Ten tips for a great animation

This year the BBC is looking into the future, to find out what it holds for health, education, transport and even love. The season is called "What If?" and we asked you to send us your visions of the future. Hundreds of you did, the competition is now closed and we will be announcing the winners on March 25th.

Pororo Pororo by Choi Jong-il

To get you started, we asked South Korea's award-winning animator Choi Jong-il for his top tips.

Choi Jong-il is most famous for creating Pororo, a character who has become one of the nation's most popular cultural exports.

In South Korea the little penguin is so powerful he is called President Pororo and has his own theme park.

Here are Choi's top tips for creating a brilliant animation • Gather as much information as you can

When you're trying to imagine what the future will look like find all the information you can from sources such as books, magazines, films and documentaries.

• Make your content different

There's no shortage of material about the future. It's better to make your content different from everything else, rather than making new content on the same theme.

• Make a story, not a description
#BBCWhatIf

If what you make is just about the future and there's no story to it, that's a documentary not an animation. A story is a crucial element that can make your animation more original.

• Make it punchy

However well-developed your story is it will go to waste if it can't be told in the 50-second running time. It is best to limit your story to about 20 cuts.

• Engage your audience

A story should be something that people can easily identify with; if your story is hard to understand, people will not be able to engage with it.

• Make it for children

Animation itself isn't just for children, but it's a medium they're more familiar with so it's important to make a film that can be understood by both children and adults.

• Make use of your characters

It can be a person, an animal or even a robot that you use to lead your story. The characters will act as a guide for the audience, leading them into the story and giving them a clearer understanding and greater emotional involvement with what is going on.

• Stay one step ahead of what the audience expects
Pororo creator Choi Jong-il Choi Jong-il

Your animation will appeal to the audience better if it draws them into an unexpected story with a twist that no-one could have predicted.

• Humour works

It's not so easy to touch the audience but we can make them laugh. Humour will give your audience a positive impression.

• Sound effects

Sound effects and a musical score can play an important role. Good sound effects can work harmoniously with the visuals, but be careful; using sound effects badly can create unwanted results - and for this competition any music must be your own creation.

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