More than 20 children, ages 8 through 17, have learned to use the tools to make sophisticated videos this summer in a 3D-animation continuing education course at Chattanooga State Technical Community College, the Chattanooga Times Free Press reports. "Kids can do the stuff that they see [in the movies]," said Joel Gerlach, 18, the course instructor who has an associate’s degree from the school.
"There is no limitation on being young. I started doing this stuff when I was 10. You can start now, and you can start using that creativity and the imagination that is embedded in you at the beginning and use that as a solid foundation with the tools that are available now." The class used Blender, an open-source software program that is used for animation, modeling, and movie production, as its primary tool. Kris Simmons, owner of Fire Eye Productions, a Chattanooga video production and web site design studio, said such instruction "is opening their eyes to a career choice. … With everything they’re doing online, it’s amazing that you can go … and put together a photo montage or video with tools that are free. I never had that available. We didn’t have access."

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