Why Woodland Animation

Britains native broadleaf woodland is disappearing fast. Broadleaf trees, such as oak, ash and birch, have been part of the British landscape for hundreds of years and support a diverse and complex eco-system not found elsewhere. If we let our broadleaf woodland disappear through dereliction, mismanagement or convertion to fast growing non-native conifers then we will also be saying goodbye to the sight of bluebell woods, autumn colours and the home of countless lichens, birds and insects.

I created this 2D animation for Why Woodland, to help raise awareness of the threats to the British broadleaf woods. To find out more and show your support visit them on Facebook.com/whywoodland or on Twitter @whywoodland

This was animated using a combo of Adobe Photoshop and Premiere Pro CS5 and, after loosing the battle with the CS5 version, Flash CS4. The process has sustained my love for Photoshop, made me begin to appreciate Premiere (despite the complete debacle that was rendering) and, after hours fighting with animation in Flash CS4 and CS5, made me desperate to master animating in After Effects!!

As with all projects I loved and hated this project by turns and in equal measure. There are always little moments that punctuate a project and the fustration  and anxiety that I felt when faced with constantly crashing software, unfathomable formatting errors and render troubles was set in stark contrast against the fun of designing the tree-gobbling-money-machine (every home should have one!), the satisfaction of making the squirrel talk and the thrill of discovering the chromakey function in Premiere.



Explosive decisions!!

Well, I’ve just heard the latest (I doubt it will be the last) word in public insanity. 

On the news today, accompanying updates on the Governments latest proposal to fill up the country with nuclear power plants, comes a small segment looking at the good people of Bradwell, Essex, home to an ex-nuclear power plant. The governments proposal has meant that the 2nd generation power plant which has been left to rot since it decommissioned in 2002 will now be replaced by a shiny new one and the good people of Bradwell are happy. Citing that the plant was always a good economic and community bedrock they have said they will welcome the plant back. Fare enough, you might say, it was a good provider before and though it might explode and take out the town… country… planet… it at least brought life to the small community. Now here my understanding fails on 2 counts. First there is proof that plant has leaked nuclear waste and secondly good people of Bradwell have forcefully opposed the construction of a wind farm on the near by site.  

Perhaps it’s me. Perhaps nuclear power is the future – certainly the government believes it is. Perhaps I should go with the commonly held belief that if it’s not on my door step it doesn’t matter – lord knows that would be an easier approach. But I could not stand in front of the cancer producing monster that is nuclear power, look in to the eyes of the slathering beast and welcome it with open arms. Not whilst fighting a natural non-polluting alternative vying for the same site. 

Yes, I concede that a nuclear plant will produce more power then a wind farm would and I agree that nuclear power is less polluting then the fossil fuel alternative… but lets not get carried away here! Sure nuclear power produce less CO2 but let’s keep an eye on the wider issue here people!! This is nuclear power we’re talking about here… n.u.c.l.e.a.r! The same energy as  produced by Chernobyl, the same energy that was harnessed to cause the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. That has left pain and heart ache for generations in its wake. So let’s not get too hung up on CO2 emissions. We’re talking about building something that could kill millions if it went wrong – something that could end life on earth!  

So stuff CO2 emissions, the economy and the community spirit of a small Essex community – nuclear energy should be the last resort not the first!!  Read more about the UK politics of Nuclear power (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7179579.stm)