Am I learning the right tools? – Retirement Diary #3

One of the biggest issues a lot of newbies run into is deciding what tools to learn. I want to animate, so do I learn traditional 2D animation and pick up a free tool like Synfig or OpenToonz, or do I work on learning something 3D like Blender and figure out how to make my animations look like I want?

Blender is not easy. I’m still going through the basics of the interface and terminology. It’s intimidating, and I’m constantly seeing people posting about “how I created this amazing 30-second animation in 3 weeks.” Three weeks??

My goal is that, within two years, I’ll be able to create 10 minutes a week, not 10 seconds a week. And who knows? I might be able to do that. I’d like to think that I can not only learn what I need, but find ways to optimize and automate my workflows using my own coding skills and AI so that I am able to create 10 minutes of finished product every week. And that’s on top of being able to put out a song a month and a novel a year.

I’ve set myself a lofty goal. In 2027 I want to write one novel, compose and produce a 12-track album, and write, draw, direct, animate, voice, and score 26 episodes of a cartoon series (or two)… by myself… with the help of my coding skills, artistic talents, and AI.

So with that demanding goal, I’m constantly asking if I’m learning the right tools to help me do that. Am I on the right path or heading down a dead end. You learn from your mistakes more than your successes, but I’d like to make small mistakes, not major ones.

If I don’t reach that goal, do I admit my experiment was a failure and go looking for a job? Do I soldier on? I’m lucky that I have 2.5 years in which to answer these questions and to watch (and possibly help) AI tools evolve to the point where they enable me to meet it.

Still, I’m probably wasting a couple of hours a week on watching videos about other tools and wondering… “is that the one I should use?”

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