All posts for “Explanation”

Explanation

Explainer Tip: Beware the Intellectual Leap

Posted by: leelefever on November 6, 2013- 9:33am

Categories: animation, Art of Explanation, explainer tip, Explanation, higgs, physics

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This post is part of a series designed to relate the big ideas behind conceiving and producing amazing explainer videos. You've seen it happen before. You're in a meeting, watching a video or having a conversation and everything is going well. You're on your way to understanding something new.  But something happens.  Your confidence wanes. What was clear becomes cloudy and you're not sure what to say.    In this situation, it's easy to feel embarrassed, as if you're not smart enough to keep... Continue Reading

Explainer Tip: Writing an Explainer Video Script

Posted by: leelefever on October 22, 2013- 10:35am

Categories: Art of Explanation, explainer tip, Explanation, script, writing

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This post is part of a series designed to relate the big ideas behind conceiving and producing amazing explainer videos. You’ve been working hard on the project and it is almost finished. But there’s a problem... it's difficult to understand. Whether it’s in conversation, copy on the website, or in your presentations, few people seem to easily grasp the big idea behind your project and why it matters.   Before going any further, you need to solve this problem. People will not adopt ideas or... Continue Reading

Explainer Tip: What is An Explainer Video?

Posted by: leelefever on October 16, 2013- 2:03pm

Categories: Art of Explanation, explainer tip, Explanation, video

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This post is the first in a series designed to relate the big ideas behind conceiving and producing amazing explainer videos. For now, let's forget about video.  I want to talk about explanation. You’ve probably explained something recently: Why you prefer a dish or why political event matters. We are all explainers. We create understanding as a normal part of our daily communication. So much so, that we never think about it.    It's like design. If you've ever made a campfire or a paper... Continue Reading

New Video: Video Editing Explained by Common Craft

Posted by: leelefever on October 3, 2013- 11:26am

Categories: Common Craft Video, Explanation, video, video editing

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Today, everyone can be a video producer with the help of a computer and editing software. This video, a top request of our members, explains the big ideas behind video editing.  Watch it now.   What it Teaches: We are shooting and sharing video more than ever before. To make it useful, we need to learn the basics of turning raw video footage into a short video. This is the story of Liz, who edits a video for her company’s website.  It teaches: How video footage moves from the... Continue Reading

Brain Calisthenics (Guest Post by Sally James)

Posted by: leelefever on August 14, 2013- 9:07am

Categories: communication, Explanation, fun, Guest Post, science, simplicity, Up Goer

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Once there was a cartoon experiment. This experiment used the most common 1,000 words in English to describe a Saturn V rocket.  Have you wondered about getting started on describing something huge or complex in friendly language? For me, this cartoonist-inspired gizmo Up Goer Text Editor is a way to flex some muscles and warm up by challenging myself to describe using only common words. As you use the device, it strips away jargon and demands extremely lean but frequently comical descriptions... Continue Reading
As you can imagine, we put a lot of time and attention into each video we make - and if we do it right, our work is invisible. The video should look effortless and just work.  To help highlight the factors that we feel are important, we've broken down our recent video on “Image Resolution and Pixels” into 4 parts - something we call “deconstructing” it.  Let's take a look at the video... (Reading in email? Click here to watch the videos.) Section 1: Agreement and Context (18 Seconds) In the... Continue Reading
A few weeks ago we spoke at Amplify Festival in Australia and one of the most memorable events of the conference was called “BrightSparks”, produced by the indomitable conference organizer Annalie Killian.  A few hundred people crowded into a bar to watch 18 PhD students pitch their ideas for 2.5 minutes each.  Sachi was one of five judges who helped award $5,000 to the winner.   Leading up to this event, we led workshops and spoke about the need for explanation and the goal to increase... Continue Reading

Video: Image Resolution and Pixels

Posted by: leelefever on July 9, 2013- 10:32am

Categories: Common Craft Video, Explanation, Images, photography, pixels, video

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I will bet you know people who need this video. It's designed to relate the basic ideas behind resolution and pixels in digital images.   This video follows the story of Neil, who learns why he can’t enlarge and print a photo that was taken with his phone.  Using an analogy of a blanket, the video illustrates what happens when a small image is enlarged and what’s needed for printing larger photos.  It teaches: The basics of pixels in digital images Why a digital image with a small number of... Continue Reading

Wonderful Quote and Photos on Explanation

Posted by: leelefever on June 18, 2013- 4:43pm

Categories: art, Art of Explanation, Explanation, photography, quote

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Matthew Monteith is a New York-based artist who had an idea for a photo series that captures people explaining artworks to others. Part of his motivation, according to this article on Flavorwire, was a fascination with explanation itself.  What follows is my new favorite quote on the subject, by Monteith: I am fascinated with the art of explanation, the moment when one individual, using their own knowledge of an object, both conceptual and historical takes on the task of animating that story... Continue Reading
I’m sure you know a friend or relative who has strongly-held opinions about a subject and is convinced that their position is right. But when asked about specifics, it becomes clear that they lack a basic understanding of the working parts that back-up that position.   A recent article by Tania Lombrozo, PhD., a cognitive scientist at UC Berkeley, highlights what causes these extreme positions and what can be done to moderate them. Lombrozo’s article is based on a recent paper by psychologist... Continue Reading

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