People In The Screen. Individual Report
Jonathon Morriss - BMD3GD2 ID MD
Contents 01. Introduction
Research Question Background Objectives
Audience Survey Theory Reviews Field Reviews Documentation Methodologies Observations Story Development Metaphor Development Final Script Storyboard Sound Design Video Production
Final Outcome The Future References
4 5 5 6-9 10 12-15 16 18 20 22-26 27-29 30 32 34 36 38 39 40
How could an animated poem expressing the value of online communities be used to motivate introverts to join digital spaces?
Growing up introverted, I found digital spaces played a large role in my personal development, providing an outlet to express and explore my interests with a community who share in those passions. This experience isn’t unique, but there are still many who are apprehensive towards joining these spaces due to how they can often be represented and sensationalised. The objective of this project is to use my personal experiences to showcase the value these environments can provide, and reduce the sense of apprehension that introverts may feel towards them.
Audience Survey To begin building this concept, a survey was sent out to the communities that I engage with to get a better understanding of the types of people who will be inclined to make use of these spaces, and the reasons that they would choose to visit them.
Which of these personality types do you align with most?
Upon surveying people in these spaces, 93% were found to be introverted or ambiverted, with only 7% being extroverted. This finding aligns with a study from Yair Amichai-Hamburger which suggested that online communities connect better to introverts due to the granular control that people have over the information they reveal online.
Have you formed any lasting connections online?
86% of people currently engaging with online communities reported having formed interpersonal relationships through social media platforms, with all of those people also reporting that they have formed at least one long-lasting friendship through this space
What motivated you to join your current online communities?
- Anon, 21
i was lonely and wanted to meet some new friends with some similar interests as me - Anon, 18
I wanted to seek out places online where I could engage with people who share a common interest
of responses stated that a desire to talk about a common interest was their #1 reason to join an online community
of responses were from people aged 19-25, with 29% being aged 13-18, and 19% being aged 26+
As a result of these observations, the project is primarily targeted at introverts aged 19-25 as this is the audience who actively gets the most out of being in an online community and who are most likely to benefit from engaging with them.
Reflections on the Psychology and Social Science of Cyberspace This paper investigates the field of cyberpsychology, looking into the behavioural differences seen within a cyberspace environment vs a physical environment, potential motivators for engaging with such a space, and the different ways that such a space can be utilised. It suggests cyberspace intensifies behaviours and emotions due to the ambiguity of the platform, causing more reliance on expression and personal engagement
Extroversion, Neuroticism, and Internet Interaction Paper investigates the idea of a “real me”, and the ways in which neuroticism, extroversion, and introversion can impact where people are able to find their “real me”. It notes that introverted people are far more likely to identify with online spaces, which is likely influenced by the level of control available over what information they are disclosing about themselves at any given time.
A cognitive-behavioral model of pathological Internet use Situational Cues (reinforcement)
Specific Pathological Internet Use (PIU) Behavioural Symptoms of PIU
Social Isolation And/or Lack of social support
Generalized Pathological Internet Use (GPIU)
In creating this project, it was important to also investigate the potential causes for the forming of these digital relationships and interactions online, and observe any potential harms surrounding it. This paper creates and explains a model for Pathological Internet Use (PIU) focusing on conditions associated with it, and describing the ways it is formed and maintained by those making use of these platforms.
Visualising Twitch Communities Kiran Gershenfeld
This data visualisation experiment mapped the audiences of major channels on the streaming platform Twitch in a way which showcases the relationships between their audiences, forming a network diagram. The intent of this diagram was not only to visualise the distribution, but also to act as a tool, allowing people to establish where they sit on the map and use that to gather recommendations for other content creators who they may enjoy. The network diagram based approach to displaying the relationships between these datasets influenced my final design outcome, providing reference for how these communities can be showcased as interconnected spaces rather than totally isolated environments.
Chris Schoenman The story and design of this video are influenced by what one’s senses might experience when going through chemotherapy. The sequence makes strong usage of lighting and contrast to take detailed 3D environments and put focus on smaller details within them, creating a feeling of intimacy and allowing a range of feelings to be portrayed effectively. This feeling of intimacy is aided further by the usage of a handwritten font and basic brush textures, bringing the experience together and making it feel more personal. In the final outcome, some of the methods used in this sequence will be utilised to create a similar feeling of intimacy, allowing the viewer to connect with the story being told on a deeper, more emotional level.
