Today in the “Concept Development, Pre-Production and Professional Practice” tutorial I participated in a task involving writing down questions I had. Questions about what we had on our mind and what we wanted to know about in our field of study.

These questions were originally written on a large sheet of paper where after we identified themes that were emerging. I have typed these questions up and grouped questions into themes I’ve identified however many questions can fit into multiple themes. I also added to some of the few questions I’d already explored in my sketchbook:

Some questions are straight forward, some obvious and some that will not be relevant to my project a few weeks down the line. It was important to put these questions on paper to try and identify a direction to focus research.

These questions ask how I may go about researching things that may inform my project:

  • What do animators like to research?
  • What are animators currently researching?
  • What research projects have animators done in the past?
  • What books do I want to read?

These questions focus more on what animation medium I may want to explore:

  • What animation medium do I want to use?
  • Should I mix animation mediums?
  • What are good examples of mixed medium animation?
  • Why are mixed medium animations good?
  • Why where those mixed medium animations made?
  • How are stop-motion animators doing outside of a studio environment? (i.e. can I animate outdoors?)

This set of questions concerns what kind of final product I want to make:

  • Should I make a short film, a series of short films or an interactive piece?
  • What story do I want to tell?
  • Should I focus on enhancing a style of animation?
  • Whose story do I want to tell?
  • Should I come up with a story first or let my research guide me into developing a story?
  • Should I put more focus on narrative and characterisation?
  • Why should I put more focus on narrative and characterisation.

I also had a few technical questions that involve the limitations of my own skills and scope:

  • How would I make a 3D computer animated film without being too knowledgeable in 3D modelling or rendering?
  • How would I go about including music that would fit an animation I had made?
  • How are minimalist environments/backgrounds used effectively?

The final set of questions involves ideas I had and how I may go about developing them further, as well as general questions about things I want to find out more about:

  • How can I incorporate audience interaction into an animation?
  • Why is humour so often used in animation?
  • How do I keep my humour in animation spontaneous without being affected by storyboards and dwelling on story beats and story refinement?
  • Can nostalgia be factored in to an animation style?
  • What makes animation interesting/important to me?

To summarise, there are a lot of questions here. Some of these are the right questions to ask, others not so much. There are also questions I’ve yet to identify and I need to think on this some more. Following this, I will consider which questions are important to explore and which ones I would like to research in to. Hopefully this is a step closer into identifying a larger research question that will become my the subject of my dissertation.

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