Life in CM

Final Year Project – To Go Beyond

“” I think I should cry over her death, but I just can’t”
“I still thank her for everything she gave me…”

(04/05/08) 附加︰
這是我在去年四月畢業作品Final Presentation上的講稿。呃,please simply ignore all the typo and grammatical mistakes,因為這是一個匆匆而寫下的稿子。阿頭Mike在Present後的答問環節問我「Do you hug with your mum often?」我想也沒想就答︰「No, but I hold her hand very often」我當下有點後悔為什麼我會寫了個這樣的故事給這條動畫,不過想深一層--對,我就是那種很難將自己內在的感情向別人啟齒的人--我就是這樣的 人,也沒什麼辦法啊,但有一樣東西我確實地傳達了出去,就是我在CM這幾年的動畫作品都傾向帶點淡淡的哀愁,且保守十足,某程度算是有了個風格,而FYP就是一個完整總結。這部動畫是我畫風中的一個重要的 轉捩點,我重新審視什麼樣的用色可以述說出內在的我,也令到我這年的畫都偏向了這些色調了。我有點討厭這樣,但到目前仍然對此無能為力。

– Objective –

It is just another simple story set in a corner of a world. Lives fade, lives continue, live to go beyond … and something that’s forever – Love.

An old lady leaves the world soon; a child has a future with thousand possibilities. In this animation, I would like to go back to the basic – a very simple story about the affection between two individuals.

I mostly relied on 2D hand draw animation to show the delicate changes of facial expression on human faces and the body languages.

This animation was mostly done with the software Adobe Photoshop. My style approach is watercolour liked shading with a feeling of real painting media. This software was convenience and flexible enough for me to execute that style I wanted.

– Keywords –

The Old Lady
The butterfly appears in the beginning is a hint of the old lady’s death in the end – Her spirit flies away as her life fades – but not before she passed everything or taught everything to the child- in her own way.

The Child –
She took care of the daily activities of two, who realized her a robot until the day she couldn’t cry for her master’s death.
Why does the child have to be a robot? –
Actually, I don’t really care about what the child is – she can be anything. The point of the animation is, to love something or someone real has no reason, no matter its/his/her identity. Love is just the ultimate thing that crosses every boundary. Love brought them together, that’s it.

Affection –
All the continuing, slightly actions, which show affection between people – e.g. caress, smile, comfort, staring with concern.

Books, lots of books –
I kinda projected my mother’s image onto the old lady. Yes, she read lots of books too, and reading to me a lot , which is probably a thing that many parents don’t do nowadays.

The cliff –
Staying beside a cliff can mean two things – in a negative way is you are going to end your life, in a positive way is you are reviewing your past, to comfort yourself or to find new inspiration, turn back and then go on with your life, to go beyond (notice the direction of camera panning in the last scene) . That’s why the cliff scenes were made and appeared twice.

– Technique –

The expression of characters –
I mostly relied on 2D hand draw animation to show the delicate changes of facial expression on human faces and the body languages.

Motion –
I used everything I can get a hold on to help me with the motion part of this animation – from shooting continuous photos, place a mirror by side and do the motion, or collect photos to study how human figures look in different perspectives… Then I drew the sequence of motion on layers in Photoshop’s.

Colouring –
After finishing the motions in outlines, the animation was painted in Photoshop. I used the wet media brushes to resemble a thick watercolour style with brushes of different opacity or blending mode. Those brushes gave a nice touch in texture.

Since I didn’t go for simple cell shading, I had quite a hard time to stabilize the shading throughout the frames. At last I did the shading in this way – put all the frames on same layers, coloring them in a style of factory production line. I found that it was pretty amazing to keep the shading not to jump too much among frames, but they still have a slightly different.

Style and approach –
Maybe my illustration style is a bit close to the Japanese’s’ style, yes I admit that I got so much inspiration from them.
Looking at the animation again – a slender and elegant, partly being realistic – is the style I wanna achieve when I draw.

Music –
At last it came out with a piece of piano music composed by me on my old piano. I played few songs impromptu – freely and without any written score, but stick to the same rough melody that is in my head for long time. After that I extracted 3 minutes from the songs I played (around 30 minutes in total.). You may hear some wrong notes inside, well, something that’s “handmade” can’t be all prefect. Since this animation got no conversation at all, but with the music I play I felt like I was the voice over. I was pretty surprised by how the music enhanced the mood of the animation – when my animation is not something filling with exciting or thrilling movements in every single second.

– Execution –

Naturally the original story was a bit more complex, and it was being dramatically extracted to a smaller scale (and a bit incomplete) after further consideration – cause I really wanted to go with a very detailed vision style. ,. Not until I did my very final rendering – the time proportion of different part of story – the rhythm of the moving of story is very strange, the ending is a bit too rush.

It was a pretty bad habit that I always set the standard too high before, at last when I wasn’t able to achieve. I felt totally depressed and something what I called a “Painter’s block” happened, making the situation even worse.

I also debated for quite some time about the vision style if I should make this animation without any outline, or even in a more abstract aspect.

Most of my time spent on coloring, which I never thought of before; I wish I had put more time on the animated parts.

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2 Comments

  • Ana - Makoarts August 14, 2008 at 11:19 am

    but the colors are simply beautifull.

    you should be pround ^__^

  • karla August 14, 2008 at 3:21 pm

    Thank you so much ^___^!

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