Animated lecture--

School starts next week here in my little dusty town. Working with a colleague on some curriculum relating to design concepts, I thought it’d be easier to animate a cartoon lecture than type up the handout, prepare a powerpoint presentation, and do the lecture. Easier because I’d have more fun at it, I guess.

So I created a guy named Professor Pixelbyte to do the lecture for me. Toon Boom is doing the lip synch, and I’ve broken down the 7 minute track into 10 scenes.

Naturally I also have a note guide to go with it, and a quiz, and some test questions. I’ll let you know how it is recieved.

Was up into the wee hours last night finishing the project. It’s still pretty rough, but it got the point across fairly well, and the colleague who also used it in her class thought it worked well. We still have to actually teach (imagine that) the concepts to drive it home, but overall, the reaction and response was good. Pretty soon I’ll load up a short clip from it.

Well, it went okay. It took a good deal of time, but I’m confident the next installment will go faster.

I used the Library to create global templates of the classroom scene, including Professor Pixelbyte and his mouths, and that really sped things up. I reconstructed scene 1 three or four times manually before I figured that out. Lip synch by Toon Boom made it faster, and the only real animation I had to do was the lines I animated in highlighting parts of drawings and paintiings I used for demo.

And it went over well with the kids. They actually watched it and took it in, and (even though they figured out it was my voice) thought it was cool enough to learn from. The librarian at my school is convinced that if we use only public domain artwork, we can sell it and make some cash.

We’ll see. Mostly I was glad it worked as a teaching tool. If I’m able to get it online, I’ll post a link.

Hi Rob,

What a brilliant Idea you had. I’m sure your students appreciated Professor Pixelbyte. It’s certainly more fun then a lecture especially in a animation class. Boy I whish my teachers were as cool as you ;D

What grade are you teaching ? (how old are your students ?)

Keep on the good work and please send us a link if you can.

Okay, I finally got back here to answer and post a darn link!

A portion of the lecture is at http://www.cartoonthunder.com/Toons/Design13.swf

I teach a multimedia class with mostly 9th graders. These kids need a serious chill, but they get some of what I teach. I also teach 3 periods of regular junior English, which is really American Lit. I’ve had daydreams of preparing animation portions of literature for them, but I get buried in my own projects at home.

Thanks Mathieu.