Monday, December 16, 2002

As you all probably know by now, I want to make animation. I don’t necessarily want to be an animator — that’s tedious, highly-skilled work — but I want to be involved in creating animations.

How did I intend to accomplish this? I started big: A six episode direct-to-video series, Wine to Those in Anguish. I then scaled back to a full-length film, Murmur of a Summer’s Day. The more I’ve thought about that, the more I realized that perhaps I was aiming a bit too high, at least for my first project.

So, I decided that the best thing to do would be to assemble small, simple animations myself. I don’t think I have the artistic skill to draw anything pretty just yet, but I can at least follow the process and get used to it. And, once I have a non-trivial body of animations, I can approach artists with something to show them. I can tell them, “I know the process, and I know the tools; here are a few animations I’ve put together myself to prove it.”

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been spending a little time every so often drawing an animation. It’s a simple seven-frame animation of a box’s lid opening up. This is actually the second animation I’ve done; the first was a spinning cup (which you can marvel at here thanks to the magic of animated gifs).

Last night, I completed the seventh frame of that animation.

And I felt joy.

It took me a little while. I had to think about it, and realize what I’d done. And then I was flooded with emotion, with a feeling that goes beyond happiness to what I can only call joy. I felt truly alive, centered on reality, filled with a massive energy. It was amazing.

And I could only praise God. I find it unnatural to spontaneously thank God, but it seemed the most natural thing to do in the world. I could only praise and thank God for my beautiful room, for the house I live in, for the ability to draw those seven frames (as crude as they may be); I even praised him for the fact that I had finished.

What does this mean? I don’t know. I don’t have a nice, clean ending for this. I’m not taking this as proof that I’m meant to create animation. This is a step. An incredible step, but a step nonetheless.

Now I need to focus on scanning in all seven frames, then animating them in Animation Stand.

And I really need a good set of headphones. Work is noisy.

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