As Cru staff here in the U.S. we have a core of about 12 graduate level classes we need to take toward a certificate. I was recently able to take a class on Apologetics online. Christian Apologetics is of course the study of the defense of the Christian faith. For my final project I could have written an article or prepared a speech on one of the essential topics.
But of course, being immersed more and more in CG (computer graphics imaging) as was interested in the 3rd option - a Powerpoint project. I increasingly use more CG tools in the Film Production department of the Jesus Film Project (doing some visual effects and also helping 'pre-visualize' new projects we are researching or about to produce).
The course instructions were that this would Powerpoint would be the type of thing you could go through with a student who might be a new Christian. The tool should help then gain some grounding in the Christian faith and how to defend their beliefs.
I had the idea of structuring the tool around my experience in the 1970's. Back then my older brother, Jerry, was a Star Trek fanatic. Every day after school he had to see Star Trek. So I think I saw all of those episodes, at least several times. Hence the little intro to my Powerpoint.
Then I had the idea from one of the episodes where Captain Kirk was split into two people, an 'evil twin' version of himself and a sort of purer and more docile version of himself. That morphed in my mind to an idea: what if I made this a conversation between me and my doubter self?
I knew the characters had to be easily identifiable; that they should even have an outline - a silhouette - that is different. The simplest solution for my 2 or 3 days of work on this - take a 'Character Studio' character
, change the shirt color, and have one version with hair and the other without. I was able to setup and light the characters in Autodesk Maya, render out the frames in Viewport 2.0 (realtime), and then assemble them in Powerpoint. I also had the iSpring plugin so that I could export the whole thing to HTML5. It includes an intro, a short defense of God's existence, and the longer section on the defense of the resurrection - and a mini-epilogue. You can see it here.
|from the Intro to a defense of God's existence|
There was only enough time to generate the images and do the text work in Powerpoint, but it definitely showed me the potential of how more images and even animations could be used with this idea to make an engaging way to learn and teach content like this. I only had time to add the extra images (such as the one of the Universe above, or Lincoln or Hercules) to demonstrate the larger idea. But, having a conversation with my 'doubter self' on this set you could do wild things to demonstrate the images and history involved. I liked the idea of a huge screen behind the characters that reflects the things they are thinking of.
Let me know what you think!