Viewer Knowledge: Application of Exposure-based Layperson Knowledge in Genre-specific Animation Production
Valentijn Visch, Ed Tan, Daniel Saakes


Laypeople are increasingly motivated to participate in design processes, but what knowledge do they actually possess that enables such participation? Some studies show that laypeople have gained detailed product knowledge from exposure. This knowledge can be applied to accurately recognize product categories, and to manage emotional expectations. In the experiment presented here, we test if laypeople can apply product category knowledge to production tasks using an animation production toolkit designed by the authors. In a between-subjects experiment, participants with and without production training produced 3D animations for four distinct genres—comedy, drama, action, and non-fiction. Their task was to deliver versions of a basic animation film by adapting the motion of the film’s central figure by using an interactive test device. This device allowed participants to control four parameters of figure motion: velocity, efficiency, fluency, and deformation. As predicted, the animations produced by laypeople and experts were highly similar. We argue that in comparable cases it is important to not underestimate laypeople’s product knowledge, as toolkits could be designed to align to this implicit production knowledge in order to increase the motivation of laypeople to participate in the design.

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