Full Speed Ahead
Updated: Aug 31, 2021
If you’ve read some of our past blog entries, you already know that we are running our first online school, the AniMissions Seminar, beginning October 24, 2021. Since today is August 30, that means the school is now less than two months away. Although Create Taiwan has run eight schools since our founding in 2013, this one is unique in many ways, and our staff is currently working hard to prepare for this exciting event.
How is this school unique from the School of Cartooning and Animation for Missions or the Frontier Filmmaking Seminar that we have done in the past? Here are some of the key differences:
For years we have used the Adobe Creative Suite as our main tool for both production and training, but we have now transitioned to the free, open-source Blender software. This requires both a new production pipeline, and all new training curriculum. Moving from Adobe to Blender is like Dorothy going from Kansas to Oz… we are both dazzled and terrified! But so far, the transition has been smooth and our staff are getting proficient in the new world of Blender.
One of the challenges we have had over the years is how to train students with different skill levels and language abilities in one classroom. We would often have students with little computer experience rubbing elbows with advanced nerds, and this disparity would make it difficult for the instructor to proceed at a pace that would be satisfactory for all.
Enter the flipped classroom. This is a newer concept currently being implemented in many educational environments, including YWAM, where the students watch prerecorded lectures and tutorials at their own pace, then meet with instructors regularly for feedback, questions, and individual instruction. The advantages are obvious; slower or linguistically-challenged students can repeat sections of the lecture they don’t grasp, while the more advanced students can watch the videos at double-speed.
“Our hope is that teams who are already working among unreached people be equipped with animation skills without having to leave the field.”
This new way of running our schools does present a major challenge, though, to our instructors. We need to have all our lecture content developed, videoed, edited, and made available before the school begins! As of last week, we are probably just over halfway through developing and recording the content of the AniMissions Seminar, but hours of editing are still ahead. We are grateful that much of the content has already been produced and is available through CG Cookie, who will provide the bulk of our Blender courses.
Finally, we are making our training more available to people around the world by moving the seminar online. Taiwan is still not allowing foreign visitors into the country because of the pandemic, and there are many workers who could benefit from the seminar who live in countries where travel to Taiwan would be too expensive and visas are difficult to obtain even in a non-pandemic environment. Our hope is that teams who are already working among unreached people be equipped with animation skills without having to leave the field.
We currently have around five interested students, three of whom have applied, and the momentum is building. If you are reading this, and you know of an artist or team that may be interested in getting equipped to impact the nations through animation, please forward this link and let’s get the word out!
- Dave H.