Sunday, June 3, 2012

A WEDDING, THOUGHTS, AND A QUICK ANIMATION

On Sunday 5/27/2012, a friend who lived a few doors down from me got married.

Above: Abby and Dave,  pronounced wife and husband.

There were so many things I didn't know about a Christian wedding. Like how I had to sit on the bride's side because I knew her better, or how the bride and groom had to kiss every time someone tapped the side of their wine glass with a knife (during reception). But it was quite fun - we stood up and sang hymns, prayed and blessed the couple quite a few times, danced to swing and classics at the reception after. And it was very sweet, especially when the bride waltzed with the groom.

We had a few tears shed, a couple of baby wails, and a duo (siblings of the couple) who played the violin and piano preceding and following the ceremony. Due to the groom's association, there was also quite a large fraternity gathering, who mobbed the groom after the reception for a fraternity group hug and picture. All in all, I felt incredibly special to have been part of that moment. The bride looked beautiful, the atmosphere was magical, and watching their grandparents dance to the "Cha Cha Slide" definitely made my day.

The realization hit me a little later that I was already at that age, and that I would probably be attending a few more weddings involving my friends in the next couple of years. I respect the decision of couples like Abby and Dave, who have thought long and hard before taking this next step, and I understand marriage is large commitment many men and women shy away from.

There are always quotes and sayings that poke fun at marriages, equating them to business relationships or captivity. Perhaps it really is for some people. But after witnessing my first wedding ceremony, marriage seemed to mean something more than having a wife or husband. It means accepting another person into your life, and having a constant companion with you to help you battle your worst moments, and be there with you when you celebrate your best. It means a man or woman you choose to share your life story with as it unfolds. That, in itself, is such a special position.

The part of the ceremony that really got me came just before the vows. Abby and Dave told each other their faults, like how he may forget her at times, or how she may lose her patience. But despite those faults, they declared their acceptance of the other, their care and love for one another, and the mutual will to talk and work things out together - to face each other and confront their problems as a team, one at a time. Their vows reminded me that it takes two to maintain the relationship - if one person is only giving, or one is only taking, that bond would collapse.

Their maturity and honesty really moved me. For them, it was hurdle they tackled early. And for Abby to find someone who loved and cared for her as much as she did him made me feel so incredibly happy for her. I suppose if such a hurdle ever comes within sight in my own lane, I'll also do my best to decide on this important decision with my significant other.

~~~

In other news, a few days ago, I found this cute little animation program called "Pencil", and drew up with the following quick sequence:

video

Unlike flash programs and other digital animation software, this program mimics traditional animation, like a flip book with see-through layers. The interface looks a lot like paint, with the addition of a timeline and the ability to create frames. They also give you the option to see before and after frames, like a digital version of applying a lightbox. Unfortunately for Windows and Linux users, you can't export your sequence into a movie. But you can export it into a flash file, which you can then convert into mp4, avi, etc, using your own (or free online) methods.

I'm finding Pencil to be a really good tool for learning and practicing animation, though working on sequences with a tablet is still a little awkward. In the future, I think it would be nifty to try and animate a fight sequence...

Above: A sketch made to relieve stress just after my big final.

So here's to you, Yutaka Nakamura, genius fight animator and key animator for so many of my favorite anime. If I ever went and created an animated fight sequence, I'll send it to you as fan mail.

~~~

To leave off, here's a pic of a resistor menorah that I made for my laser harp in my Microcontrollers class:

Above: I only realized its resemblance afterwards...

I think it looks pretty cool - made the board a bit tidier, too. Too bad my class wasn't in the fall, because then this little resistor menorah would have been made around the appropriate holiday. ...Happy [early] holidays? :)

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