Going frame by frame in animation

Among the many Diamond Bar High School students who enjoy creating animation include a Brahma who has transformed his interest for gaming into animation and another who hopes to turn his interest for digital art into something bigger.

Junior Blake Holmes shares his animations on his Instagram account, @v_sorcerer_blake_.

He uses Source Filmmaker, an app on the gaming platform Steam, to create his animations.

On SFM, Holmes creates computer animations using characters from video games such as Team Fortress 2 and Half-Life 2, which are produced by the creators of Steam, Valve.

“My main inspiration for films and storytelling came from [SFM] because there are so many characters that I was able to use in my animations,” Holmes said.

When working on his projects, Holmes uses character models provided by SFM. His finished projects usually involve fast-paced fight scenes between superhero characters such as Venom or Spiderman.

Holmes said he hopes to turn his hobby into a career.

“I want to get good enough in animation where I can move away from SFM and go into another program like Blender,” Holmes said. “If that goes good then I want to start doing visual effects for film.” Blender is a 3D computer graphics software which is used to create digital videos with 3D models.

Holmes labors over each second of his scene to maintain the proper flow in  his animations.

“My longest project was 52 seconds in total,” Holmes said. “But that project took me four months to make.”

Junior Kelvin Wang, who uses digital art for his projects, started his Instagram account, @yearofanimation, in 2017. Some examples of his animations include scenes from the “Iron Giant” and fan projects for the pop band AJR.

Wang said he was inspired to begin animating after discovering a tablet for digital art that his family had in his house.

“My family had a Wacom tablet for a while and I already had a computer with a Photoshop program,” Wang said. “I didn’t want to go on Youtube and search up how to [animate] so I opened up the Photoshop app and I started playing around with it.”

Wang said that though he enjoys making animations in his free time, the process can become tedious since it takes much time and patience to complete a project.

“I would have to draw many pictures and place them several milliseconds behind each other,” Wang said. “Then I use a video editor to stitch the pictures together.”

Just like Holmes, Wang also wants to transform his pursuit into a profession.

“Animation is a really big passion of mine and I really want to take it somewhere,” Wang said.