The past week has been about making my mobile app move. Animation, animation, animation. Usually I would turn to keynote to animate and present a final presentation, but this time around I have chosen to use After Effects. I should have used keynote to create this presentation, given my lack of technical skills, but I decided to go this route because of its potential and capabilities.
What truly convinced me to do this in After Effects is that I feel, as a graduating senior, I should have some ability to present a mobile app with motion that is a bit more advanced than your typical keynote fade in and fade out. And my degree project was the perfect opportunity to challenge myself. I am not very good at driving After Effects as it's been a very long while since I have used this program (effectively). So suffice it to say that this has been a challenge. The fourteen seconds I have animated took hours and hours that could've taken some of my other classmates only two or three. This brings up an uncomfortable question that I couldn't help but ask myself…is my struggle with the software worth the output? This isn't a question of whether my hard work is worth it because I absolutely believe it is. Looking at what I have created so far I am happy with what I see on screen. And I am pleased with myself that I have made it happen. This animation marathon has already taught me plenty about the software, workflow, and about the ability to surprise myself. But the question on my mind is when dealing with such a challenge, at what point do you stop and say "this is too difficult" and think of other ways to achieve a similar end result that you are capable of? In the middle of a project? Almost, just before the end? This question has plagued me for some time.
Do you truck through the difficulty at the expense of the final product for the sake of a learning experience? Or do you take a bite of what you know you like and can easily digest and follow through with ease? I know this question depends on the individual, the circumstances, and what is at stake. But this issue has to be mentioned in my process for there was a moment where I thought I made a huge mistake taking this on. With a grand thank you to Sam, an After Effects guru, for showing me a few tricks, I chose to stick it out and put in the many hours it takes for me to get this done. I have started early enough that I can afford to make mistakes and it be alright because it is not due tomorrow. Right now I am about half way done with my animation, and I plan on getting this done by friday evening.