Aspiring animator works with YouTubers to gain experience

Shravani Page | Staff Writer

With a world constantly revolving around technology, teenagers have been inspired to innovate, create, and experiment with new platforms. 

Freshman Grady Roeper has worked with animation since he was 9 years old. He is self taught and learned to animate through online tutorials and experimentation. He first used his knowledge to animate videos on Roblox. After that, he started to use more advanced platforms such as Cinema 4D.

“My journey started with Roblox videos with my friends and family,” Roeper said. “It basically went from there and I picked up stuff like stop motion animations from my iPad. So, I created a small channel and started making actual animations from there, and it got kind of popular.”

It usually takes Roeper around four hours minimum per week to work on animation projects. He manages to balance these with school and his life at home.

“I remember when I was younger and it took me three weeks on a project because I was still learning it,” Roeper said. “Now, it usually depends on what I’m working on. But, it takes me maybe around two hours per animation.”

Eventually, Roeper got noticed by an animation channel called Sub, which currently has nearly 4.7 million subscribers. Roeper had the opportunity to work with the channel creator a few times for videos. 

“I entered a contest three or four years back which these YouTubers made in Roblox,” said Roeper. “I made a pretty high quality animation for it and spent around 3 months on it. I just did it for fun, but [Sub] really liked the quality of it and messaged me asking if I wanted to make animations with him.” 

Roeper created his personal channel during elementary school and used that to practice with different types of animation and to share his creations. He said he began experimenting on his YouTube channel and that helped him practice and gain experience. 

“I started making these videos so that I could see how far I could take the engine,” Roeper said. “As a kid, I made these for fun and made a couple hundred dollars from it. It was actually from one of these videos that I got noticed by Sub.”

On top of working with Sub, Roeper has also worked on creating animations and scripts for Youtube channels such as CircleToonsHD. Through these small jobs, he started to make a profit. Money from commissions have allowed him to purchase new equipment and move forward with his hobby. 

“I have to make two videos per week,” Roeper said. “I feel like this has changed a lot of things. I’ve been able to buy a nice computer and equipment. I think I might be able to buy a car soon, too.”

Roeper has also worked with other channels, such as VS Games, for which he got the opportunity to write the script. Writing a script consists of writing down the actions of the character(s) in the animation which then gets transferred to an animator who animates and adds in detail.

“I used to create these little Roblox animations and then I started working on this channel called VS Games,” Roeper said. “After writing my script for VS Games, the animator messaged me and asked if I wanted to do stick animations. So he gives me the script, and I do all the scenes setup and I edited it and I have the sound effects and stuff like that.”

Moving forward, Roeper said animation is something he would consider when choosing a career. It is something he said he has been interested since he was younger and is eager to learn more about it.

“My career at that point was either going to be [animation] or making video games, because I also liked doing that when I was a kid,” Roeper said. “I still make videos for fun. It’s just kind of fun to animate something, and then it turns out pretty well and looks pretty cool.” 

It’s been years since Roeper created his first animation, and he said he doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon. For him, animation has helped him form connections with other animators and continue to improve himself. 

“I like to create things,” Roeper said. “I started making videos because I just thought it was fun. It’s really satisfying when you put a lot of work into something and it pays off.”

Photo by Shravani Page.