I had wanted to show how transportation can take place through a book, into worlds seen by an author. I was also curious whether a storm would be possible to raytrace; this is why there are 97,000 drops of water falling between frames 360 and 960. So, in other words, I was still just exploring with this raytrace, trying to see what kind of time it took to render 1000 frames (which came out to nearly an hour per frame, which is a valuable lesson). I used the machines at the Colorado School of Mines Math department over spring break of 1998 in order to cut the render time down to a reasonable amount, but it still ran for the better part of a week on five total machines.
I am happy with this animation, though I would have liked having more motion during the storm sequence. I did learn quite a bit about camera motion curves and transitions, though, which should be manifest in my next works.
All rights to the above image and animation are reserved by its creator, Aaron Gage.