/ˈvektər/     noun

A quantity having direction as well as magnitude, especially as determining the position of one point in space relative to another.

I got into stop motion since I wanted something simple, quick, eye-catching, and content-relevant for the blog articles. It combines a lot of my secondary interests— paper, handwritten words, animation, and photography— and I’d also like to think that it will add flavor to the blog. Plus, it’s a cheap way to blow off steam. I’m borrowing a camera and a cable from my dad (shout out to Dad!). I built a light box with poster board, a cardboard box, a pillowcase from Walmart, and tape, and I’m using free software to animate the photos. I’ve made it a rule to only use stuff I can find around the house. I think I’ve only spent around $15 for materials to make the light box. If I had known I’d be doing arts and crafts post-college, I would have stayed in kindergarten.  

In making the vector animation, I knew what I wanted a field of arrows growing towards the word, vector. I penciled guidelines on blank index cards for the writing and animation and used a crystal chunk to prop up the cards. I put them in the lightbox, opened the curtains for natural lighting, and photographed each card using remote capture software so I wouldn’t touch the camera, which would jostle it and potentially ruin the shot.

Wiggly first animation

The light isn’t good, the editing to fix the light worsened it, the animation jitters, cards slid off the crystal, the animation doesn’t loop perfectly, plus countless other things that I don’t yet know about made the animation suck. Fortunately, I keep all my material.

Here’s the second attempt at making the animation, fixing what was wrong with the first.

In round two I measured the arrow’s spacing and height to have more smooth growth. I also ditched the crystal and tape, found a tiny easel to hold the cards, used a lamp for lighting (though the lighting is worse, at least it’s consistent), and I redrew the last card to be more neat.

Now there’s a new problem. The word vector is seizing to the right. I could have redrawn all of the cards with guidelines for the letters, and I know enough about calligraphy that I thought I could do it well, but did I really want to devote another hour to redo it?

I came up with a solution that makes the word clear, readable, centered, and quick.

Third time’s the charm.

I think that’s as good as I can make it. Now it’s on the internet, where no shortage of people will take precious seconds out of their lives to tell me how it sucks. And the next title card will be better.


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