificial Intelligence, CS221). The AI course operated on a ‘one to many’ model, using online video to convey the course content, and regular online exams to check student understanding.

The other MOOC model is what Rodriquez characterises as cMOOC, or connectivist MOOC. For the purposes of his study, Rodriguez examines four cMOOCs: Connectivism and Connective Knowledge (CCK08),  Personal Learning Environments, Networks, and Knowledge (PLENK2010), MobiMOOC and EduMOOC.

Rodriguez’s article clearly describes connectivism and does link to some excellent literature on MOOCs , the MOOC experience and on online learning. Rodriguez also makes some contentious observations about online learners. He makes clear distinctions between the two pedagogical models for online courses, concluding that one model is predominantly cognitive-behaviourist, whilst the other is connectivist.

Critique

The writing in Rodriguez’s article is rather cumbersome. I suspect it was originated in Spanish and the translation to English hasn't been kind. The article spellcheck has been unkind to Rodriguez too, leading to occasionally entertaining references...  'both types shear some common features' whilst 'tutors and facilitators bare very different roles' .

Rodriguez takes until page 11 (of 13) to describe the teaching and learning model for the Stanford AI MOOC.

“…the teacher or tutor played a very similar role close to that in conventional classes. In these cases tutors would give the lectures via video format, explain hints for the exercises, comment on the evolvement of the course, prepare the exams and using video read the questions and related hints. During what were called office hours, the tutor would answer selected question from a pool proposed and voted by participants. There was never a direct interaction of the tutors with the students.”

In contrast, Rodriguez defines the PLENK2010 model (page 4, para 7) as connectivist…

“materials and course content were defined by participants as the course progressed, rather than prior to the course by instructors. Though the course outline defined a set of selected topics, they only served as indications for an iterative process of search, practice and reflection.”

- Rodriguez's conclusion (page 1 para 6) is “…although they share the use of distributed networks the format associated with c-MOOCs, which are defined by a participative pedagogical model, are unique and different from AI. We further assign to the AI to a cognitive-behaviourist (with some small contribution of social constructivist) and MOOCs to connectivist pedagogy.”
Once again, I think it's important to frame the potenitals of DE models within what Rodriguez calls (page 1 para 5) 'a well-rounded educational experience'. The open models permit students to participate at many stages in their lifelong studentship, testing their reaction to pedagogy or to subject matter, bringing skills up to scratch or supplementing more 'conventional' learning.
Rodriguez offers some very useful descriptions (page 1 para 3) of the “explicit principles of connectivism (autonomy, diversity, openness and interactivity) and on the activities of aggregation, remixing, repurposing and feeding forward the resources and learning”. On page 4 para 2, Rodriguez quotes Kop & Hill (2008) “In connectivism, the starting point for learning occurs when knowledge is actuated through the process of a learner connecting to and feeding information into a learning community. Connectivism stresses that two important skills that contribute to learning are the ability to seek out current information and the ability to filter secondary and extraneous information”.
Rodriguez is perhaps at his weakest in his discussion (page 2 para 8) of 'dropouts and lurkers'. I'm not sure that Rodriguez understands the deeply pejorative nature of both words, but especially of the word 'lurker'. The inference is that lurkers are socially dysfunctional, that they linger in the learning spaces, observing other students in a most questionable and unhealthy manner. In fact, the only true 'lurker' in this instance was Rodriguez himself, because he was participating in the online courses but was simultaneously observing the behaviour of other students for his research purposes. On page 8 (bottom paras) Rodriguez trots out his lurker definition. “Lurker is a term used to define a participant that just follows the course, looks at the recordings, and browses the available course resources. He is mostly behind the scenes waiting for some interesting event.”
He cites 'dropout rate' as one of the most puzzling issues for educators, pointing out that up to 85% of registered cMOOC participants and 40% of the AI course students fail to complete the online courses.
Curiously, all four of the cMOOCs studied by Rodriguez had online education or mobile education as their subject. One observation was telling (page 8 para 7) “Participants in c-MOOCs were mainly employed professionals in education, research and design, and development of learning opportunities and environments. They were teachers, researchers, managers, mentors, engineers, facilitators, trainers, and university professors.” This is borne out by my current experience on Edinburgh University’s (2013) Coursera edcmooc, where 50% of the participants are professional educators.
In contrast to Rodriguez's persistence with the pejorative 'lurker', I prefer Clark Quinn's (2012) ideas about 'solo' learning which are paraphrased on page 12 (para 2) “he clearly finds a distinction between the solo approach and the social approach to learning. He defined the Stanford AI course as a set of videos, some online interactive exercises, and tests, as being predominately solo. The learner works by himself with the material.”

Quinn continues “The connectivist MOOCs, on the other hand, are highly social. The learning comes from content presented by a lecturer, and then dialog via social media, where the contributions of the participants are shared. Assessment comes from participation and reflection, without explicit contextualized practice. The downside of the latter is just that, with little direction, the courses really require effective self-learners. These courses assume that through the process, learners will develop learning skills, and the philosophical underpinning is that learning is about making the connections oneself.”
This brings us back again to Anya Kamanetz's EduPunk ideas about online learners. ‘Being self-motivated and having good time management skills are absolutely essential for success along a DIY educational path.' As Clark Quinn says “As of yet, I don’t think that effective self-learning skills is a safe assumption (and we do need to remedy).”

Conclusion
Though his article is often cumbersome and makes some debatable observations about student lurkers and dropouts, Rodriguez must be commended on gathering a useful body of relevant research together. His descriptions of connectivist learning are very valid and he clearly defines the pedagogical differences between Stanford AI-style MOOCs and the more social and connectivist cMOOCs.

This is a useful article.

 References

Kamanetz, A., (2011) The Edupunks’ Guide To a DIY Credential. http://www.scribd.com/doc/60954896/EdupunksGuide Accessed on 200213.
McAuley, A.; Stewart, B.; Siemens, G.; Cormier, D. (2010). The MOOC Model for Digital Practice. Retrieved from http://www.elearnspace.org/Articles/MOOC_Final.pdf.

Quinn, C. (2012). Blog Learnlets – Mooc Reflections. http://blog.learnlets.com/?p=2562 ). Accessed 200213.
Rodriguez, C. (2012) MOOCs and the AI-Stanford like Courses: Two Successful and Distinct Course Formats for Massive Open Online Courses. European Journal of Open, Distance and E-Learning [Online]. Available at: http://www.eurodl.org/?article=516 . [Accessed 20th February 2013].
Siemens, G. (2012a). Blog Elearnspace - Massive open online courses as new educative practice. http://www.elearnspace.org/blog/2012/02/29/ Accessed 200213.

Siemens, G. (2002 onwards) Elearnspace.org. http://www.elearnspace.org/Articles/ Accessed 210213.
Siemens, G. (2012b). Blog Elearnspace - What is the theory that underpins our moocs?


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