It’s amazing how you can find anything starting from small random “how to” video clips to quantum mechanics theory clips on just one website, namely YouTube. By the way, Most of the people would say “wake up! its 2014, gosh everybody knows what YouTube is” . Yes. I know YouTube has been there forever for many other countries but it’s been only a couple of years that we could legally watch YouTube here. Needless to say I’m from burma.
Before 2011, it’s beyond impossible for us to access YouTube as well as some news websites. We had to go through many proxy/firewall skipping websites such as C tunnel or V tunnel. So..It took us several minutes just to see YouTube page. Leave alone watching or downloading clips from it unless you literally live in an Internet cafe or a public access centers.
Then one day, around 2011 I think, we could use YouTube without having to crack or skip firewalls. I was so happy that I even thought that was a dream. Before, you knew that there is a digital sea of all kinds of knowledge somewhere on Internet but you can’t go nowhere near it. Then “SPLASH” …you are swimming in it. You can sense the sweet air of knowledge and ideas which were shared by millions of different people around the world, going through your nose. It’s like a huge mobile library to me. I can take it with me where ever i go.
Right after I knew that I could use YouTube, I quickly decided that I’m gonna learn all the stuffs I wanted to learn since preschool. I learned sunskrit, I watched loads of scientific discussions and doccumentries, I followed a few artists that i like and many people who shared weird ideas of them. I called them “neo buddhas” and I could also learn how our brain works mysteriously from videos provided by a mathematic specialists and brain surgeons. How precious is that? These people are generously sharing their life-long researched knowledge FREE to everyone!!! But you know it’s sad that one video clip explaining how fibonacci sequence and numbers build the whole mother nature, has incomparably less viewers than miley cyrus’s twerking video or even a kitten playing with a ball clip. To me i think i don’t have enough time to learn everything i wanted even if i learn 24 hrs a day. I don’t have time for cute kittens nor double rainbows.
So finally, I thought it’s time to start learning my ultimate childhood dream: drawing animated cartoons.
I still remember how far my jaws dropped down when I first saw “mighty mouse” 2 dimension animation on TV. I had no idea how the made these drawings move. That was so new to me and I thought it’s extremely difficult to draw such animated movies. But you know what? I pinned it. I pinned that curiosity on my mindboard. I promised myself that one day I’ll make my own animation movie no matter how short it is.
To be honest, when I typed “how to draw animated videos at home” in the YouTube ‘s search box, I felt pretty hopeless. I mean..who would upload such complicated procedures right? But I forgot that not everything has to be difficult or complicated. Some smart people are doing things so simply and all they focus is only on basic ideas and presentation. I found one genius showing how he draws animated cartoons ….Not on the papers but on white board. So that you don’t have to draw everything you drew in last frame all over from the beginning. You can just erase the part you wanna move by using a normal whiteboard duster and then draw over it. It’s so easy and cost effective. All you need is a white board, a marker pen, a duster, an LED light with a stand, a Web cam and an easy video editing software like monkey jam or even a built – in “window movie maker” software will be just fine.
So what I did was I hang the LED stand over the whiteboard and I clipped my Web cam somewhere on the LED stand it’s lens facing towards whiteboard. It’s kinda tricky to get the right spot for LED cos if it’s right over the whiteboard , the white board’s surface reflects it’s light which can ruin your drawings.
Then I started drawing some stuffs and tapping on space bar at the same time to capture the frames I drew. After several frames, I clicked “preview” and saw my characters started to move. That moment is the most amazing minutes of my life. I repeat and repeat that 12 – second – preview again and again. Of course It’s nothing compared to all the other animations in the world. Mine wasn’t smooth, it had rough edges , the running time is unstable..its obviously a shit animation after but the quality of it never was my point. It’s just that feeling….feeling of satisfaction. , fulfilling your long dwelling thirst, feeling “I made it” is the whole point. I kept on drawing and after a few hundreds of frames I got a clip which was just long enough to play along with a back ground track. I swiftly picked up one of my songs and edited it on the time line together with the clips I just rendered.
I named it “flowers are forever”.
It’s really really not a big deal at all, but who knows, if my daughter asked me how they make cartoon movies some days, I can proudly say “you know, tha mee, papa made a small animation once. You wanna check out?”with a big confident smile on my face.
I hope she says “yes” though. Hahaha.
Here’s that little suckie clips I did.