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Re: [agile-usability] Paper prototyping in movies, video games?

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  • Hal Taylor
    Hi Robin. I spent some time at Disney. I was not personally involved with the creative processes there, but had ample opportunity to observe that was going on.
    Message 1 of 17 , Sep 22, 2004
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      Hi Robin.

      I spent some time at Disney. I was not personally involved with the
      creative processes there, but had ample opportunity to observe that
      was going on. Indeed, animated films typically were mapped out on
      "paper prototypes" ("storyboards", they're called). They were then
      turned into rough animation sequences, perhaps partially composed of
      stills which were strung together and partially more tightly animated,
      as they developed and tweaked both story and visual aspects.

      Does this help? I'm not sure exactly what you're looking for.

      - Hal


      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Robin Dymond <robind@...>
      Date: Thu, 16 Sep 2004 11:49:22 -0600
      Subject: [agile-usability] Paper prototyping in movies, video games?
      To: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com

      It would be interesting to hear from a person who designs games or
      sci-fi movies, about the role sketching and "paper prototyping" plays
      in the construction of these products. It seems, from watching a few
      "how we made the ... movie" (ie. Matrix) that the paper sketches
      really define how the scenes are developed and rendered.

      Perhaps there is something to learn from their process?

      Anyone from Pixar willing to contribute? :)


      Robin Dymond


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    • Petteri Hiisilä
      ... Me too. - Petteri
      Message 2 of 17 , Sep 22, 2004
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        >
        >
        > I'd love to see such a mode in Canvas (or Illustrator) that would take
        > objects and then render them in a "sketchy" fashion.
        >
        > Ron
        >

        Me too.

        - Petteri
      • Petteri Hiisilä
        Yeah, that helps. We could use some more room in our office and copy the movie approach. - Then we could walk the personas through the scenarios using real
        Message 3 of 17 , Sep 22, 2004
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          Yeah, that helps.

          We could use some more room in our office and copy the movie approach.

          - Then we could "walk the personas through" the scenarios using real scetches that display the usage logic of the final product. Five feet of raw "screen shots" from right-to-left (or left-to-right, if you happen to work in Arabic :) ... like a cartoon. Just like they do with movies. Printed on paper or drawn on the wall ... or the whiteboard :)

          - That would be an easy and cheap way to point your finger at the weak usability, and everybody else would see it too. Before you replicate the mistake in code.

          - That just needs a big room with lots of space in the walls. If we don't find such a room, maybe the product scope, or the interface scope is too big? Should we divide it to smaller roles, perhaps? If we can't fit the interaction in one room, can humans fit it in one head?

          - If the lines of pictures get terribly long, that might be an indication of clumsy usability. Any small and simple task should not take 20 steps to complete, at least not without a very good reason. Easy and efficient are not the same thing, you know.

          - If we see that there's just few scenarios that aren't that long, maybe we have found the simplest complete solution?

           - Petteri



          -- 
          Petteri Hiisilä
          Palveluarkkitehti / Interaction Designer /
          Alma Media Interactive Oy / NWS /
          +358505050123 / petteri.hiisila@...

          "The unbroken spirit
          Obscured and disquiet
          Finds clearness this trial demands"
           - Dream Theater


          Hal Taylor wrote:
          Hi Robin.

          I spent some time at Disney. I was not personally involved with the
          creative processes there, but had ample opportunity to observe that
          was going on. Indeed, animated films typically were mapped out on
          "paper prototypes" ("storyboards", they're called). They were then
          turned into rough animation sequences, perhaps partially composed of
          stills which were strung together and partially more tightly animated,
          as they developed and tweaked both story and visual aspects.

          Does this help? I'm not sure exactly what you're looking for.

          - Hal


          ----- Original Message -----
          From: Robin Dymond <robind@...>
          Date: Thu, 16 Sep 2004 11:49:22 -0600
          Subject: [agile-usability] Paper prototyping in movies, video games?
          To: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com

          It would be interesting to hear from a person who designs games or
          sci-fi movies, about the role sketching and "paper prototyping" plays
          in the construction of these products. It seems, from watching a few
          "how we made the ... movie" (ie. Matrix) that the paper sketches
          really define how the scenes are developed and rendered.
           
          Perhaps there is something to learn from their process?
           
          Anyone from Pixar willing to contribute? :)
           
           
          Robin Dymond
           

          Yahoo! Groups Sponsor

          ADVERTISEMENT


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          To visit your group on the web, go to:
          http://groups.yahoo.com/group/agile-usability/
           
          To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
          agile-usability-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
           
          Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.



          -- 
          Petteri Hiisilä
          Palveluarkkitehti / Interaction Designer /
          Alma Media Interactive Oy / NWS /
          +358505050123 / petteri.hiisila@...
          