How To Be Alone Leo G Franchi
This poetry film uses sound design as its main method of communication, putting the focus entirely on the voice of the author, creating a feeling of intimacy, as though the story is being read directly to the viewer. The visual elements of the story feel secondary to the aural elements, making use of simple shapes, colours and textures to allow the writing behind to come to life visually, without getting in the way of it. The relationship that is formed between the sound design and the visual elements heightens the emotional impact of the sequence, and is something my outcome attempts to replicate.
Sofie Lee This project provides an interesting perspective on the concept of dreams, achieved through a combination of poetic writing and abstract visuals. The poetic format of this video influenced the direction greatly, increasing its impact through abstract forms mirroring the words being spoken throughout the experience. While no direct inspiration was taken from this for the final outcome of this project, there is an accompanying Holdframe workshop available where the designer goes into detail on the process of taking the initial idea and turning it into a full sequence. This workshop was something that influenced the development process greatly in terms of the types of writing exercises, storytelling method, and sound design utilised to bring the project together.
A combination of trello and physical notebooks were used to document the development of this project.
Experimentation Trello Board
Development Kanban Board
Development Notebook Pages
Methodologies The project made use of a combination of Human Centred Design and Design Thinking, operating under an Agile workflow
Observations With the project being based largely in showing the ways people are perceived both in digital and physical environments, it was important to have a plan for how these relationships and perceptions could be properly documented to make use of in the outcome. This observation phase took place in two stages, each following a similar process.
1. Who is this person?
2. How do we know each other?
3. What do I associate with them?
4. What defines them?
For the first stage, a form was produced with four key questions, and those questions were filled out to describe my perception of the people from my community. This form was also sent to these people, allowing them to describe their perception of my digital persona, so it could be accurately represented within the story.
The second stage took place upon travelling to meet the people from these communities for the first time. This experience was documented heavily through the use of videos, photos and voice memos, and after returning from this experience, the same four questions were filled out to document the differences between their physical and digital personae.
Story Writing Once the documentation process was complete, construction of the narrative was able to properly begin, which took place in three key stages
Stage One The first stage of script writing for this project involved writing out the story in a very literal sense, detailing my experience with these communities from the point of initially joining them up to meeting these people in real life in as much detail as possible. Including all thoughts, emotions, and any moments considered to be core memories or parts of my experience with these communities. With this fully detailed version of the experience written out, I went over the script, highlighting key moments, emotions, and story elements, and then rewrote the story with those in mind. This process was repeated multiple times, reducing the story down to its key components, retaining its emotional impact while removing any additional details and elements
Stage Two After writing the main story outline, an emotional journey map was created, separating the structure into a series of emotional states, giving a clear idea of what the audience should be feeling at any given moment throughout the story. This could then be used as a guide, informing the soundtrack and visual decisions throughout the story to ensure it is effectively communicating this journey from an emotional standpoint.
Comfort Intertwined Connection
Stage Three The third stage is then to translate the emotions and story into their final poetic form, creating a base structure for the visual and aural elements of the project to be built on top of, allowing this story to be effectively communicated to the audience.
Audience Feedback Upon sending out the first version of the poem for feedback, the response was unanimously “no”. While readers were able to understand the story being told, it was somewhat easy to get lost within due to the poor pacing, and there wasn’t any sort of clear way for how it would be translated into the visual realm. It was abstract to a fault, lacking any sort of consistent metaphor or theme at its core that it could focus around, making it hard to follow while going through.
I like the idea but I’m not sure I fully understood. There’s a lot of elements at play and it all needs more room to breathe to make it clearer.
This essentially meant that the story needed rewriting, but before doing that, a clear metaphor needed to be established that the story would be able to make use of throughout, allowing the experience to feel more consistently themed and easier to keep up with.
Metaphor Development The element that felt most fitting to turn into the core metaphor for the project was the representation of people and their interactions.
