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News: Back to School

Have you ever considered that God has never said, “Change of plans!”? We understand his attributes as written in the Bible, that God is all-knowing, all-powerful, and never changes. Often we experience confusion and shock from our perspective, but God has always known what will be and how things will turn out. His plans are beyond our comprehension, and the why of the changes that our plans undertake is a mystery to our understanding.

Although the coronavirus pandemic has changed many of our plans this year, our AniMissions staff are using the time to get more proficient at Blender, the 3D software that is at the core of the new school starting June 2021. This has been an “unprecedented time” to focus and create!

Blender Software

The decision to do our animation projects in Blender has not been an easy one. “When we realized that our current Adobe software was a financial burden for our students, we looked for something cross-platform that could take us to the next level of animation,” Dave, leader of AniMissions said. “Blender has an amazing learning community behind it. It’s not just free, open source software.”

In the past, Create had used a variety of software to produce our evangelistic film projects. Blender actually supports all of the 3D animation pipeline—modeling, rigging, animation, simulation, rendering, compositing, motion tracking, and even video editing. It will also enable us to keep our 2D animation pipeline, which we have developed since the School of Cartooning and Animation (SoCAM) began in 2010, although it will involve significant changes.

One aspect of adopting new software is, will it stand the test of time? Will we create an animated project and then find out that the software has changed or lose any possibility of adapting it for other related people groups? Based on the planned upgrade path, the program won’t have a major upgrade for at least two years, a relatively stable time.

“This has been an “unprecedented time” to focus and create!”

Blender Community

The amazing thing about this transition has been the support we have received from our past students and teachers, who are professionals in the animation field. Tod Polson and Matthew Ullrey have both agreed to teach on animation in the upcoming school and are actively participating in the development of the new pipeline for future 2D and 3D film projects.

Change is not always easy to navigate, or to understand, but we are grateful for the opportunity we have to make changes and grow in the skills that are needed to create more evangelistic resources for the unreached peoples of the world.

- Wendy H.

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