Animated teaching resource

Life Education

An animated teaching resource that takes tamariki to a galaxy far far away in a fully immersive experience...

Life Education is a charity that educates and empowers tamariki and rangatahi to make positive choices so they can live full and healthy lives. Every year they teach over 250,000 children about their body, friendships, their identity, food and nutrition, and helpful and harmful substances.

You may have spotted their mobile classrooms around New Zealand. Central to their education programme, they travel around the country to educate children through engaging and memorable learning experiences. This is where we come in.

Our task was to refresh a dated video resource (think ‘80s… Clay stop motion…Tron), of a class travelling in a spaceship to outer space to visit an alien planet. We decided to go further, and created a new animation that offers students a fully immersive experience exploring the outer regions of our galaxy. Move over Star Trek, we’re going to boldly go where no one has gone before.

In the initial discovery meetings with Life Education we provided ideas, feedback and support as they determined which teaching points would be needed in the new animation. Together we developed and refined the script, and arranged for a skilled voiceover artist to be the booming voice you hear of the spaceship’s flight controller.

Next steps were to develop a sketched storyboard for the script. We broke down keys points in the story and translated them into visual frames, starting the transformation of the written script into a visible journey to outer space.

Alongside this we developed a unique illustration style of alien children and the strange new world we would be visiting. Concept art and design of the LET1 spaceship, Planet X, and the spaceship’s Flight Deck were key parts of pulling the visual language together.

With the scene set, we developed a fully illustrated storyboard and all the assets ready for the animation stage. This was an important chance for Life to get a feel for the full animation (“just imagine the rocket moving”, we said!).

With an animation this complex, an important step was to create an animatic – a moving storyboard matching the recorded voiceover. It was a final chance to lock down the correct timing, ensuring the teacher and students in the classroom enough time to participate in the animation, especially at take-off and when trying to escape the alien planet.

Central to the students’ journey to the alien planet are the images that are taken by the spaceship’s ‘Space Cam’. These detailed illustrated snapshots are the key teaching aids that the educator pauses on in the classroom to talk to the students about topics such as conformity, community responsibility and care for the environment. The foundation of the animation is students’ learning, so we included many teaching points in these other-worldly illustrations to encourage thought, conversation and investigation.

Tu meke, we have lift off! It all comes together… Animation and movement, voiceover and sound effects combine to create a journey like no other. In the mobile classroom the teachers also have control over flashing lights, so when everything combines the animation becomes a complete immersive experience. Buckle up!

Life Education Trust feedback:

‘The Gusto team cleverly brought our concept to life and were able to provide us with the interactive feel that we were after to make this video a memorable and engaging learning experience for tamariki. The clip is packed with learning points for Educators and students to discuss and work through, and will be a valuable teaching resource in the mobile classroom. The creative process was smooth and timely, and the team were lovely to work with.’

Keen to chat?

Get in touch with our team or have a look at our work to see if we’d be a good fit.