A small and severely repressed part of me has always had a fascination with the world of animation. It's a world I hardly understand and often find intimidating. However, the possibilities of animation and it's application lure me in to this scary world.
So just this past week I downloaded a couple of free programs to "test the waters" before jumping in. The first program is not an animation program, it's a free opensource graphics editor called GIMP. This program allows me to try hand at manipulating graphics without having to drop the money on Photoshop - at least not yet. If all goes well and I do enjoy this kind of work then I will likely go with the industry standard from Adobe.
The second program is called Blender - a completely free 3D graphics animation application. I've seen some pretty amazing uses for this program and I'd like to eventually reach a level where I could produce entire sequences and tell stories. But there is a hugely steep learning curve with this program. It's not unattainable but it presents a considerable challenge before I have any level of mastery. In fact, just upon opening the program it is completely unclear what you're even looking at and even after a week of reading and tinkering, I'm still pretty lost the majority of the time.
An example of an animation created in Blender:
Felled from realitivity on Vimeo.
We'll see just how much effort I'm actually willing to put in by my progress in learning the program. I'll let you know...