Using animation at a University Graduation Ceremony

Q: I am currently investigating using banners or animation at our university’s
forthcoming graduation ceremonies commencing in August. We have a new
corporate identity which we would like to promote. Additionally we would like
to project some colour and images during the ceremony to add some colour and
interest to the stage. This would need to run perhaps in a loop for 2 hours.

Assistant Registrar
A London University

A: Animation is a great way to liven anything from a web page to a stage.

Short animations or banners aren’t expensive either.

To make banners suitable for stage projection, the artwork and design has to be the size of a PC screen, ie, full screen and not small as in the little banners you see on web sites. This obviously takes more time to develop.

Another factor to consider is the complexity or length of the message you want to convey.

My own feeling is that for a one-off event, like a graduation ceremony, you don’t want anything elaborate or expensive, as a one-off doesn’t justify the expense, and it will look like overkill.

Something simple and effective in your new corporate style, that fits your budget, might be more appropriate.

Can I suggest:

> A short animation of maybe 5 slides, corporate style branded but broadly generic and celebratory in intent. You probably have quite a lot of existing suitable images, both still photographs and graphics, that could be recycled for this.

> Keep it slow running, lasting 30 seconds per loop, so there’s always some movement, but not overly whammy. More like very high quality wallpaper.

> Play this in the gaps, ie, when nothing much is happening onstage, such as at the very beginning, or between sections in the event. This way it’ll cheer up the “dead spots”, and have a more relevant impact this way.

> Incorporate the video as part of your powerpoint for the day, so it will load directly into the time slots, as rqd

What you get:

> For a relatively low price the stage won’t look so dead and bare when nothing much is happening

> It won’t compete with the main event, the giving of the awards, the speeches, etc.

> It will add a quality feel to the whole ceremony event

> For a little extra it could be later downsized it for use on your website

I could suggest more complex animations with all the fire and sparks that this type of video can deliver, but I feel that would be “too much”. People wouldn’t know what to look at – the real action or the animation.

But your graduation ceremony won’t be one of them!

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