Say What? Dialogue animation by hearing-impaired students: challenges and opportunities.

TERNAN, Melvyn (2019). Say What? Dialogue animation by hearing-impaired students: challenges and opportunities. In: Educating Animators Conference 2019, Salford, UK, 11 Nov 2019. Manchester Animation Festival. (Unpublished)

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The presentation will explore the relationship between animated gesture, spoken language and British Sign Language (BSL), in the context of a second-year undergraduate stop-motion animation module. The module involves an audio-based stop-motion dialogue project, where lip sync and appropriate body language constitute the main learning outcomes. This presents significant difficulties for hearing-impaired students who communicate through British Sign Language (BSL). BSL speakers use a combination of manual signs (hand shapes, location and movement) and non-manual signs, including facial expressions and body posture. This involves additional work for the student, so if we simply substitute lip sync with its ‘signing equivalent’, we may significantly increase educational barriers, instead of redressing them. Secondly, the stop motion workflows and materiality of Stop Motion Dialogue Animation bring additional difficulties. Existing language animation work uses rotoscoping or 3D-CGI, with algorithms for various phonetic and lexical symbols, complex hand and torso movements, facial expressions and mouth shapes. In contrast, working in the straight-ahead method native to stop motion requires detailed planned consideration for delivering a performance understandable to BSL users. With no existing stop-motion based BSL animation to date, this presentation will be a first-hand account of incorporating a BSL assignment brief, based on the main author’s pedagogic action research. The presentation will be illustrated with extracts from reflective video-diaries, artefacts produced by the BSL student and the screening of the resulting animation.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Keynote)
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 17 Dec 2019 14:21
Last Modified: 19 May 2021 09:30

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