Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Key Frames

For those not familiar with animation or video compression, a key frame is a frame of the movie that is sufficiently different from all previous frames that it cannot be defined as "like the previous one but ... ". In a film or animation these usually represent a change in scene, camera angle or lighting. They are the frames which take up most bandwidth, not just online, but in our attention and concentration as well.

I have realised that recently my life has been filled with key frames. It's like watching MTV 24/7.

Deaths, moving house, relationship break up, change in habits. For a few years my daily life was very much made up of 'inbetween' frames. A typical wednesday could be described as "like tuesday, but a bit sunnier". Suddenly I am experiencing days which bare little similarity to the ones that went before them. Unable to assume the big picture and simply note the changing detail, I have to give my whole attention to the unfamiliar sights and sounds around me.

And the nature of what counts as "a change" is changing in itself. How confusing!

Having lived in stone and concrete boxes for so long, where street-works and changes in shop ownership were the things that made up the differences, suddenly I am immersed in seasons, migration, weather, propagation ...

Last week I attended the funeral of a very special person. Her friends and family describe her most perfectly as "the sweetest" person they ever knew. Perhaps it's not so strange then that, for me, that time has been marked, key framed, as the week the grapes ripened.


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Blogger Dale said...


27 September, 2006 19:23  
Blogger Mary said...

What a beautiful tribute this is to your friend, Stray. A culmination, a ripening .....

I didn't know the key frame concept. Thank you for introducing me to it. It certainly resonates with me. Not just visually mark you, but with sounds, perfumes as well .... these can stay in the memory as well.

28 September, 2006 21:58  
Blogger Stray said...

Dale: did you know that the symbol (o) is the icon that appears on a key frame in most animation packages? Or was I just getting a hug (gratefully received)?

Thanks Mary ... yes, I sometimes forget that there are six types of memory. I must look up the radio 4 stuff about it ... fab.

28 September, 2006 22:27  
Blogger MB said...

Stray, this is a very rich and moving post.

28 September, 2006 23:24  
Anonymous Natalie said...

I love this key-frame interpretation of life's repetitious, and non-repetitious, flow. It clicks with me as well, especially as I did a bit of animation of the pre-digital kind (24 hand-drawn frames per second) and also a bit of the speedier computer kind. I really appreciate this image, Stray: now I will view the passing of almost-the-same-but-not-quite-the-same-days as frames in an as-yet unproduced animated film.

29 September, 2006 19:19  
Blogger Stray said...

MB: Thank you. Can't say much more than that really :)

Natalie: I'm glad it resonated. I think it will be helpful for me in future ... simply being able to recognise days as key frames or simple in-betweens, and allocate resources accordingly :)

Surely "Blaugustine - The animated movie" cannot be far away now?

29 September, 2006 21:41  
Anonymous Hydrocodone said...

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02 November, 2007 09:30  

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