Shuttleworth Foundation Flash Grant

( читать по-русски | Russian translation )

Suddenly I’ve got a letter from Shuttleworth Foundation:


You have been nominated by Jonas Öberg to receive a Shuttleworth Foundation Flash Grant to work on your projects. … We tasked our Fellows to seek out and nominate an impressive change agent, who may not be able to concentrate on their brilliant idea yet. This grant is for the sum of $5,000 and will be awarded to you personally to bring that idea forward.

I was really shocked about this and honestly I would think it’s someone’s joke, if it would not mention name of Jonas Öberg, who I’m happy to know personally. In any case, the money are here now and I’m enormously thankful to Shuttleworth Foundation for such an amazing act of trust and of course to Jonas Öberg for recommending me.

What does it mean. It means that at least the next half of the year I won’t need to waste my efforts on doing commercial jobs to make my living. Instead I can use all my time to concentrate on my animation-related open-source activities. Consequences will follow.

Where the money will go. Considering the analysis given in my LGM report, it’s pretty logical that those money will go for Synfig development. I am going to put them for establishing the full-time development. It was mentioned that Synfig doesn’t have a “human resource gap” for that and I’m going to fill that gap by myself. Yes, that means I’m moving to Synfig as full-time developer.

This is not an easy decision, because the real full-time dedication requires sacrificing my other projects – at least for significant period. But talking about Morevna Project, let’s be honest – we have no resources to start the production of new episode in closest future. It’s not about money resources only, we have significant technological gaps that needs to be filled before. And the success of activities in Morevna is highly depend on the stability of situation in Synfig. So it’s not really a sacrifice – it’s the necessary investment into our future.

In fact, the decision of me moving to full-time into Synfig was already taken a weeks before today. We have discussed situation with Carlos López González and come to conclusion that I’m the only one who can make this step at the moment. Today everyone works on Synfig in their free time only. My goal is to show  how one full-time dedicated person can influence the development. This should allow to give an estimations of results for a certain amount of sponsorship, which is necessary for attracting an investors and thus establishing the stable funding. The stability of funding would allow to expand the count of full-time employed developers and when this happen I believe  my presence in the project will not be that crucial.

So, it is really important which results I will be able to show during this period. This is an awesome and exciting experiment, and thanks to the Shuttleworth Foundation it’s going to expand to the new scale. In the period of my full-time dedication I plan to make the process of development as transparent as possible. Most likely that will be done in the same way as we did for Morevna Project Demo – in the form of weekly reports. Also, in November 2013 I will publish a report, summarizing the results for the period.

Unfortunately, due to my current obligations I can’t move to full-time immediately – I need time to wrap up my current project and finish some tasks. Thus, my work on Synfig as full-time developer will start on 1st of August 2013. But June and July months will not be wasted! You probably remember another priority outlined in my LGM report? That’s it, as an investment into Synfig development, the part of the funding will be used for producing training DVD! (or whatever medium that will be – DVD looks so much outdated now). The main part of this work will be done by Nikolai Mamashev – he will record all the visuals and make the editing. My responsibility is the content planning, methodical assistance and general directing. And Julia Velkova is ready to give us a hand with translation into English and narration.

That’s my rough plan. Of course life can bring some corrections, but I think you got the general outline. Let’s together celebrate the beginning of the new phase and… back to work! ^__^

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18 Responses

  1. Awesome! Congratulations, and I’ll follow your progress with keen interest. With Krita, we have definitely concluded that having someone sponsored to do full-time development helps enormously to take an application to the next step.

  2. Good Luck. Will the dvd include a lib-ray version? Also are you open to ideas?

  3. Thank you, everyone! I’m so happy to see everyone celebrating the fact together! ^__^

    This is what I strongly believe. ^__^ For me Krita is an example to follow!

    @john smith:
    I’m not sure about Lib-ray yet, but it’s possible we will follow their specification. In any case, most likely we will publish all the sources so anyone can edit (re-format or add a new language, for example). Answering your second question: I am open to ideas, as long as I keep my freedom to take decision on rejecting them.

  4. I have an idea K.I.S.S(Keep it simple stupid) How about for the video tutorial you follow the wiki manual
    I like how simple penguin tutorials videos are
    Plus it would be a great way to improve the wiki.
    Another idea would be to make a GPL version of the HTML 5 Canvas player
    To use on the Synfig wiki so that a downloadable version of the Synfig manual with videos will be included with all new Synfig releases.
    An example of a good tutorial series is the Krita Series

  5. I’ve been following Morevna Project off and on for a long time now. This is great news!

  6. @John Smith:
    About doing the video tutorial reproducing the wiki: This is definitely what we are NOT going to do. Blindly reproducing the wiki doesn’t bring anything new. There are lot of tutorials reproducing the wiki manual, so such work will not add anything. More than that, the target of training DVD is to give a complete guide for mastering particular technique. And that’s where the current wiki manual fails – because it tries to describe everything. I can give more arguments, but I think it’s already enough.

  7. By the way will the video tutorial result in improvements in the wiki. Also you haven’t answered by question of whether the video tutorials of this training DVD will be built in new versions of Synfig kina like adobe does.

  8. @john smith:

    Producing training DVD and improving the wiki are two different targets. We are concentrating on the first one.

    Training DVD won’t be integrated into Synfig. Making it part of Synfig would require the need to update the video series with each release of Synfig. Surely that’s a terrific amount of work which we can’t afford. So, training DVD is a separate product. But training DVD will contain compatible binaries of Synfig for Linux, Windows and Mac.

  9. Wow. Somehow I missed this news when it happened. Congratulations on the grant! You are certainly highly deserving of it. Will be looking forward to seeing the training DVD when it comes out.

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