The Flagship Visits Animatron!
Today, our intern Jayant from Medford, MA will be guest blogging about our recent trip to Animatron Studios!
Saturday, eight Clubhouse members, including myself, took a field trip to the Animatron studios in Cambridge. Here's how our day went:
Around 10:30, we walked to Animatron, which was only about 5 minutes away from the Museum. Once there, we met in the their conference room and were given a quick introduction to the company and its founder, Dmitry. We also met Kate, the marketing manager for Animatron, and Bryce, a developer and programmer.
We were then given a tour of the space, which was like a corporate version of the Clubhouse in the sense that the designers of the space make accommodations for its employees. The first thing we saw was this sort of exercise machine in which you one gets on the machine, straps their legs in, and then flips over almost 180 degrees! This machine is used to relieve the back pain encountered by the employees from sitting down such long hours. Right next to this fantastic machine were two hanging chairs, which I must say were very fun!! Right next to the chairs was the kitchen and meeting table. The meeting table was a place where everyone could get together and talk and relax and bounce ideas off each other, sort of like the Green Table at the Clubhouse. The main room was where the work got done. There was giant bean-bag chairs, small working stations, and some offices. One cool thing was the moving desks, where employees could adjust the height of the table and convert it to a standing desk, so not to strain the back. There was also a Foosball table, video games, a Ping-Pong table, and a pull-up bar at the Studio, and these things were there not only for fun, because, as Bryce and Kate told us, these things provide an external activity that actually helps and promotes thinking!
After a short 15 minute break in which we got refreshments and played some of these games, Bryce showed us some basic techniques and tools to use when creating an Animatron. We then teamed up and started working on our own projects! I was working with Kelsey, a Clubhouse volunteer from Vancouver, and we decided to create an Animatron for the Clubhouse.
We duplicated an existing project and used that basic framework for our animation. After a bit of toying around with all the tools, we were finally getting the hang of it! The site also has this cool feature that allows multiple users to share and work on a single project together in real-time, which was helpful because it allowed Kelsey and I to divvy up tasks and work faster and more productively. We were playing around with the text and colors. We had already know the function of a lot of the tools because they were similar to those of Photoshop and Illustrator. The timeline of the animation was relatively easy to understand to me because I had experience with movie maker and music producing. For first-time users of Animatron, it's fun to play with and easy to get the hang of it!
Afterwards, we all came together in the conference room and shared our work. We watched everyone's projects and got feedback from Dmitry, Kate, and Bryce, as well as the fellow Clubhouse members. We also had apples and mini-waffles!
At the end of the fun-filled field trip, we were given some Animatron shirts (which, by the way, are very soft) and we took some group pictures. We thanked Animatron for inviting us and having us over, and we look forward to using Animatron at the Clubhouse this summer!