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

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  • 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 1 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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