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Graphic Narrative Evaluation

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  Graphic Narrative Evaluation   Does your final product reflect your srcinal intentions?   Compared to my srcinal plans and storyboards, my end product didn’t turn out the way I planned it to. This is because of a number of elements, the main one being that I changed the main character from a fairy to a unicorn. I did this for multiple reasons, for example, the horse/donkey works better moving it to different positions and looks better as a character, than the fairy that I had before that didn’t even look like a traditional fairy, which was what initially drew me to doing a fairy as a main cha racter, but it just didn’t work because it didn’t look right when flipped or put in different places. It also didn’t work to have an untraditional fairy because I made him look like a chubby animated child rather than a normal person- like Simon looks like, it just made him stand out in a bad way. The horse/donkey looks more realistic but still animated- like Simon, and this fits in better with the rest of my story and the background and all of the other extra things that have this kind of aesthetic of being realistic but still animated. I also changed the simplistic background of just sky and grass that I srcinally planned to use, to a more complex background to show Bernard’s movement through the park and also to give the reader something different to look at rather than it just being the same image repeated over and over, this made the whole book more interesting to look at. I also had eight pages planned and ended up with seven. This is because I did the speech elements of my story over two pages in a kind of comic book style. I did this rather than putting all the speech onto one page and then using one illustration because it made the text easier to read and I could also show different expressions from Bernard and this made it more interesting for the reader to look at and also see the pictures of how he should actually be feeling. How well have you constructed your images?   I think I constructed my images quite well, I was well ahead of my schedule and therefore had plenty of time to go back through the book and add more and more extra items to the background, like flowers, trees, a pond and a path. This made the background more complex from how it srcinally started. I also had enough time to go back to the beginning and add another page because I had six pages but added a seventh to show how sad he was for not having a horn when all of the other unicorns had one. I did this because I srcinally had the first page text and second page text on the same page and this created a contradiction. I solved this contradiction by separating the texts onto different pages. How well have you used text to anchor your images? I think that I used the text well to anchor my images. My images and text complement each other to show what’s happening in the story. Also, the images make the text easier to  understand for children as they probably aren’t reading it on their own and will want to follow the story at time someone is reading it to them. Is your product suitable for your audience?   My product is suitable for my audience which is 5-7 year olds. I chose this age group as the images are just there to help with the reading of the text because at this age children are  just starting to become independent readers, however the book is suitable for younger children to have it read to them. I used the book ‘Maisie's first sleepover’ as a bases for my book along with ‘A squash and a squeeze’ and ‘Hairy mclary from Donaldson's dairy’. Maisie's’ book gave m e the dimensions and the layout that I used for my book , however all three of these books were laid out in a similar way with the picture covering the whole page and the text over the top, this makes the book more interesting to look at as there is always something to look at on each page. I also said that my book would be a unisex book, when Bernard was srcinally a fairy, I made him male to avoid gender stereotyping of fairies always being female, I also made the story different to regular fairy stories that I researched in the way that Bernard wasn’t good looking and didn’t have a wand and the person he was helping wasn’t the conventional type of person you would expect to need help. I changed Bernard from fairy and into a unicorn because it made it easier for me to move a horse figure rather than a cartoon figure. I still feel that the book is a unisex book as the horse isn’t all pink and girly and the storyline is still the same. What do you like/dislike about the techniques you have used?   I like the rotoscoping that I used with all of my characters as it gave them the outline of a realistic horse or donkey or person. I then used colour overlays to give each character a block colour which I then worked on top of by either giving characters definition by shading and turning the opacity up or down, this can be shown on Simon on his face. I didn’t like how long it took to get the exact shape you wanted, however it was useful to be able to correct the parts that went wrong rather than having to start the whole shape again. I also like how my background is the same throughout however it looks different in each slide due to the extra items added each page to make it look like the characters are moving through the park.  I used an effect over the srcinal photo so it still looks realistic but animated at the same time. What do you like/dislike about how your final product looks?   I am really pleased with the way my book has turned out. Because it is my own story, there aren’t any other editions of it that I could see how other people have done the story in the past, unlike doing a fairy-tale which will have been done before so therefore has images that can be used as inspiration. I don’t like that I couldn’t use the srcinal fairy that I wanted to. This isn’t to say that I am not pleased with my unicorn as it looks a lot better than the fairy, however when I wrote the book, I intended Bernard to be a fairy. I also don’t like that I couldn’t use the font I wanted, it was very similar to the Maisie font, however not the same as the author has a copyright on it, but it just didn’t work with the rest of the book because the images are realistic but animated and the Maisie books are completely animated, so the font works in those books but not in mine. I do like the font I have got now because it is basic and fits in with the book. What signs, symbols or codes have your used in your work?   I haven’t purposefully put any signs or symbols in my book but I used selection of different colours to avoid trying to appeal to just one gender. There are a few messages in the story that are important to children, like it doesn’t matter how you look, this is shown throughout the book and the ending is just a bonus that he gets to look better than the other unicorns. Another message is that good things will come to those who wait, Bernard didn’t rush to get his horn like the other unicorns, therefore he was rewarded. What representations can be found in your work?   I chose to use a mythical creature as my main character because then there are no stereotypes or any misrepresentations of unicorns. I did all of my unicorns in completely different colours, this was to show that there is no bias towards one colour as the book aims to be multicultural and appeal to everyone. By using Simon Cowell as my other character and making Bernard not know who he is, this was done in the first part for humour as most people are aware of who he is, however if you don’t know who he is, the story still works on another level.   What style have you employed in your products?   I like to think that it is a mixture of my own style with influences from Axel Scheffler, who illustrated ‘The Gruffalo’ and ‘ A Squash and A Squeeze’, they both have quite similar backgrounds throughout the books. My own style would be putting completely random things in a normal setting, like a park. I  have unicorns just walking around and Simon Cowell just walking around in the same place, like it’s a normal thing to happen.  Also, by making the whole book look real but animated, this was my own style however I was influenced by the book ‘Elephant Joe, Brave Knight’, although the book is animated, there are still little images of real items in there. What were the strengths and weaknesses of the pre-production and planning?  All of the planning that I did for when Bernard was a fairy all went well, I finished with more than enough time to change my main character and add pieces of scenery and more effects to make the book more interesting to look at and more advanced. A weakness for me was having to change my main character. I didn’t take into consideration that I would need to move my the fairy around and therefore didn’t try moving him around in the planning stage to see if it would work, thankfully I left myself enough time to fix this.
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