Wednesday, June 16, 2010

11 Seconds

Last month I finally found time to join the '11 Second Club' , a monthly animation contest where competitors create an animation which fits a given sound fragment. My education focusses on animation exercises, and the Club gave me an opportunity to do a short movie from start to finish. Although the final score for my entry 'Office Hours', 45th out of 127 entries, was a little disappointing, it was really rewarding to see how the various parts of my education, i.e. storytelling, storyboarding, layout, animation, cleanup and inbetweening and background painting, fit together. I hope to give it another try in July.

This effort was even more rewarding because I used my own software, dubbed 'Sweatbox', to assemble the various parts of my movie. I was never really happy with the available products for line testing, like Flipbook, Toonboom Pencil Test and Monkey Jam, so I decided to write my own. Now, Sweatbox needs a lot more polishing before I even consider publishing it, but being able to combine old and new expertise gave me a lot of satisfaction.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Kettle of the Family

Sometimes I am starting to believe it has always been there, standing on a small table in a corner of our living room, but I know my father had found it on a dunghill, where it had been used to transport the excrements of the cows. The owner had told my father he could keep it, my father brought it home, my mother almost got a seizure, but days of cleaning and polishing finally revealed a beautiful copper kettle. After more than 40 years, my mother still keeps it in her home. It feels like an icon.

I finally got a chance to portray it. Last year I had hoped to do it during my holidays, but I found there was no place in the big city of Emmeloord that carries oil paint. This year I returned, bringing my own oils, and spent a few days to do the job. I do not say this easily, but I like this portrait.