Will It All Work Out?

I usually write about my daughters. For some reason this is sons’ week. Just because children grow up, it doesn’t mean their stories end…


Something really exciting happened yesterday. It was something that confirmed my opinion that every single one of our children has a place in this world, despite appearances. I’m writing this post for anyone who has a child that is ‘different’. Do you know what I mean? A child that wasn’t made in the same mould as most other people. One that is unique and special.

My story started years ago. It started with a son who had an irresistible grin… and no interest whatsoever in conforming. I wondered if I should encourage that son to be like everyone else. Or perhaps I needed only to trust that one day he’d find his own place in the world?

At first, I tried to change him, then I decided to let him be who he is, though I had my moments of doubt. I encouraged him to step outside his comfort zone every now and then, but wondered if I should do more. Don’t we all have to conform to a certain extent?

Yesterday I saw my son absolutely in his element. He exuded confidence. He came to life in a way that made me very excited…

A couple of weeks ago I found this wonderful animation software program called Muvizu. I thought the girls might enjoy playing around with it. I thought I might have some fun with it too. I started exploring the program and got very excited about the possibilities. I watched some tutorials and set to work making my first video. But it wasn’t as easy as it looked. I found out I’m hopeless at navigating my way through 3D worlds. I kept losing my characters, as well as my props. I couldn’t position my cameras correctly. It was a bit frustrating and, for me, very hard work.

I mentioned Muvizu to my eldest son Duncan.  I told him about my navigating problems. “If only I didn’t keep losing my scene, I could make a wonderful movie, I’m sure.” Then I added, “Hey, why don’t you have a look at Muvizu? You have some free time now your uni semester has finished.”

Duncan’s eyes lit up. He has always liked messing about with film making and animation. They’re his passions.

A few days later, I asked Duncan how he was going with Muvizu.

“I’m working everything out,” he told me.

“You could watch a few tutorials,” I suggested.

Then a couple of days ago, Duncan told me his very first Muvizu movie was finished. “Can I see it?” I asked. So he sent me the Youtube link and I watched. Wow!

“That is so good!” I told Duncan. “I can’t believe you made that so quickly. How did you do it?”

“I just worked it all out.”

“You didn’t watch any of the tutorials?”

Duncan shook his head.

I watched tutorial after tutorial and I ended up with a very simple, inexpert 13 second clip. Duncan ignored all the instructions and ended up with a very entertaining video that lasts for over 4 minutes. I just don’t understand it. Except I do really.

I think back through the years. I see a boy making swords and helmets, dressing up and shooting his own movies with my camcorder.  I see a teenager in a wig and a cloak, twirling a cane as he performed in a Gilbert and Sullivan musical. I see Duncan editing my home movies, adding special effects. I see him spending hours and hours on the computer ‘working things out’. I see Duncan involved with a passion.

And last night I had this overwhelming feeling that Duncan is going to be using his passion to do something remarkable in the world. Yes, he might very well be an excellent teacher when he finishes his Masters degree, but I suspect he’ll also be involved in movie making / animation. That’s his passion. That’s who he really is. You know what I wish? I wish I could go back in time and encourage Duncan’s passions to a fuller extent. I wish I’d valued his unique talents more. I wish I hadn’t quietly pushed him into a more ‘people’ orientated career, instead of encouraging him to stay with his computer.  But it’s never too late. I think Duncan’s going to find that unique place in the world regardless of my mistakes. I think it will all work out perfectly.


Would you like to see Duncan’s video? Of course, he didn’t compose or record the music. He borrowed it. But the animation is his. He created characters, modified them, put together scenes, recorded the action, positioned his cameras, adjusted the lighting… He just worked it all out.


Update:

I hope everyone, who wanted to, had a look at Duncan’s video. I decided to remove it because of music copyright reasons. But… he has almost finished a new Muvizu movie. If you’re interested I’ll post that one soon!

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Comments

  1. Again, very encouraging!

    1. Reply

      Thank you! It's was lovely to see another comment from you. Thank you for taking the time to stop by.

  2. Reply

    Brilliant!!!

    1. Reply

      Thank you, Natalie! I'll pass the comment along to Duncan. I bet he grins!

  3. Reply

    He did an amazing job, the Jack Black song made me smile. It really was professional!

    1. Reply

      Emmie,

      I hadn't even heard of this song. (I have to admit I don't keep up with such things.) It was a good choice for animating. Thank you so much for watching and for your encouraging comment!

  4. Reply

    Duncan's animation is very good, and very funny!

    I find that people learn is so many different ways. I'm the only one in this family who will bother to read instruction mauals and follow instructions sequentially to get things done, but my husband and my son just jump right in, "play around with things" (as they call it) and get the job done anyway. They flatly refuse to follow step-by-step instructions. Duncan sounds very similar. 🙂

    Thank you for sharing the stories of your grown-up children. I find reading your experiences to be very enlightening and reassuring.

    1. Reply

      Hwee,

      I've been thinking a lot about how different people learn in different ways. I am learning how to use my DSLR camera and I've found that Youtube videos are very helpful. I like to see rather than read. I tend to skim words quickly and get into a muddle. Maybe playing around with things is a male thing. It seems to work for your men and ours!

