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Virtual Reality - "Reality Within"

Energising eLearning with 3D Animation – Zionext’s Way

In the current digital age, we are dwelling in a world of endless possibilities. The information that is readily available at our fingertips helps us redefine the boundary of our knowledge acquisition. The modality for content acquisition has also evolved; consumers these days are used to watching videos through platforms like YouTube, Netflix, etc rather than reading. When these consumers become learners, they bring with them the same expectations, i.e. they prefer to watch rather than read. Faculty would do well to embrace the trend rather than risk disengagement from the learners. There are multiple ways to create video-based content, namely, 2D animation, whiteboard animation, 3D animation, instructor-led video, etc. Each of these content type has its strengths and limitations. In this article, we will be sharing on the use of 3D animation to create an engaging learning experience.

Applying 3D Animation in eLearning: Our Methodology

Research shows that students retain more information when they visually see the process like the ones disseminated through videos and pictures.  In addition, it provides the added advantage of giving learners the real-deal experience without the repercussions of mistakes in the real world. In addition, 3D animation allows dangerous situations, e.g. earthquakes, and scenarios, e.g. how to seek safety on higher ground during a tsunami, to be created.

Our team created a 3D-animated video called ‘Reality Within’, bringing learning to life. This 3D animated video showcases our virtual reality (VR) technologies and solutions in addition to sharing with the viewers the benefits of augmenting lessons with VR simulation. It is curated to target young learners, and this animated short video provides a genuinely immersive experience.

Developing The Concept: A Whole New World

Our vision started from wanting to create a short animation to showcase that even during a pandemic situation, students can continue their education from home with Virtual Reality. Creating the storyline saw a good number of ideas on the plate. Viewing from the young learner’s point of view of what their classroom would look like in the virtual world was seen as most apt. The end goal in mind was that the students would gain confidence instead of apprehension and know that this learning medium will also introduce them to new technologies and related equipment.

Our Development Journey by Zionext Team

Following a standard animation pipeline, we got to work on our storyboards, labelling each shot with shot numbers and the time taken for each. The former helped us split the work of animating and rendering each shot in an organised manner. At the same time, the latter led us to our next step of the process, which was making an animatic (a video made from images in a storyboard, timed to the specified timings). This helped the team to accurately feel the pacing of the shots, as the timing was critical in animation.

The prototype development began with each member modelling the characters and sets with pre-production completed. Following a preliminary review, textures were then applied to the finished models and moved on to the rigging of characters. After all the assets were completed, we began to animate. Here, not only did we animate our shots, but we also inserted the finished assets and even added additional constraints and rigging (i.e., when a character’s hand picks up an object).

After reviewing the playblast (a viewport rendering of the animation to bypass render times while being able to feel the exact timing of the movements), the shots were then rendered separately. The finished product is stitched together and edited in a post-production process known as compositing. The final output was ready for viewing.

Go for 3D Animation with Zionext

Zionext is proficient in offering quality 3D animation from pre-production with storyboards and animatics to post-production. We have an experienced team in providing instructional videos, sound editing, 2D illustration and other salient media types. Our team is constantly upskilling to keep up with the technological advancements. We are always on the lookout for exciting new projects to push the boundaries of Learning.

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