Reading the short introduction at Sutta Central: To let the Buddha speak for himself, my mind couldn’t help but think of ways how this could be done/improved. Recently, I happened to watch an animation tutorial.
I was amazed by the level of detail and realistic effects that could be achieved now. Then I thought, why not create an animation of the sutta discourse by the Buddha. Words directly from the sutta spoken by the Buddha can be quoted word for word and combined with CGI characters and environment of ancient India in a virtual world.
This is a huge undertaking I realize but the benefits outweigh the disadvantages. Animation currently is realistic, cutting edge and is no longer a media solely for children anymore, with more adults watching it than ever. More movies (including virtual reality ones) will be created with CGI characters in the coming future. Currently, a few very low quality cartoons regarding Buddhism garner 500k to 1+ million views on youtube. This alone easily outstrips the normal views garnered by an average dhamma talk. With high quality animation and Dhamma teachings that makes people reflect, I believe the number can be far greater than that.
More importantly current low quality kid’s cartoon on Buddhism mainly only shows the story of the life of the Buddha. While this is great, the effect would be better if suttas can be made into animated movies - delivering teachings with real life effect for children and adults, especially those unfamiliar with the teachings.
I again couldn’t help but do more investigation on the feasibility of this idea. The leading game engine for games and virtual reality is Unity (it is free to use, lowering production cost & more people can work on it collaboratively if it is feasible). And then there is the option of Autodesk Maya (paid), 3DS Max (paid) & Blender (free) for creating the assets (people, house, trees). Once the assets are created, it could be re-used in multiple different scenes and/or suttas. Blender & Unity has also open sourced many animations under the creative commons license. There are tutorials that would teach one how to build a modern high quality animated movie from start to finish. The tutorials are based on cutting edge animated movies, so you could build the same high quality, realistic animation.
I’ll try to investigate further if this is feasible so the word of the Buddha can be spread in the most accessible and current method. It would be great if SuttaCentral would like to consider this idea. I would appreciate any help, insight or resources to find out more if this is feasible. I apologise if anything I suggested or wrote is blameworthy. Thank you for your time reading.