The Best Laid Plans

A lot of planning goes into making an animation. Since it takes so long to render (a 10sec clip can take a whole 24h, depending on your hardware), you don’t want to waste time rendering footage that you’ll cut out later. So, it is vitally important that you take the time to sit down and plan out every shot of your animation— with notes on the angles, zooms, pans, speed, special effects, etc.

Here is the storyboard for the Vaccination Animation that my team made last fall:

Ulrich_Laura_VaccineAnimationStoryboard_2014

While making the storyboard, I had a clear idea of what I wanted the final piece to look like– flawless textures, floating microparticles, and a camera that dodged around like a journalist in a Danger Zone. What I ended up with, however, was this:

AnimationStill_LauraUlrich

It’s… alright. Good considering I had never animated anything in my life 4 months prior. There are plenty of reasons why the quality was less than I had imagined: skill level, time constraints, miscommunication, unexpected setbacks… etc. You get my point.

So I went back and reworked these particular stills into something closer to what I had envisioned.

AnimationStilReworkedl_LauraUlrich

What do you think, a bit better? Now to achieve this quality while everything is moving!

I suppose the moral of this post is that the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry. I worked with a team to plan this project, and though we achieved a great deal, it wasn’t what we had expected, what we had planned for. The same goes for my life.

I went into university planning on becoming a genetic counselor. That plan was scrapped. I started to pursue scientific illustration, planning on making the art and diagrams for textbooks, documentaries, etc. That plan is still in progress. I planned to go to Toronto for grad school. Scrapped. I planned on getting a biology-related job. Success. I planned on staying at said-job for a year and saving some money. That plan was thrown out the window exactly 1 week ago, when I was dismissed due to budget cuts.

Planning is important. I think even Pooh Bear would agree (after all, we both plan on the same flawless plan every morning– get out of bed and go straight to the honey bucket). But I think if I’m going to survive this year, my first year as a “grown-up”, I need to be more like him, and less like the other (rather dysfunctional) occupants of the Hundred Acre Wood.

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