Character Bundle makes me sad :(

I work in a healthcare organization and am disappointed that the character bundle package #1 only has people in business clothes.  It seems that out of 8 different people, one could have scrubs on.  I know that I had access to look at them before purchasing but I got them free with the upgrade.  Just sad.  I tried to communicate with the enhancements team but the link was broken.  More sad. :(  Next go around, how about a couple people in casual clothes, a couple in medical clothes and  then some in business clothes?

18 Replies
Jeff Furumura

Hi, Deborah -

Tom Kuhlman's October 15 2013 blog post on "Building your e-Learning Skills" refers to this, but you can ungroup the clothing elements of any of the delivered characters...and clothe them however you wish!  Here is a sample of the first character with some of the ungrouped elements moved off to the side:

Tom's post has a link to an excellent sample that substituted some spacesuits over the standard/delivered outfits.

Hope this inspires you to create a set of scrubs for your favorite characters!  Don't forget the stethoscope!

- Jeff

Rutwin Geuverink

I just stumbled upon this site a few days ago.

It offers a very quick way of creating cartoon-style characters with many different poses, emotions, props, clothes etc.  

It's very simple, quick and FREE!

I'm not a lawyer, but as far as I can see there are for me (classroom+audience) no restrictions on the use of the characters I make with this site! but I would appreciate it if someone could explain to me in layman's terms what #4.9 of their Terms of Use means:  Rutwin

Susan Jaworowski

I need more variety in the photo characters.  I teach at the college level, and most of the characters look too old for my students to relate to.  I also think more thought should go into what the photo characters are wearing.  The character "Rosie" has a bright magenta shirt that clashes horribly with a lot of templates, and then I need to go in and customize.  I'd rather not watse time on that.  Dress them in neutrals, please.

Bruce Graham

I think this is the issue inherent with cartoon/illustrated/photographic characters.

Apart from a few "vanilla" illustrations, everyone needs something different.

Just taking the example of "characters in scrubs" - for scrubs in the US (yes I Googled it...) - you would potentially need:

  • Operating room - wears blue or green
  • OB/Nursery - brown or purple
  • ER - white.

Here's a comment from another site:

"Nurses wear white tops, aids wear purple tops, kitchen wears black, maintainance wears red, housekeeping wears navy, therapy wears maroon. The facility provides us with tops that have the name of the facility embroidered on the top. There are several types of tops to choose from: scrub, Tshirt, sweat shirt, polo, etc. We do get to individualize be the type of bottom we wear. As long as the bottoms are khaki or brown in color, you can wear whatever style you want. A lot of us nurses wear capris or shorts because of the temp inside.."

So - that the US taken care what about the rest of the World, and every other job that exists.

Even the basics run to hundreds and hundreds and hundreds.

And that's before we get into expressions and poses.

In terms of the on-board Articulate photographic characters, I have clients who will not use them "...because they look too American". To my European eyes - I get that.

Also - they are all at 90-degree angles or face-on. Add 2 of them together to have a "conversation" and it is unrealistic. People very often look at each other and talk while at an angle.

Then there's the "politics". I had one client reject the "Christy" character because - putting it bluntly..."...she would annoy a lot of people as she is so beautiful". I kid you not.........And of course - no-one EVER looks as happy as they do when in a typical eLearning scenario.

Then (as Susan points out), the colours need to be designed to fit templates etc.

So - all in all, I guess my point is that if you want realism, you need to invest. I do not see any way that Articulate, or anyone else can meet the intricate matrix of demands that we all have in relation to characters. That's the main reason I have moved to "icon-style" people, they do not suffer from these issues, and can be easily and cheaply customised.

Just my 2p worth.

Michael Eckenfels

Good info, Bruce. However, I posit that not all hospitals here in the U.S. go by that color-coding system. I was a paramedic for four years here (in Texas, anyway), and hospital nursing staff usually wore whatever scrub tops they wanted to, which includes cartoony characters and the like. This was especially true with children's hospitals. The only real consistency in scrub wearing seemed to be the doctors (usually had a light blue or light green set) and the technicians (X-ray and the like, wearing black). This is just a narrow slice of the medical world, obviously, and I doubt it applies everywhere, but it seemed fairly consistent across multiple hospitals in the large metropolis I live in.

Not sure about the rest of the world, but I just joined a company that has a worldwide reach and I've already run into similar situations here. We had a narrator on one project who had a really thick Spanish accent, so our Middle East counterparts said that wouldn't work and would prefer someone with more of a UK accent instead. I can see how that would easily relate to use of the photo/illustrated characters, such as looking "too American."

Indeed, it's very easy to set up a photo shoot to create your own characters, especially if your company likes to have employees wear a company uniform or company colors. Shouldn't be too hard to find a ham or two to dress up, get them to pose appropriately, and click away with any camera.

Bryan Jones

Sorry I missed this post earlier. Here is my "eLearningArt" response to this thread.  

@deborah - Let me know if these healthcare images are in line with what you're looking for. We have doctors (labcoats & scrubs), nurses (scrubs), and patients (business casual and patient gowns). I think we currently have over 5,500 images. 

@tom - I look forward to seeing what you guys come up with. 

@nicole - Are these outfits of people in business casual clothes and casual clothing the right style? We're adding more to these sets this month, so keep an eye out. :)

@george - the links above are to photo characters

@susan - variety is good. Some neutrals, some bold. Better to have it all, right?  :)

@bruce - totally right. Everyone has different tastes. I know when we first starting doing photoshoots 5 years ago, a finished set would have about 75 poses in it. Now we include over 150 for the same sets b/c some people want exaggerated expressions, some want subtle, multiple angles, you name it. The options are endless. Bahhhhh! In terms of the nurse shoot, we just stuck to 2 different colors, but will likely add more at some point. And you and I have talked about the "American" look before. When are you going to invite me out to visit so we can do a European shoot? :) 

@michael - be careful about photographing employees. There are some potential issues there with releases, etc if they leave the company. 

I hope this helps!