Interpreting and Authoring Digital Multimedia Narratives
Edited By Len Unsworth and Angela Thomas
Chapter 7: Using Focalisation Choices to Manipulate Audience Viewpoint in 3-D Animation Narratives: What do Student Authors Need to Know?
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What Do Student Authors Need to Know?
Pennie and Beth1 are at a computer working on the final scene in their digital three-dimensional (3-D) animation. It is a retelling of an Australian Aboriginal dreaming story, “How the Sun Was Made.” As they talk about the design of meaning in their narrative, the girls frequently refer to what they want their viewer to know. They have paid careful attention to the choice and adaptation of characters and objects to suit their purpose, and to use of colour and lighting to establish mood, setting, and time of the story. The animation is a series of long to mid shots that position the viewer at a distance from the characters and the action—until the final shot. This is undoubtedly the most effective part of the story and it is clear the girls have considered their viewer’s position in relation to what is happening on the screen. In this beautifully composed moment, the viewer is finally in close, positioned just behind a group of animals, with everyone looking directly at the salient object, the rising sun in the distance. As Beth explains:
We want the people’s attention to go onto the sun and the animals are going to be kind of pushing you there. Pointing you there…. It kind of gets your attention to look too. Kind of pointing, that way. (Pennie and Beth, Interview 1)
This revelatory moment was the...