The Connections Between Animators, Programmers, and Collibra University
I recently traveled from the cool mountains of Western North Carolina to the steady heat of Orlando, FL to attend – and present – at the Learning Solutions 2017, Conference and Expo.
My interest in attending was twofold. It was an opportunity to discuss the Data Governance courses we design and develop at Collibra University, while presenting our approach with Maximum Impact with Interactive Video. The focus of the conference was on eLearning and the associated topics of assessments, learning pedagogy, cognitive load, instructional design, data and metrics, agile project management, xAPIs, Learning Management Systems (LMS), performance support, and social-collaborative ecosystems.
The conference theme addressed how technology continues to disrupt the status quo of learning and development. And of course, given the proximity to Disney Animation Studios, harnessing creativity with technology was a major theme.
And that’s where things became really interesting.
Disney, Google, and Collibra
If you have sat with your children and watched the Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, or Pocahontas for the hundredth time, then you have seen the work of Glen Keane, veteran animator with Walt Disney Feature Animation.
Mr. Keane was one of the keynote speakers at the event. He began his career as a traditional hand-drawn animator with Walt Disney Animation Studios. However, after seeing the movie Tron, Mr. Keane started experimenting with computer generated animation, based on Maurice Sendek’s, Where the Wild Things Are. Eventually, after a thirty-eight year successful career at Disney, he decided it was time to try something new.
Google’s Advanced Technology and Project Group (ATAP) had been testing interactive 360-degree and virtual reality films for mobiles, YouTube360, Google Cardboard, and virtual reality headsets. They were recruiting traditional animators, and soon, Mr. Keane was leaving Hollywood and moving to the Silicon Valley. He was challenged to create an animation in a continuous 360-degree landscape that would change point of view depending on how a user was holding their phone.
The former Disney animator was suddenly working with programmers who think in algorithms and speak code. And the animation wouldn’t be seen on the big screen at the local theatre, it would be downloaded onto a phone with a 4.5” screen. This was not a traditional animation studio.
Imagine that challenge. Consider the roadblocks and frustrations emerging while trying to develop a shared language and methods to collaborate, all while successfully working on product development. He was drawing animations and the programmers were writing algorithms.
At that point, I had my Eureka moment.
I understand that conundrum. I am an art school alumnus and I work with data scientists and engineers. We don’t speak the same language and we perceive data and data governance through completely different perspectives. Whether you work in financial services, healthcare, or information technology, you are challenged to communicate with database Administrators, CTOs, CEOs and CFOs. We all need to collaborate, communicate, and find a common platform.
Mr. Keane continued to test and discover methods to collaborate with the ATAP team. The partnership between animators and programmers resulted in Google’s Spotlight Stories, with interactive, immersive 3D movies. Storylines can now be modified using gaze-based interactivity, relying on the use of data based on the viewer’s gaze to modify the immersive experience. It also led to the opportunity for conference attendees to watch Mr. Keane illustrate The Little Mermaid using a VR headset and Google’s Tilt Brush Software.
At Collibra, we understand the need to collaborate and communicate about data – across a common platform. That’s why we’ve developed the Data Governance Center. Business, creatives, and IT can develop workflows, establish common languages through glossaries and data dictionaries, establish and identify assets, all while working toward the shared product development and an authoritative source.
There’s one more aspect Collibra has in common with Mr. Keane and the ATAP team at Google, and that’s virtual reality. And for that, you will need to attend the Data Citizens Conference to learn all about the experimental data engagement apps we are presenting, as a product of our Academic Experimental Research & Internship program. Our intent is to bring new levels of data engagement and experience alive beyond your 2D-screen, using your body, eyes, ears, and voice to ‘touch’ the data.
And finally, to see how Collibra University really does apply pedagogical theory, assessments, and instructional design through our video series, please register for our Data Governance courses. And take advantage of our perspective of empowering technical and business user collaboration through Collibra Catalog. It could be just the piece you need for the successful partnership of business and technical users.
Allison is the Sr. Instructional Designer for Collibra University. After teaching and designing curriculum in higher education for the last 12+ years, she now focuses on developing courses to support Collibra University and the Certification tracks. And if she never grades another paper again for the rest of her career, she couldn’t be happier.