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Conversation, Community, & Connections at the intersection of Science & the Web
Friday, February 1 • 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Animating Science

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When it comes to science storytelling, animation is a filmmaker's best friend. It engages symbolic and imaginative thinking, taking your story to places where photos, video demonstration, and verbal explanation can't go. Motion graphics, 3D modeling, stop motion (done with illustrations, live actors, or models), data visualizations—all of these can be highly effective methods for communicating a difficult concept, process or mechanism, and making it approachable. Whether you generate animation yourself, work with animators, or would like to get started, this session will address the basic components of successful animation and provide guidelines for thinking in pictures. We'll look at examples of different types of animation—from science videos and elsewhere—to analyze the effectiveness of different styles and techniques. Even non-science animations from popular movies and television utilize visual elements that can be applied to science stories. The goal is to become more comfortable constructing sentences out of images, not words. Want to get started? You don't need expensive tools or software—anyone can animate sequences of still images stitched together in free software like iMovie (Mac) or Microsoft Movie Maker (Windows). iMovie is also available on iPhone and iPad, as are other stop-motion apps (Stop-motion Camera, iMotion HD, Stop Motion Cafe). There are other free downloadable options for Windows and Mac, and free online editing programs. But if you don't want to animate for yourself, the session will help you prepare for collaborating with animators. Even a non-animator will benefit from understanding what makes animations successful, and how to prepare the content for visual translation.

- Why use animation to tell science stories?
- What can animation communicate that footage, stills, or text explanation can't?
- What are the steps for preparing and creating animation for your story?
- How can you get started animating, either alone or through collaboration?

avatar for Mindy Weisberger

Mindy Weisberger

Writer/Producer, Science Bulletins, American Museum of Natural History

Friday February 1, 2013 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Room 7a

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