Hoisted by my own petard

HothouseThe Craft

The following is a guest post by Gregory Labute.

After years of being a software developer specializing in tools for animation, I finally get to see first hand what all the fuss is about. I am currently in the thick of Hothouse 6 – writing, directing, and animating my very own 3D stereocopic movie using Sandde, a unique 3D drawing and animation program that I authored a few years ago. First impressions: it’s really hard.

I was trained in classical drawing and animation on paper. The act of drawing volumetrically in thin air using my whole body takes some getting used to. Gone is the tactile feedback of the paper. Gone are the characteristic pencil lines that are so subtle and expressive. Instead there is a new kind of expressiveness and a unique look, impossible to achieve any other way. The trick is to shed my preconceptions about drawing and embrace the new tool for what it is. Once I did that, drawing and animating started to be fun and (almost) easy.

Sandde is an art form, and like any art form it dictates its own rules and logic, and its own look. Sure, you can get oil paints to look like watercolors if you really try, but that would be missing the point.  Right now I’m enjoying discovering the possibilities of something that, from another perspective, I know altogether too intimately.