Core Metaphor To establish this core metaphor, I started by breaking down social media interfaces, drawing the conclusion that internet users, in their most basic form, are just represented as a circle with a name attached
With names not being particularly relevant to this project, they were removed, and focus was put purely on exploring methods of representing people as circles.
When investigating how to add emotion into circles, a range of options presented themselves, but the one which allowed for the most visual and emotional expression was the idea of a marble. Marbles provide much room for expression throughout the story.
Thematically, marbles allow for the representation of introverts through something as simple as their opacity, representing their openness visually through adjusting transparency based on how open they are. Throughout the story this can change too, with opaque marbles becoming increasingly transparent as the people they represent become more comfortable and open with expressing themselves.
Taking marbles further and investigating how to represent personality through them, it was established that many elements which make up a marble can be utilised to communicate emotion and personality.
As people express themselves, they could display different colours and patterns pairing to their emotions and personality. Objects inside of marbles could also be used to display things that are associated with a certain person.
Writing the new poem with this new metaphor in mind meant taking on a whole new writing style and rewriting everything from scratch, very little was salvageable from the initial poem. The rewriting process took longer than was initially expected, however the resulting poem was one which communicated the journey and emotions very clearly, only needing a few minor adjustments before creating the final artefact.
introversion is like a barrier holding me back from those around confined to a shell of loneliness, unable to let my passions run free.
and yet, this hue remains artificual with nothing personal lying beyond. an open realm without any real depth by nature, a space without intimacy
alone, I embark on a new journey a wanderer, looking for something new searching for some familiarity
and wishing for a companion, I escape shattering the lens restraining our expression I start to descend once again falling upon a net of empathy bringing me beyond this tinted landscape.
I gravitate toward my interests drawing closer to this community observing from afar, i’m uncertain in this tight knit group, is there space for me? I take the plunge, join the discussion and for a moment, everything stops. I’m surrounded watching, waiting, anticipating I exhale, hit by a wave of comfort reliefe washing over me like the tide safe to express my passions through this lens tinted by my own experiences this tinted environment gives solace, knowledge that others share in my passions providing comfort in my identity
alone together we share in our growth worlds apart, growing closer than those nearby sharing experiences together building up archives of new memories seen as merely glimpses through a window time moves on and the window is reshaped becoming one of opportunity allowing us to finally unite and yet, we still need to meet each other taking time to re explore our friendship but eventually, we can flourish intertwined, we share without barriers and I find myself feeling at home here.
When getting feedback on the second script, the expectation was that this new approach would receive better feedback than the initial version, but still have some large, noteworthy changes to make regarding the structure. Having spent so much time with the story it was hard to tell if it was communicating itself clearly or if I was just able to understand it due to the additional context that I had available to me outside of the poem itself.
I’m starting to see myself in this story. I think this is something that a lot of people will be able to relate to.
However when bringing this new version to the target audience, it received overwhelmingly positive feedback, suddenly audience members were able to see themselves and their own experiences within the story. There were some minor adjustments to be made to tidy up the wording in a few sections, but this version was essentially ready to start turning into the final artefact.
Storyboard Translating this script into a storyboard was a straightforward and somewhat natural process, aided by the fact it was all based around a central metaphor and theme which were able to be built on top of.
Sound Design The success of this project leans heavily on its usage of sound effects to build an emotional environment which the story can live within. The sound design process for this sequence took place in three parts
The first was just recording the voiceover, this would be the most integral part of the project, setting the pacing, tone and providing a general outline for the whole sequence to follow. A few takes were recorded into Adobe Audition, which then were cleaned up and filtered to fit with the feel of the visuals that would later accompany them.
The second was recording sound effects. The main visual elements in the project being used were marbles, so a collection of them were recorded, getting audio of the different ways they can interact with both each other and their environment. The sounds of marbles hitting against each other, rolling around on various materials, and moving in a cluster can be heard throughout the finished sequence.
The final element made use of a Digital Audio Workstation to add ambient sounds to the sequence, matched to the feeling being evoked by the voiceover. As part of this stage, the previous two elements were properly mixed into this audio, creating a more polished final soundscape.
