Multimedia: New guide for character development and design for social cause - A case study of character Meena
Department of Animation and Multimedia, Mesra : Ranchi, Jaipur Campus
"Art challenges technology, technology inspires art". This line comes true when we discuss character in context of multimedia. Character design is a vital component of multimedia as this is what drives life into a multimedia project. The design of characters for the film begins during the initial stages of the development of the film. And it develops day by day as new art forms and platforms emerged. Multimedia settled down new guidelines for developing the characters. Multimedia character designers work with the project as their display efficiently and approach must be fast and catchy. In this paper I have focused on recent trends in character designing for multimedia with a case study of character Meena. The first step is to figure out what kinds of characters are workable and the second step to consider changes to be made while designing a character for multimedia.
Keywords: social cause, character design, efficiency, approach.
"Art challenges technology, technology inspires art". John Lasseter
This line comes true when we discuss character in context of multimedia. Multimedia refers to an electronically delivered combination of media including video, still images, audio, and text in such a way that can be accessed interactively. Thus it is evident that Character design is a vital component of multimedia as this is what drives life into a multimedia project. Multimedia settled down new guidelines for developing the characters. Multimedia character designers work with the project as their display efficiently and approach must be fast and catchy. The first step is to figure out what kinds of characters are workable and the second step to consider changes to be made while designing a character for multimedia
A character is a person or other being in a narrative work of art (such as a novel, play, television series or film). The character may be entirely fictional or based on a real-life person, in which case the distinction of a "fictional" versus "real" character may be made. Research has found that animated characters are capable of capturing users’ attention, engaging them in active tasks, and entertaining them.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF CHARACTER DESIGN WITH RESPECT TO MULTIMEDIA
“Think about the meaning of the word 'character'. You're supposed to breathe life into these things, make them appealing and give them the magic that will allow people to imagine what they're like to meet and how they might move.”- Neil McFarland
In the 1930s, Walt Disney made character animation a particular focus of his animation studio, best showcased in productions such as Three Little Pigs, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, and Dumbo. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was the "first full length animated and musical feature" in Technicolor. Walt Disney was first to give importance to character design and to make realistic characters which audience of his films could associate with easily. Simplicity of form was always encouraged. Disney animators such as Bill Tytla, Ub Iwerks, Grim Natwick, Fred Moore, Ward Kimball, Les Clark, John Sibley, Marc Davis, Wolfgang Reitherman, Hal King, Hamilton Luske, Norm Ferguson, Eric Larson, John Lounsbery, Milt Kahl, Joe Ranft, Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston all became masters of the technique.
Frank and Ollie, as they were affectionately known by their protégés, taught that the thoughts and emotions behind the character were primary to the creation of every scene. Out of all the Nine Old Men, Frank and Ollie were the most known for their mentor/apprentice relationships, and the sharing of their knowledge about creating characters, most notably as transcribed through Disney Animation: The Illusion of Life. Other notable figures in character animation include the Schlesinger/ Warner Bros. directors (Tex Avery, Chuck Jones, Bob Clampett, Bill Melendez, Frank Tashlin, Robert McKimson, and Friz Freleng), cartoon animators Max Fleischer and Walter Lantz, pioneering animators Hanna-Barbera, former Disney animator Don Bluth, independent animator Richard Williams, John Lasseter at Pixar, and latter-day Disney animators Andreas Deja and Glen Keane. Character animation is not limited to Hollywood studios, however. Some of the finest examples of character animation can be found in the work of Nick Park of Aardman Animations and Russian independent animator Yuri Norstein.
CHARACTER USE IN MULTIMEDIA
Initially, characters were designed for entertainment only .This application grew many folds in recent times with growing multimedia usage of characters. Their designers have taken new media considerations. Commercial entities use characters which are designed to embody a brand image or enhance a sales campaign.
Characters are also called Mascot and the term mascot – defined as a term for any person, animal, or object includes anything used to represent a group with a common public identity, such as a brand name.2D characters and 3D characters unique designs are developed as per requirements.
Combining creative and imaginative ideas with a strong understanding of communication brings projects to life. Features that involve visitors to customize designs especially in context to an online apparel website Educational Games and Puzzles Video and audio streaming Making online Flash-based Interactive presentations and Online Advertising. If we want to share a short film on social welfare issue, it must definitely have a character which may draw attention of masses and has capacity to hold that attention too.
Research has found that animated characters are capable of capturing users’ attention, engaging them in active tasks, and entertaining them. In designing aspect, animated characters have come a long way. From complex to simple form, high poly to low poly etc.
Appealing design can provide way for the audience to identify with and grow to like characters. When animating, good design can augment characters’ performance; a well-designed model will always pose better. Where will the character design be seen and in what medium? This will have a direct bearing on how you go about your character design. For example, if it's for a mobile-phone screen, there's no point designing it to have a lot of intricate details and features.
RECENT TRENDS OF CHARACTER DESIGN
i) Geometric look at character design
Geometric designs of characters make animation simple and easier .A few social campaigns on multimedia using such designs are:-
ii) Minion Mania
iii) Colorful Characters
Eye catching, bright characters are more in use.
iv) Material design, which is also known as realistic design, appeared in early 2013.
v) Flat design is here to stay
vi) Kawaii influence
The field of multimedia is an important field itself. It is a complete method and a complete tool to express your ideas and thoughts to someone in a better way. Multimedia has a significant impact on our society, and the use of multimedia makes it an instrument or a weapon.
A CASE STUDY OF CHARACTER MEENA –DESIGNED FOR SOCIAL CAUSE
The Meena project began in 1990 when UNICEF joined the Czech animation industry and major studios from around the world in Prague to explore ways that animation can "make a difference" in the lives of children in the developing world. Meena is proof that such collaboration can be an important force in changing long-standing traditional attitudes. The cartoon character Meena was created by famous Bangladeshi cartoonist Mustofa Monowar & party .
The Meena series deals with problems that confront girls, in particular, and children, in general: going to school and finding good teachers, poverty, "son preference", health care, childhood diseases, bullies, dowries, early marriage, and learning about HIV/AIDS.
The Meena series features full animation, music, sound effects and dialogue in English and more than 13 other languages. The multi-media initiative includes comic books, posters, stickers and flipcharts for discussion. The BBC continues to broadcast episodes of the popular series on its Urdu, Bengali, Nepali and Hindi radio language services which reach an estimated 57 million people.
Some of the famous movies of Meena for social upliftment are :-
• Say No to Dowry
• Too Young to Marry
• AIDS: A Girl's Story
• Health in your Hands
• School First, Marriage Later
• Let's Go to School Together
• Count Your Chickens
Meena in South Asian Countries
Meena episodes have been dubbed into local languages and shown
on TV in Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam as well.
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7) Yen-Fu Chen, Rochester Institute of Technology, RIT Scholar Works
8) IMPACT OF MULTIMEDIA ON SOCIETY, Sheikh Kashif Raffat, Khawaja Fahad Jawed, Muhammad Siddiq and Muhammad Sarim, Department of Computer Science, Federal Urdu University of Arts, Sciences and Technology, Karachi, Pakistan
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