Project 1- Critique


For the Project 1 (Thematic Animation), we were paired with partners to exchange a constructive criticism. I was paired with Simon Lee for whom I had the following feedback:

Partner Evaluation

  • What word do you think your partner used?
    • Conformity/Rotation (I was wrong 😦 )
  • How did the animation reflect the word – describe this in terms of how the following visual elements such as shape, space, value, line, color, time, were used?
    • Conformity was illustrated by the use of compliance in:
      • shape: all objects conform to the same shape (triangle) and size
      • movement: all objects start from the center object and keep rotating clockwise
      • color change: each object adopts colors of other objects
      • convergence/divergence: all objects emerge from the center object and return back to it
  • Did you guess the word immediately?
    • I guessed the word immediately but it turned out to be incorrect 😦
  • If not, suggest TWO things that the artist might do differently to communicate the word more clearly.
    • The word was Sanity. The artist could add a halo effect using radial gradient in the background. He could also eliminate the change of color which portrays a bit of insanity than sanity.
  • If so, name two elements (visual elements, the timing of the animation) that communicated the word effectively.
    • The inflate animation and the gray color of the center triangle preserved the sanity of the animation.
  • Describe how the hover affected the animation – for example: did it change the shape, move the element, or affect other elements in some way?
    • The hover started to tell the story. The objects emerged out from the center object which looked like a leader. They then started rotating around the center object in a clockwise direction. Lastly, they adapted each other’s colors and returned back to their point of origin.
  • Does the hover contribute to the animation?
    • Yes, quite a lot.
  • If so, how so – if not, please suggest a way that the artist might utilize the hover as a more integral element of the animation.
    • The story before hover only showed one static object while after hovering four more objects emerged contributing to the effect. Had the user not hovered on the center triangle, the story would have never been told. I believe that’s the core of the animation.
  • Does the animation also illuminate a concept either through metaphor or “mapping” other than reflecting the word’s definition? Does the animation reflect the word in such a way that you understand it as a metaphor for a more complex idea?
    • Not really.
  • If so – explain. If not suggest ONE way that the artist might make a change to make the work have another level of meaning.
    • The artist could first show a halo effect to give a philosophical feeling to the animation in the background, followed by the emerging and rotating animation. He could also avoid change in colors which disturbs the sanity.
Self Evaluation
  • What was your word?
    • Tension/Elasticity
  • What is your word’s definition?
    • Tension: The state of being stretched tight. I wanted to also portray the entire process of stretching and snapping with more focus on stretching (tension). Stretching also depicts elastic nature of the object, here the string. Metaphor: The mental or emotional strain created between two people.
  • Describe how your animation represents your word. (please consider movement, visual elements, use of time, etc.)
    • The animation starts with two bright yellow colored spheres, one on the left and other on the right connected via a white colored thick string; spheres and not circles to demonstrate the real-world phenomenon of tension between two people. After hovering anywhere on the screen, the spheres start moving apart slowly while changing colors to a darker shade. This has been done by employing gradients of yellow orange and red. After 85% of the animation time frame, the string reaches its threshold of elasticity, after which it will break. This point is crucial as it decides the fate of the relation between these two strings (and people). To add more drama to the scene, I further added a shaky effect for 5% of the animation, which keeps the viewer hooked making them curious to know the result. Note that the spheres have now turned to dark red color expressing their extreme anger. Snap, the string reverts to its initial position carrying the spheres along with it. Note that the color change from bright yellow to dark red is now reversed and finally the spheres are now seen as bright yellow, again. Happy ending! 🙂 I believe the entire sequence of spheres moving apart and the string stretching to its threshold expresses the tension in the string and between the two spheres (people).
  • Did you consider the mouse’s hover in your animation?
    • Yes, I wanted to let the user instigate the fire between these two spheres (people). Devilish thinking 😈. However, the happing ending would make the user feel more comfortable.
  • What element does your mouse hover over and how does it change?
    • The mouse hovers over the entire body of the animation- the environment. It starts the animation by separating the spheres from each other.
  • What would you change or improve?
    • In version 2, I incorporated the user’s feedback and added a shaky effect and also gave a title to the animation. The shaky effect gives a more realistic feel to the string stretch and builds up the curiosity in the user’s mind.
  • What was the most difficult part of this project for you? How did you address this particular challenge?
    • Adjusting the time duration of stretching and snapping was the most difficult part. I had to give more time space to the stretching part and less to the snap part. All this I had to brute force. I played with the timings to address this challenge.
  • In the article about the mouse discuss why the author considers the mouse “as an interaction within an interaction”.
    • The author states that the mouse is an interaction device which in itself is a complete interactive process as the user uses the mouse to start a conversation with the computer (microprocessor) which then listens to the input coordinates and replies with a feedback. Then user finally interprets the feedback and concludes the interaction by moving the mouse accordingly. Thus, it’s a loop where an interaction device starts and ends the interaction. Thus, the author considers the mouse “as an interaction within an interaction”.
  • Please state how you changed your cursor and how this change relates to your animation’s theme.
    • I changed the cursor from the default triangular pointer to a hand pointer. this change was to reinforce the belief that the user is instigating the between the two spheres (people) fire by their own hand. Devilish thinking 😈 However, don’t forget the happy ending.
  • Consider your completed animation and describe how you could revise the animation by replacing the hover with one or more different types of mouse interactions – see the paragraph under the heading Variable Vocabulary Size.
    • I would like to replace the hover with Click and Drag enabling the user to drag the spheres to understand the tension between them and then leave them to release it. This would be more interactive and increase the user’s engagement.
  • The credits for assisting with initiating the animation for all divisions should be given to the one and only Simon 🙂 His CSS pseudocode: #div:hover ~ div {animation code;}

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