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A good place to start

September 1, 2010

As I prepare for my impending graduation and loan repayment, I find myself searching my “self” for marketable traits and talents.  This wood-be photographer, cinematographer, art educator, creative writer, zinester has a few tricks up her sleeve, no?

As part of a current practicum at NEIU’s library I am working on a special project: a one to two minute animated tutorial on basic limits in database searching.

While I’ve experimented animation in the stop motion form (albeit on a very primitive level), and I’ve worked on personal comics, I’ve yet to combine 2-d with animation.  I think that this is a great form for information literacy instruction because it is simple, visual, conceptual, and INTERESTING.  There are hundreds of great library tutorials out there, but many are screen capture.  Screen capture works great for specific how-tos, though they are easily outdated, but often fails to teach a concept that can be used as a tool applicable across resources in seeking information.

I came across Pencil, a multi-platform open source 2-d drawing and animation program.  After a few minutes of play, its functions seem fairly simple.  No, teaching myself Pencil will look nothing like my attempt to learn Flash (a dream never fully realized).

Here is the deal:  Pencil seems to be a pretty great program if you have a tablet.  You basically sketch your frames directly on the tablet into Pencil on the bitmap layer, then go over your sketches with tools on the vector layer for a finished look.

See:

Pencil Screen Shot

What a master can do with Pencil

If you are interested, there are some great tutorials… including a few videos from You Tuber PwnageTutorials who managed to make some decent Pencil tutorials at 16.  Future librarian? Let’s hope so.

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