Techniques Magazine Techniques March 2011 : Page 44

Fea ture By Martin Nikirk Introducing Interactive Technology —“Toy Story 3” “COMpUtER GAME DEVELOpMENt AND ANIMAtION (CGDA) “ tO INFINIty AND BE-yOND!” is the catchphrase of pROGRAM StUDENtS AND STuDENTS FROM ThE MuLTIMEDIA PROGRAM WORkED TOGEThER TO DISCOVER AND ExPLORE ThE COMPONENTS OF INTERACTIVE MEDIA WITh ThE DISNEY/PIxAR’S ‘TOY STORY 3’ ThEME.” Buzz Lightyear, Universe Protec-tion Unit space ranger, a character in the Disney/Pixar “Toy Story” franchise. The three films in the franchise—”Toy Story,” 1993; “Toy Story 2,” 1999; and “Toy Story 3,” 2010—incorporate an in-novative blend of many different genres, having spun off video games and dozens of film and game-related consumer products. The film was used to introduce stu -dents at Washington County Technical High School—located in Hagerstown, Maryland—to interactive media. Com-puter Game Development and Animation (CGDA) program students and students from the multimedia program worked together to discover and explore the components of interactive media with the Disney/Pixar “Toy Story 3” theme. Eight teams learned about media develop-ment, logo, continuity and franchising components through eight-minute visits to each of eight stations with activities to complete. The CGDA teacher selected and organized the stations to introduce learning objectives from several of the digital media standards for the CGDA and multimedia programs. The CGDA instructional program is unique in that students learn the whole-to-part relationship of the interactive media profession, then learn the skills to build each of the assets. Students experi-ence a real-world connection for product development while learning about movie, video game, music, toy, and book produc-tion interrelated to an interactive media theme. The teams then reported what they learned from their activities. Each year the digital entertainment industry releases several blockbuster multimedia products built on interactive technology models where movies, video games and franchised products engage consumers. Last year, the Walt Disney/ Pixar franchise earned $920 million worldwide; this was the highest grossing computer animated film. Why Teach This relevant, Whole-to-Part Learning Lesson? Students new to interactive technology or interactive multimedia need to clearly know the big picture—the “whole-to-part” association of the types of before-market, market and aftermarket products that are designed, franchised manufactured and sold. “Toy Story 3,” a movie that many students greatly enjoyed with their friends or family, provided a relevant and rich media collection for in-school learning from the students’ world, including local newspaper advertisements, press re-leases, journal articles, franchised toys, a highly interactive video game for several platforms, and movie-related products. Students learned from reading and researching about the movie; they found out that extensive planning took place in writing and drawing “Toy Story” on paper four years in advance, and that 3-D models were built to support the planning for every film, interactive game and multimedia project. The concept development into story writing, interactive storytelling and storyboarding takes place long before the Gantt chart PhOTO COuRTESY OF MARTIN NIkIRk 44 Techniques March 2011

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