      I always love sharing with you, Hwee. Thank you for reading my post!

  5. Reply

    Fantastic- it reminds me of L70ETC (WoW-related). And just playing around Yeah! That's the way to get things done. Compliments galore to Duncan!

    1. Reply

      Uglemor,

      I just googled L70ETC. I didn't know what it meant! I bet my boys know though. Now your comment makes sense. Yes! Perhaps all those people who say, "Read the instructions very carefully before you begin," aren't right after all…. at least that's not the best way for a lot of people.

      Thank you for the lovely comment. I'll pass your words onto Duncan. (He never reads my blog!)

  6. Reply

    Haha–I loved the video!! (I guess it helps that I'm a fan of Jack Black.) But very well done! I'll have to pass the Movizu stuff along to my kids. And the video. 🙂 And I get what you mean, too, about being a "different mold". Trusting is so hard; I always try to tell myself that verse, "I know not the plans I have for you, plans for good and not for evil." (I looked it up; that's Jeremiah 29:11, and not the best paraphrase.) But that's the verse I try to recall for encouragement. That, and read things like this. Thank you.

    1. Reply

      Lynne,

      Thank you for returning to post the exact quote. You know, I am hopeless at quoting. I always get into a muddle when I'm chatting to my Jehovah's Witness friend who sometimes stops by. I always know the essence but never the exact words. Anyway, your quote is perfect, That's worth printing out and pinning to a noticeboard or the fridge.

      I reckon I should play more computer games. If I did, then I would have better control over the mouse and I could use such programs as Muvizu much more easily. I bet your kids would enjoy this program.

      So lovely to chat. Thank you for your comment!

    2. Reply

      Well I see that I REALLY messed up the Bible verse. I'll just copy and paste it, so as to get it right this time: For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

    • Eva
    • July 1, 2014
    Reply

    Very American :), the movie I mean.

    You know, I sometimes wonder if it all works out too, especially when my two oldest take such long showers in the morning that it drives me crazy! But then I wonder if I was any different that age. We tend to forget . .

    So funny, what Robbie wrote. When I picked up Charlotte today from her session with her elderly friend, the lady quoted exactly the same passage! She said she tried to instill into her children that verse when they were little. Now she needs this verse, because she is about to move again and has to get rid of so much furniture that have a meaning to her. She wants to show her children and grandchildren that she still lives by this verse herself and that her life still has a purpose, even though she thinks that this will be the last move in her life.

    1. Reply

      Eva,

      We have one child who spends a long time in the shower, despite being asked to hurry along. I think it's got a lot to do with the type of person he is. He forgets. His mind is elsewhere and he doesn't even realise time is passing.

      Thank you for sharing the story of your friend and her house move. I can identify with that. So many times we have had to move and not wanted to. It has always worked out. Yes, example speaks very loudly. I bet your friend taught so much to her children and grandchild by living out these words.

      It's always lovely to catch up with you, Eva. Thank you for stopping by!

      • Eva
      • July 8, 2014
      Reply

      Hm, I have two so far. Turning 14 seems to mean taking long showers here. I wonder if all the others will be like that. So far the little ones are taking baths.

  7. Reply

    I showed my son this. He was blown away and (his words) thought it was 'sooo cooool, mummy!' He has been trying to get his head around animating but has really found it very hard. Thanks for sharing, it's inspired T not to give up!

    1. Reply

      Claire,

      Your son will really enjoy this program. I had trouble navigating through the 3D space but I'm sure most children who are used to playing computer games could handle this much better than me. Most of the characters and props are already created. They just need modifying. Positioning the cameras and directing the action is the hardest bit. I have trouble visualising a story scene by scene and deciding where the cameras should be. Duncan can see all that very easily. He did some film studies at university, as part of his Bachelor's degree. Maybe that helps. The software is a free program. Perhaps your son could download Muvizu and play around with it.

      Thank you so much for your comment!

  8. Reply

    Fantastic video!

    I read a study recently that tested 3 and 4 year olds and college students to look at how quickly they figured out new technology. The little kids were much better and faster at picking up new things, and the researchers thought that it was because the little kids tried many different approaches: they messed around with it, while the adults tended to decide how it should work, and then keep trying one approach. They said that the kind of creative thinking they saw in small children usually was gone after a few years of schooling.

    There's an answer to that, I'm sure! 🙂

    1. Reply

      Wendy,

      Your comment is so interesting. It reminds me of a TED talk I watched not so long ago. A computer, without instructions, was left in an Indian village where it was discovered by the local children. They experimented and soon got the computer running. Have you seen that talk? I'll have to find the link. It was worth watching. Actually, I've forgotten some of the details so I'd like to watch it again myself!

      I think I know what the answer to that is!

    • Miu
    • July 16, 2014
    Reply

    Unfortunately I cannot watch the movie because of music copyright issues…

    1. Reply

      Miu,

      I'm sorry you didn't get to see the video. Yes, music copyright reasons… It must have been due to the country you live in. I could view it fine. However, I decided to remove the video just in case it causes us copyright problems. I'll post Duncan's next video soon! Thank you so much for stopping by to let me know about this problem!

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