3D Modeling and Animation

Define Animation in Multimedia

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1 Definition

“ One of the most exciting forms of pictoral presentation is animation. Animation refers to a simulated motion picture depictingmovementof drawn (or simulated) objects. The main features of this definition are as follows: (1) picture - an animation is a kind of pictorial representation; (2) motion - an animation depicts apparent movement; and (3) simulated - an animation consists of objects that are artificially created through drawing or some other simulation method.” (Mayer 2002:88)

See also: multimedia (disambiguation page for multimedia presentation, interactive multimedia, etc.) and pages related to human information processing, in particular cognitive load.

2 Research

The consensus among media researchers is that animation may or may not promote learning, depending on how it is used. For these reasons the search for media effects has been called off. In its place is a search for the conditions under which various media, such as animation, affect the learning process. Taking a learner-centered approach, we aim to understand how animation can be used in ways that are consistent with how people learn. Instead of asking, "does animation improve learning?" we ask "when and how does animation affect learning?" (Mayer 2002:88)

With recent technology advances, computers now offer animated graphic devices, which seem attractive and efficient to instructional designers. However, the research carried out so far failed to establish the advantages of using animated graphics over static ones on learning. Among several problems, animations seem to increase the learners' cognitive load, hence reducing the cognitive resources available for learning. Nevertheless, we believe that, beyond these shortcomings, animations offer unique opportunities to understand dynamic systems. To bypass these shortcomings, we need to deepen our understanding of the cognitive benefits that can be expected from animations in order to turn this understanding into design principles.(Bétrancourt).

The use of animations is not limited to user-system communication but is also often used in computer-supported collaborative learning. In these settings as well, the empirical studies have not confirmed the benefits that one could intuitively expect from the use of animations. This lack of positive results may be explained either in terms of cognitive load, as in user-system interactions, or may be used to the fact that peers use external representation to ground their mutual understanding. Our basic claim is that animation can effectively promote the construction of a mental model of dynamic systems since animation can depict the micro-steps of dynamic systems more easily than static graphics. However, the processing of animation induces a heavy perceptual and memory load. (Bétrancourt).

3.1 Typical usages

  • To inform about the state of process (e.g. progress bars that show the percentage of program loading)
  • Démonstrations (e.g. show how a volcano may interrupt by moving tectonic plates)

3.2 Pedagogical function

  • Representation, help to support mental representation
  • Interpretation, provoque cognitive conflicts that make the students think.

4.1 Difficulties

  • It is very hard for learners to understand / infer from movement
  • Animation has no inherent support for conceptualization
  • Information is transitory

4.2 Mayer's principles

  1. Multimedia principle: Deeper learning from animation and narration than from narration alone.
  1. Spatial contiguity principle: Deeper learning when corresponding text and animation are presented near rather than far from each other on the screen
  2. Temporal contiguity principle: Deeper learning when corresponding narration and animation are presented simultaneously rather than successively
  3. Coherence principle: Deeper learning when extraneous narration, sounds, and video are excluded rather than included
  4. Modality principle: Deeper learning from animation and narration than from animation and on-screen text.
  5. Redundancy principle: Deeper learning from animation and narration than from animation, narration, and on-screen text.
  6. Personalization principle: Deeper learning when narration or on-screen text is conversational rather than formal.

4.3 Sweller's principles

  1. Split attention effect: When multiple sources of information have to be integrated in order to understand the material, this will be negative for learning. Typically legends should be integrated in diagrams and not be regouped on the side.
  2. Redundancy effect: The same information presented several times will be processed several times, this is negative for comprehension since cognitive load will increase.
  3. Goal-free effect: Novice learner following specific questions while learning (i.e. studying the material) will focus on these questions and the global comprehension will be hindered.
  4. Worked examples effect: concepts should be explained through worked out examples (already resolved problems) in order to lower the cognitive load and improve learning.
  5. Problem completion effect: A worked example should be followed by unresolved examples
  6. Modality effect: Different messages should come form different sensory modalities (typically visual or aural).
  7. Element interactivity effect: An interactive learning material is negative to the learning performance since it highers he split attention and redundancy effects.
  8. Isolated interacting element effect: When learning complex models involving interacting elements, every element should be presented separately before being integrated with the others.
  9. Imagination effect: Mentally simulate le functionning and interaction between the elements allow expert to obtain higher results.
  10. Expertise reversal effect: With expertise, several of the previous effects are inversed. Classical guidelines of conception should then be used.
  11. Guidance fading effect : While gaining expertise, learners should be less and less guided in their pedagogical activities and exercices.

4.4 Software

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