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AniMissions... For the Glory of God


Last week, thirteen students from around the world completed our first AniMissions Seminar online and have received six weeks of intensive training in animation—for the purpose of missions. There were glitches, bugs, mistakes and struggles, but through it all most of the students persevered. The few that have not completed the seminar will still have an opportunity to finish at their own pace.

The first week of the seminar was a busy one, with six courses covering topics like Contextualization, Scriptwriting, and Storyboarding. The week ended with two courses introducing Blender, the main software used in the seminar. Weeks two and three were all about modeling, texturing, and sculpting in Blender, and in the fourth week the students explored Grease Pencil, the 2D aspect of Blender, and enjoyed a delightful course on Design. Week five might have been the most challenging week, as it was all about Animation. Finally, last week, they rounded out the course by learning Sound Design, Post-Production, and Project Management. Each of these weeks involved a two-hour live Zoom meeting, about eight hours of recorded lectures or tutorials, and many hours of homework. We also watched and discussed three animated short films each week.

Positive Feedback

Throughout the course, we use a communications tool called Discord where we make official announcements and students can get answers from our staff and instructors when they get stuck. It’s so encouraging to read comments like, “I am really enjoying what I am learning, thanks for putting this on,” or “Great job on the tutorials. Good stuff! I'm learning a lot,” or “All glory to God for any talents I have! So glad to have a place to exercise them with very talented people like you!”

Even so, we can already see many ways the seminar can be improved. Over the next six months, we plan to fine-tune the curriculum and make it better, expanding some courses and trimming others. At times, students had difficulty getting immediate help in whatever time zone they were in, as some of the staff were asleep! But for the most part, they were able to get help within about six hours.

“Many of the participants are already on teams working with unreached people groups and will be putting their newfound skills to work immediately.”

On Friday, we had a graduation meeting on Zoom, where students put together showreels of the work they did over the last six weeks. It was amazing to see so many hours of hard work put into thirty-second short videos, and the graduates and staff were all encouraged. Many of these participants are already on teams working with unreached people groups and will be putting their newfound skills to work immediately. Others plan to use what they learned on future projects.

If you are on a team and are interested in learning animation as a tool to reach unreached people groups, consider joining us for the next AniMissions Seminar in April 2022.

- Dave H.

Note: We are going to be taking a break from our blog for the Christmas Holidays, so this will be our last blog entry until January 3, 2022. We hope and pray that you all have a blessed Christmas as you celebrate the advent of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

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