Sunday, November 27, 2011

Muvizu is taking me back to my roots

I have been officially animating for over thirty-three years now. I started way, way back in the sixth grade under the guidance of the greatest teacher I ever had the pleasure of knowing, Joseph McCoy, in St. Petersburg, Florida. He introduced me to the magic of stop motion animation with a Super 8 camera and a chess board. From those humble beginnings of slaying pawns with cocktail swords weilded by kings and queens I dabbled over the years; experimenting with other forms of stop motion including my own custom video editing rig for doing filmless animation with AT&T Tips for performing real-time optical matting and touch-up.

After graduating from NCSU, I got my first professional gig producing computer animation for EPA training videos in Tampa, Florida. Back then it took hours to render a single frame of animation on equipment costing tens of thousands of dollars. From there I returned back to North Carolina to produce animation for Glaxo Smith Kline sales events, manufacturing animation for Textile/Clothing Technology Corp, and commercial animation for Kerr Drug Stores.

I left broadcast animation and migrated to the exciting world of computer simulation, virtual reality and eLearning for many years, but always maintained a passion for video and animation. Over the past year I have had several opportunities to go back to my roots. My most recent foray was for the AMD Fusion competition. On a decent laptop with a graphics card and the Muvizu software, I can now produce animation better and cheaper than the old EPA system could have ever dreamed. You can see the end product here.

I see great promise for animation tools like Muvizu in the area of digital storytelling and narrative centered learning. For now, animation will primarily remain a hobby for me. Look for more short films to come.

- Ken