David Koblesky writes:
I am a motion designer at a large corporation where I create marketing videos and explainer animations with After Effects. In my off hours I create Animated Gifs using Blender, and also promote the work of other Gif artists and write about Animated Gifs as a unique art form.
I have recently published a video on Vimeo of a selection my Gifs called 'One Minute of Animated Gifs that I Created in the Past Year.' Some of these Gifs have been featured on the online art websites Ello, Curensea, and Selah.
Animated Gifs are unique because they do not fit into the traditional categories of animation. They are so short that it is does not really make sense to publish them on Vimeo or You Tube where you would traditionally publish animation. It would take longer to load the player than to view them once.
However, Animated Gifs are arguably one of the most powerful visual media today. People view and send billions of Gifs to each other every day, communicating the entire range of human emotion. In addition, Gifs as a medium are unique because of looping. When you watch them there is no real beginning or end. You watch until you no long want to watch. Part of the pleasure of really great Animated Gifs is watching them over and over. These are the kinds of things I write about in my blog, The Art of Animated Gifs.
Some of the best Gif Artists working today embody cutting edge animation design and technology. There is a large group of coders who create Gifs using only code, and the results are quite beautiful and engaging, such as in the work of Wavegrower and Ravenkwok. Another group creates Glitch Gifs, often with code, and sometimes by manipulating real wiring and circuits in game cartridges or video players, such as Chromovaldez or Lechemidipalo. Some artists create Gifs by hand, and some use traditional animation tools, such as Blender. There are examples in my blog and on Cross Connect.'
I am also a curator for Cross Connect, a Tumblr art blog followed by 250,000 + people. I find really interesting Gif artists like the ones I mentioned and post a selection of their work, often giving them exposure they rarely get other ways. Over the past year I have been lucky enough to post and get to know the work of many great Gif artists. I sometimes interview them at length about their work in my blog. I am always looking for new Gif artists, and welcome requests from interested artists.
I create my work own work in Blender with Freestyle. I also use the AnimAll addon to animate geometry, which I am very sad to see is not included in Blender 2.8. I like the ability to animate each vertex independently. It give me the ability to create unique effects that you can see in my Flower Gifs. However I am sure that I will find a way to do this in 2.8.'
I have been using Blender since 2.49 and still feel that it is something of a miracle that such a deep toolset is Open Source. I have used 3D tools back to the 90s and have used Max and Maya and C4D - and Blender is as good or better than any of them. But I could never afford to pay for a licensed 3D tool to create my own artwork with, so I love Blender and what Ton and the organization have done and want to give back to the community any way I can.