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ANIMATION production for ELT
Everyone loves animation, right? If you're not already incorporating an animation strand into your ELT materials creation, we think you should be - and here's why.
Some key benefits of using animation in your ELT projects:
Storylines - the sky's the limit!
Your stories can be as exciting and creative as you like - you're not restricted by realism or budget implications. You can create fantasy scenarios, go to space in a rocket, under the sea, or all around the world; and your characters can be integrated right into the action rather than just talking about it or watching it as in the case of ELT documentary-style videos.
Pickups and reversions - no problem!
It's easier to make small changes to the script or content of an animated video without needing to reshoot as you would with a live action video (which might involve replacing entire scenes with multiple characters (or entire videos), or re-casting actors whose appearance has changed). In some cases the cost of a video pickup makes it unworkable so editorial will end up changing the SB content instead - not an ideal outcome. Changes to animation just involve audio or illustration pickups, which are much quicker, cheaper and easier to arrange.
Fewer fees and less hassle:
Animated videos don't involve location or travel fees, and there's no live action shoot admin - all of which became a lot more complicated in the era of COVID risk assessments. A simpler production process means savings on time, and savings on budget.
If necessary, animation production can be completely remote so its workflows can be easily adapted for home working or lockdown conditions - voiceover actors, producers, animators and illustrators don't need to be in a room together to create dynamic animated content. Nothing beats collaboration in person, but this is one digital component that lends itself to the compromises sometimes required in the age of the global pandemic.
More effective performance:
Child characters in particular can take longer to direct to get an effective performance in live action video. There's lots for a young child actor to remember - saying their lines correctly while performing physically - smiling, standing in the right place, looking in the right direction, interacting with other characters or props, not fiddling with their hair or clothes... throw in the additional requirements specific to ELT such as slower reading speed and very clear enunciation, while retaining energy and positivity, and the fact that you can't edit out mistakes as easily as you can when working with audio only, and the whole process becomes much slower-paced. With animation production, we often use adult actors to voice child characters which is substantially faster, but even when working with real kids, there's a lot more leeway in voiceover production as you can edit out any stumbles far more easily when you can't see the cuts.
Enhancing learning objectives:
Materials writers increasingly need an awareness of the diverse needs of learners. Animated infographics can build to add extra layers of meaning, and support learner comprehension - especially learners who might struggle when faced with large amounts of written text, or opaque statistics. Animation can help unpack things visually and walk learners through your content step-by-step, with an accompanying voiceover.
Combining animation with live action can be useful... and fun!
Animated text and graphics can provide scaffolding to real world content and help grade it to the desired language level. And combining bright and colourful animation with live actors, singers or dancers can be really fun and popular with younger viewers - just ask the creators of Baby Shark!
All this and more is why we at TDD love animation - and we love talking about it, so do get in touch if you have any questions around the best ways to add some animation into your ELT courses.
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