Something bad happened the other day. And it happened over and over and over. There was nothing I could do to stop it.
You see, I was in the middle of creating the Flash animation for my new logo. The Word Doctor, but we won’t mention him. As a Flash master, I totally suck. You need to be organized and meticulous, at least a partial left-brainer, someone who can remember lots of stuff at once – hold several thoughts in your mind simultaneously so that all your settings are correct when you change something. You can’t just dash madly into the middle of crap the way I do, trying to get it over with, and start fiddling around in there. It’s strictly an A, B, C, kind of thing.
I’m a one-thought guy. Plus I have problems with backwards and forwards. A time would come when I had to move an image forward on the timeline in order to sync up with the sound. So I would go to the timeline and move my doodle. Then I would start up the demo reel and by golly I’d gone the wrong way! I did that a lot. Was that the sound too soon, or the movement? Darn if I could remember, a lot of the time.
So anyway, there’s probably a way in Flash to preview a small section of one’s animation, with sound, instead of the whole thing, but as a Flash hater it’s my job to not go look stuff up – not to mention that the help section blows, of course. I had to watch the whole thing up to where my change was happening, when I needed to go make sure I didn’t screw up again. It’s running at 36 frames per second, and to make something hit the mark exactly, you have to nail it to the 36th of a second, or very close. Takes a lot of concentration.
As I got towards the end, this became very wearing. It’s a 90-second animation, which may seem short to someone who never tried Flash before, but man…over and over and over and over…and over! Lordy.
Nearing the last I would have to sit here and watch that darn thing for almost a minute and a half before the part I was fixing came up. By that time, often enough I daydreamed off and ended up missing the part I was supposed to check. So I’d have to play it over again, again. Literally thousands of times. I’ve been spending 12 hours a day on this thing for two weeks now. Good thing I ain’t got a life. Hope the neighbors have earplugs.
Finally I got fed up. What to do, what to do? I noticed some dust on my desk and rose and snagged a Kleenex and wiped it off. I always hated dusting – as one could ever tell when entering my apartment. But boy, dusting was heaven compared to sitting here and watching that animation again, with those hellish sounds re-percolating like borborygmus of Satan Himself in my tormented, sizzling brain pan.
So next time, I dusted some more, then some more again. What a relief not to watch that screen for the bajillionth time. And, hey, it was looking pretty good in here. You know, it’s been awhile since I polished my oaken battleship of a desk…. So eventually I busted out some years-old furniture polish. Did my desk and the mission-style antique lamp thereupon. Man, this is kinda nice! Smells good too.
Long story short, I’m still not done with the animation (upgraded to the CS4 production suite and now all the timing is off…oops!) but I live inside the most beautiful space my imagination could devise. It’s amazing, I swear. Every wooden surface gleams with an inward glow. No dust anywhere. I even used that polish with Q-Tips on the wooden model of a Fokker triplane on my desk. And to top it all off, and the very best of all, I got rid of the old crappy books that were overstuffing my bookshelves and spilling over into piles on shelves and my beside bureau. Ten bagsworth to The Bookworm in Boulder. My book collection is now available completely, and I know where each delicious volume sits in its undusty organized splendor. Used to be hidden under old skin particles and inside two layers of halfassed books on the shelves. I sure had some crap self-help.
What a relief to get rid of those old used-up thoughts! They were clogging my brain.
(oh yeah, the point of all this – you never know when something that sucks real bad is really good. And you can sure get a lot of dusting done in a minute. Who knew?)