Formulating an animation strategy

As I've been messing around a lot with Prezi and Apple Keynote lately, I've realized how easy it is nowadays to weave animations into slide presentations and videos. Gone is the era of my arduous attempts at animation in Macromind Director, Flash and ActionScript. Welcome to easy creation of paths for moving objects or for moving the eye of the viewer. Showing movement to audiences is likely to move audiences to change their minds and act accordingly. Animation can be another strategy for doctoring indoctrination. With such powerful tools at our fingertips, I'm feeling the need for a framework for orchestrating how I use these tools. The options I'm facing are overwhelmingly numerous and diverse.

In this first post, I'll explore what all these new animations can show. In later posts I'll look into different ways to show those options and how to choose among them. First, here's a look at what animations in slides or videos can show:

Movements in Space can show:
  1. the way to get a result, to get to an desired outcome or to end up where one originally intended
  2. the pitfalls where we can get into trouble, get stuck in a maze, or get mislead off the path through the woods
  3. where to look for a solution, where answers can be found or where better ideas will be discovered
  4. how close/distant something has become, how near/far apart two things are or easy/difficult it is to move between those things
  5. the path to follow, the chasm to cross or the contrasting high and low roads to take
  6. how steep a path is, how tempting it can be to step onto a slippery slope or how to reverse attempts climbing the wrong hill
  7. levels of play in the game, higher levels of attainment or challenges to get back up after falling down
  8. the difficulties with getting inside an opportunity, getting outside a confinement or getting around an unmanageable obstacle
  9. the process of iterating successive approximations, of evolving a refined response or of rethinking previous decisions
  10. the disconnect between two subsystems, the gap between two understandings or the broken bridges between islands
  11. the straight narrow path of conformity, the avenues that deviate from the consensus trance or ways to think outside the box
  12. the thought processes can get somewhere significant, get out of going in circles or make good decisions upon further consideration

Movements of Objects can show:
  1. assembling a chart one row, column or cell at a time
  2. building a diagram in stages, with subassemblies or in synch with a parallel process
  3. changing the location, proximity or overlap of at least two distinct things
  4. removing the excess, non-essentials or next level of detail to reveal the main thing
  5. covering up a misdiagnosis, flawed strategy or bad decision with corrections and revisions
  6. adding comments to a statement, callouts to an illustration or dialogue to cartoon characters
  7. introducing the next piece to a historical timeline, sequential procedure or unfolding storyline
  8. revising the size of the container to include, exclude or draw a line between components
  9. bringing in what has been missing, held in suspense or expected to complete the picture
  10. reconfiguring the layout to function better, to solve the problems or to address different opportunities
  11. engineering the desired outcome in reverse or proceeding backwards from the end result
  12. combining incompatible alternatives to resolve dilemmas, to benefit from paradoxes or to explore their intersection

Welcome to my world of a staggering number and diversity of animation options :-)

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