          "I was told there's a miracle for each day that I try"
           - John Petrucci
          
          
        • Petteri Hiisilä
          ... Oops :) Okay, don t mention: I know I have a twisted head. We don t write right-to-left here in Finland, although some of us might think that way
          Message 4 of 17 , Sep 22, 2004
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            >
            > - Then we could "walk the personas through" the scenarios using real
            > scetches that display the usage logic of the final product. Five feet
            > of raw "screen shots" from right-to-left (or left-to-right, if you
            > happen to work in Arabic :) ... like a cartoon. Just like they do with
            > movies. Printed on paper or drawn on the wall ... or the whiteboard

            Oops :)

            Okay, don't mention: I know I have a twisted head.

            We don't write right-to-left here in Finland, although some of us might
            think that way sometimes. Endless, dark winters must have something to
            do with it. I may twist your head too. Highly contagious. Be warned!-)

            - Petteri
          • Lynn Miller
            ... My company creates software that is used in making special effects in films so I have some background in this. The people who create special effects in
            Message 5 of 17 , Sep 30, 2004
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              Robin Dymond wrote:
              >
              > It would be interesting to hear from a person who designs games or
              > sci-fi movies, about the role sketching and "paper prototyping" plays in
              > the construction of these products.

              My company creates software that is used in making special effects in
              films so I have some background in this. The people who create special
              effects in movies do use a method of low-fidelity prototyping.

              To create a CG shot, the animators are given a storyboard that shows a
              sketch of the first frame of the shot and the timing to the next shot.

              The first thing they typically do is create a simple shape (like a cube)
              for the character and run it along a simple motion path to show the
              movement of the character through the shot. This is an extremely
              low-fidelity prototype but it shows them if the shot is going to work.
              After this stage they may have to go back to the director and say that
              the character can't walk from here to there in 3 seconds without looking
              unnatural. Then they come up with a solution which may be the scene
              gets 6 seconds, or maybe the character will leap instead of walking (it
              really depends on the director). I think this is directly analogous to
              our type of initial paper prototyping in that it is really cheap to do
              and uncovers the big problems right away.

              Once they have the timing and gross movement right with the simple
              stand-in, then they can slowly add more detail - building up the design.
              For the characters, this usually involves a lot of paper sketches as
              they try out ideas on what the character should look like.

              But they don't start the 'implementation' phase - going out and getting
              motion capture data, modeling and rigging the characters, etc - until
              they have completed the 'design' using low-fidelity methods.

              Just like with software, it is much harder to change a character once it
              has been modeled so the low-fidelity up-front work really pays off.

              Lynn Miller
              Alias
            • Robin Dymond
              Thanks for the insights Lynn. How do you use Agile methods at Alias? I understand the application is very UI intensive and designers need many tools within a
              Message 6 of 17 , Sep 30, 2004
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                Thanks for the insights Lynn.

                How do you use Agile methods at Alias? I understand the application is very
                UI intensive and designers need many tools within a few clicks. What are the
                trends in your industry and how are they validated with users?

                Cheers.
                Robin Dymond
                Critical Mass

                -----Original Message-----
                From: Lynn Miller [mailto:lmiller@...]
                Sent: Thursday, September 30, 2004 8:23 AM
                To: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: Re: [agile-usability] Paper prototyping in movies, video games?

                Robin Dymond wrote:
                >
                > It would be interesting to hear from a person who designs games or
                > sci-fi movies, about the role sketching and "paper prototyping" plays
                > in the construction of these products.

                My company creates software that is used in making special effects in films
                so I have some background in this. The people who create special effects in
                movies do use a method of low-fidelity prototyping.

                To create a CG shot, the animators are given a storyboard that shows a
                sketch of the first frame of the shot and the timing to the next shot.

                The first thing they typically do is create a simple shape (like a cube) for
                the character and run it along a simple motion path to show the movement of
                the character through the shot. This is an extremely low-fidelity prototype
                but it shows them if the shot is going to work.
                After this stage they may have to go back to the director and say that the
                character can't walk from here to there in 3 seconds without looking
                unnatural. Then they come up with a solution which may be the scene gets 6
                seconds, or maybe the character will leap instead of walking (it really
                depends on the director). I think this is directly analogous to our type of
                initial paper prototyping in that it is really cheap to do and uncovers the
                big problems right away.

                Once they have the timing and gross movement right with the simple stand-in,
                then they can slowly add more detail - building up the design.
                For the characters, this usually involves a lot of paper sketches as they
                try out ideas on what the character should look like.

                But they don't start the 'implementation' phase - going out and getting
                motion capture data, modeling and rigging the characters, etc - until they
                have completed the 'design' using low-fidelity methods.

                Just like with software, it is much harder to change a character once it has
                been modeled so the low-fidelity up-front work really pays off.

                Lynn Miller
                Alias



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