September 17 2020
Took a mondo duke today, no bueno.
So years ago I was really big into stop motion animation. It was a long, exhausting process involving moving characters around, piece by piece, until I was able to create a smooth animation. Here’s a short clip that I put together at one point, which is probably one of the shorter videos I’ve ever made in stop motion. Please note, this video literally has a cannon, so sound warning.
Now that I’ve retired from stop motion, I’m doing a lot of 3D animation work, which hilariously enough, involves basically the same thing. I have to render a bunch of frames, and between a lot of them, I have to adjust the position of hands, arms, legs, heads, eyes, facial expressions, etc. The main difference is that so far, I’m preferring the 3D animated work, because it’s cheaper (so far) and I don’t need an entire table covered in supplies to work with. But it’s genuinely hilarious to me how much work goes into the animation process, in a manner that feels so similar to stop motion at times.
One thing that does make it easier is that the computer software can sort of ‘fill in the gaps’ that I would have to do manually when I was doing stop motion work. Take a look at this animation, for example:
In this animation, I really just had to ‘key’ the fists at the two different positions where they pause. The computer filled in the motion for me. From there I just added a slight bounce to the body, basically doing the same thing.
The current animating work on my mind right now though (and that which has inspired the whole thing behind this post) is the fact that I’m currently working on rendering a full dance sequence for Kate’s game. I’ve never rendered dancing before, and I’m not sure if I’m any good at it, but it’s taking a considerable amount of effort to make the movement and flow look right. I can’t wait to show it off some day!
So yesterday, I spent time on the land, digging dirt from a big pile, and using it to fill a bunch of holes from clearing out posts. I realized just in digging this pile that without machinery, digging a bunch of dirt up for an earthbag house would be cheap, but it would likely destroy me over time. So I’m glad we’ve decided on this whole pole barn idea instead. It costs a bit more, but it’s still cheaper than a conventional house, and we’re perfectly comfortable with the concept of living in a barn. It’s going to be a nice barn. A really nice barn, honestly. It will be insulated, it’ll have power (and water, long term), and generally we’re happy with the expectations we have set for ourselves.
Anyway, here’s some picture highlights from yesterday’s dig.
Here’s the pile of dirt that I dug out of. The top of the pile is about 3.5 feet (or 1 meter) tall, for the sake of reference.
However, the pile of dirt was not right next to where I needed it, so I used a wagon to cart the dirt back and forth. Because I was tired of walking through taller grass (and I was nervous of chiggers), I mowed a path from one end to the next, which you can see a part of here:
Sometimes I feel like it would be neat if I could make a nice stone path.
I know these pictures aren’t much, but they’re little tid-bits of my life, so there you go.
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