I was excited to tackle my summary of learning project! I knew after the assignment was presented to the class I wanted to make sure I incorporated some sort of technology I could also show my students.
Dallas, Kayla and I decided we would have some fun with an animated video for our summary of learning. After we did a quick google search we came up with the product Nawmal . Kayla downloaded the free trial of the program. We decided that we would each speak about different things that
we had taken away from the course.
After we organized our thoughts on a Google Doc we were set. I figured I would be adventurous and attempt to put our video together. I first selected a talk show setting which I thought would allow for back and forth dialogue using an interview strategy, this was perfect as we each could share our learning.
The next part of the process was selecting the characters. I chose four characters to allow for a host and a representation of each on of our summaries. Seating the characters on the couch was a process in itself. The next step was adding in the dialogue for back and forth question and answer type exchange. As I got a few lines in, I figured I should listen to the dialogue between my characters. I quickly realized they all had the same voice, so I explored around and downloaded different voices for all of the characters. Some of the voices were very robotic and others were not so bad.
The download time was extremely slow, moving at 2% per minute. After only one voice option showed up, I had to go back and download a certain voice for each character not just download voices and assume I could choose from a list.
I continued adding more dialogue for the characters until I had our script perfect. I attempted to listen to my progress but as I typed more dialogue the buffering time increased to the point I was waiting for 3 minutes for it to playback. I also realized that I could add gestures to the characters, making them move their hand and even look at the host. This was sort of fun as some of the actions were bold.
I was nearing the end of my adventure and thought I should show Kayla my progress on our project, then we would have an idea about changes and the timing. I also realized that listening to it allowed me to catch my mistakes. Aaaahhh one final listen and we would we ready to put it on the web. Kayla and I waited and waited and the buffering time was ridiculous, I and been saving along the way so I knew that I wouldn’t lose my work. After about 15 minutes of waiting for our animated video to play I decided yolo and exported it. I was confident that it would be alright and I could always go back to my saved version.
Well was I wrong. After I pushed that export button our stomachs quickly sunk as a pop up appeared saying we needed to purchase the full version to see our video. We thought we could go back to my saved version and worst case just record it as the trial version using a cell phone and upload it from there.
Kayla quickly whipped out her credit card as there was no other choice but to upgrade. After deciding to buy the paid version for $9.99 US/ month we figured our problem was solved. After we attempted to open up the saved files, another popup appeared saying the version we paid for did not support the features I had used. There was another choice in subscribing but we did not want to pay the $99.00 a month so we opted for the discounted version. After 3 hours of creating the video and buying the subscription we still had nothing.
Kayla had the bright idea to email for support. I pointed out that it was 4 PM on Friday, good luck with that. Kayla quickly composed and email asking for help as we were sick about our project being trapped. Within 10 minutes we received a reply. Apparently we should have bought the expensive version. The email offered to convert our file for us if we sent it to them. Kayla and I were so very thankful for the quick reply from Nawmal.
I will admit that this is an unedited version of our project, and we have no choice in going back and making changes. This Nawmal experience taught us that we should definitely have read some reviews about the program, if we would have know that many of the features were not compatible with the free trial we would have chose a different animation program. I guess this goes on to say we are always learning, and we will make mistakes along the way!! Hope you enjoy the video.
Nawmal seems like a cool program but do not cheep out, just pay the $10.00 and you will know exactly what features you can use from the start. Some of the Nawmal videos are online look so cool, and we got stuck with such a cheesey video haha.
Thank you to Alec and Katia for facilitating my learning! And a big thanks to all my classmates and colleagues it was a pleasure to collaborate and learn from everyone.