Forming Artefact When forming the final artefact, things developed in three key stages
The first stage of production was the defining stage, where the systems were established for how emotions would be communicated between marbles, how they would be differentiated from one another, and how they could interact with one another. These were the final decisions that needed to be made surrounding the execution of this sequence before it could fully come to life.
The next stage was creating, making use of a combination of After Effects and Cinema 4D the storyboard sequence was able to be recreated in full, first using basic shapes and textures to get a feel for the movement and transitions, before then adding in colour and visual detail.
The final stage is refining, going through the sequence and ensuring that everything is stylised to feel cohesive. Adjusting lighting, colours and textures to create a consistent look and feel throughout the motion piece. At this stage the outcome was sent to people in the target audience once more to get some final feedback, informing any minor adjustments made to tighten up the sequence before the final submission.
Final Outcome The final outcome is a journey through online communities, sharing the experience of joining and forming relationships in these spaces, and providing a motive for others to begin their own online journey, while also allowing people actively participating in online spaces the opportunity to reflect on their own experiences, something they don’t often get a chance to do.
The Future People In The Screen’s primary intent is to act as an entrypoint for introverts who may benefit from joining online communities but are hesitant towards them. It offers a sense of understanding in acknowledging their situation prior to joining, while also providing motive to join, and validation to those who already find comfort in these communities but can find it difficult or embarrassing to express. This project has potential for expansion into other avenues. With the project being entirely based around digital platforms, I would like to explore the addition of interactive elements to accompany it. One possible extension that could be made would be a social media bot which aids in finding your community, asking a series of questions and then recommending spaces based on your interests, to help make the initial process of finding a community easier and more comfortable for those trying it out for the first time.
References Gershenfeld, K. (2021, December 25). Insights from Visualizing Public Data on
Twitch - Towards Data Science. Medium. https://towardsdatascience.com/insights-fromvisualizing-public-data-on-twitch-a73304a1b3eb Ellis, P. (2020, September 14). Why Are People Still Self Conscious About Making
Friends Online? Repeller. https://repeller.com/making-friends-online/ Barak, A., & Suler, J. (2008) Reflections on the Psychology and Social Science
of Cyberspace. Psychological Aspects of Cyberspace, 1–12. https://doi.org/10.1017/ CBO9780511813740.002 Moran, K. (2016). The Four Dimensions of Tone of Voice. Nielsen Norman Group. https://www.nngroup.com/articles/tone-of-voice-dimensions/ Schoenman, C. (2016, September 14). twenty one pilots - Cancer Lyric Video [Video]. YouTube. https://youtu.be/yw6i1SAHetc Lee, S. (2022). Directing your dream. School of Motion. https://www. schoolofmotion.com/workshops/directing-your-dream Franchi, L.G. (2020, October 20). “How to Be Alone” by Pádraig Ó Tuama, A Poetry
Film by Leo G Franchi. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HgZT6UJocRs Lee, S. (2022, September 5). Dream, A Visual Poem [Video]. Vimeo. https://vimeo. com/325355987 Chan, D. K.-S., & Cheng, G. H.-L. (2004). A Comparison of Offline and Online
Friendship Qualities at Different Stages of Relationship Development. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 21(3), 305–320. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/ abs/10.1177/0265407504042834 Sangkapreecha, P. (2015). Trusting for Authentic Friendships in the Perceptive
World of Everybody Lies Online. The Asian Conference on Society, Education & Technology 2015 Official Conference Proceedings. https://papers.iafor.org/wp-content/ uploads/papers/acset2015/ACSET2015_18153.pdf
Lee, B. W., & Stapinski, L. A. (2012). Seeking safety on the internet: Relationship between
social anxiety and problematic internet use. Journal of Anxiety Disorders,_ 26_(1), 197–205. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.janxdis.2011.11.001 Amichai-Hamburger, Y., Wainapel, G., & Fox, S. (2002, May). “On the Internet No One Knows I’m an Introvert”: Extroversion, Neuroticism, and Internet Interaction. Cyberpsychology & Behavior: The Impact of the Internet, Multimedia and Virtual Reality on Behavior and Society, 125–128. https://doi.org/10.1089/109493102753770507