Animated Snapshot of Grandma’s Old Apartment

I kind of threw this together in 2 days, probably a total of around 8-12 hours or something like that. I made this for my dad’s (well, now belated) birthday.

What I want the “main piece” to be is a Flash file (the .swf file) that can be viewed here if your browser can play Flash.

Otherwise, you can view it here as a video:

It’s not really meant to be an animation in the traditional sense as it is supposed to be a sort of atmospheric snapshot that happens to be moving. I wanted it to be Flash because you don’t have to hit a “play” button, and it’s to be viewed like an image that moves, but also has sound for the nostalgia that brings you back to the 90’s… if you were into NES or ever played the NES cartridge that was referenced in here.

I couldn’t find the other audio from the cartridge, “Super 190-in-1.” It’s apparently very rare.

I went with “Balloon Fight” as the game we were actually playing here. We played many other games on that one cartridge — the only 2 others we had I think were Super C and Super Mario Brothers.

As you can probably tell, the main target audience is my dad and my brother. The apartment was in the Lower East Side in Manhattan, very close to China Town. I was always pretty bored over there, so most of my time was spent either playing the NES with my brother or drawing pictures. My dad always napping because he worked a lot and the commute from his house to my grandma’s place was anywhere between 1-3 hours each way.

I really didn’t feel like digging through my things, which are mostly packed away (because I’m kind of in the middle of moving at the moment), to find more accurate depictions of my grandma’s old apartment. So the entire image of her apartment is done from memory. Like the table lamp, for example. I don’t think I’ve seen these objects in this context in over a decade.

I’m mildly curious about the choice of decor here — like the ceramic dragon and the jade elephant, sure. Traditional Chinese family. But what about the lamp that looked vaguely tribal or something? What about the painting above the couch? *Shrug*

The TV also had an antenna. I didn’t include it because I didn’t want to block my brother’s face, but if we wanted to watch TV, I remember spending a lot of time with my brother adjusting the antennas to get better signal.

As for the production of this piece, I drew a bunch of separate images in GIMP, ripped some audio off of Youtube, edited it in Audacity then threw together the images and audio in Adobe Animate CC 2017. I tried ToonBoom Harmony first, but it kept auto-smoothing the images. I also couldn’t figure out how to sync the audio because the audio wouldn’t scrub frame-by-frame. So I couldn’t really find a practical way of syncing the audio more. I also didn’t bother with ensuring best audio quality. There’s some leeway here because it’s 8-bit music anyway, though. The main products are the GIF’s, the still images, the Flash file and the video file.

Video game music sure was catchy back then.

Happy Belated Birthday, Baba! 😀

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