The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


May 26, 2009

Self-taught animator a 'tooned in teen'

LEWISBURG -- A few minutes toying with a physics simulation program while sitting in computer aided design class sparked Alex Ororbia's passion for animation.

Three years later, the 18-year-old Lewisburg Area High School senior has turned that brief flirtation into an award-winning 5-minute animated video he created from scratch on his own.

Ororbia, who is now working with an online team on to create an animated movie of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart," says once he discovered the potential for creating computer animation he was hooked.

"It's weird to think back at how all this got started," said Ororbia, who will be attending Bucknell University in the fall. "I didn't really like animation, definitely not at the level I do now."

The new-found hobby went to the next level when Ororbia came across Blender, a computer software program for 3D modeling, animation, rendering and interactive creation.

"It's free and a much better program than I was working with before," Ororbia said. "I started practicing on it and never really stopped. I spent considerable amount of time on the computer -- to the point my parents would tell me to get off it."

Ororbia used Blender to create his short movie, "Creative Chaos," teaching himself techniques by using the site's tutorials and good old fashion trial-and-error.

"There was a lot of going back and forth, tweaking things," Ororbia said of his first movie, which has garnered several awards and recognitions after taking nine-months to create.

The movie, "Creative Chaos," won best in graphic design with a screen shot at the Packwood House Museum's art show last month, first in animation at a regional high school computer fair and fourth at the state computer fair competition.

Additionally, Ororbia said the movie was entered into the FreshBrain Competition Scholarship where it placed in the top 20 out of 600 entries. The movie is about an artist in the middle of a drawing and discovers how art can come to life when the fruit of the tree tries to escape the drawing.

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