Stormin' Bob Swanson

Blogging Bob

An itch I gotta scratch

Like any other creative person, I go through periods when my artistic juices are flowing as well as “molasses moments.” Starting with writing a new tune (“Punderwater”) and reworking an existing tune (“The Weather Wiggle” as “The Tropical Twist”) for my “Dive into Science” tour this summer, the past few months have been one of those productive periods for me.

Being productive doesn’t necessarily mean writing a new song, however. Creating new content (a new video) for an old song also counts. Over the years, I’ve created videos for most of the songs on my CD, “Do the Weather Wiggle with Stormin’ Bob Swanson.” However, I’ve never done one for the first cut on the album, “How Hot Is It?” That is, until now . . .

I guess I envisioned it as an animated thing and that held me back for the longest time. Videos are vanity projects for me — there is no budget for them — so hiring someone to do it was out of the question. A kindie-music friend of mine (Patrick Adams) has been making his own videos and suggested Animaker, but even that requires a yearly subscription.

Casting about for a cheaper solution, I found out about Scratch — a free online animation platform created by MIT. Designed to teach kids about coding, it pretty much matches my level of technical ability. My eldest son, Daniel, was able to help some of the artwork I needed, but has little patience for coding so it fell to me to learn and harness the power of Scratch.

Any of my friends/fans using Scratch for your own coding projects (videos / video games)? Got any tips for me? Speaking of scratching, I’m thinking I might tackle my unreleased tune, “Why Don’t Dogwood Trees Ever Get Fleas?”, as my next music video project.


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