Unit 3 Review

Hi friends,
We’ve already reached the end of term! Time really flies. I’m not sure how I feel about this chapter ending. I think I already miss my classmates and lecturers. It’s really been a great 2 years and I’ve met the most kind, patient, generous people here. I wonder when we will all meet together again? Will we all meet again? Here’s a photo from last year of all of us.

So, I’ve decided to dedicate this post to sharing with you my personal feelings about the submission today. Overall, I’m quite happy with my submission as it was truly, truly the best that I could have offered. There’s been numerous all nighters (including this one haha) but it all came together in the end.

When I watch my graduation film, there’s still alot I want to improve on. Perhaps the timing and maybe re-recording some of the onion / garlic voices. I think this is something to consider doing before the Big Show!

Figure 1: Scene from my graduation film, ‘Unique’ [1].

What I’m pleased with?
Effort: First of all, i’d like to give myself a pat on the back. Only 6 months ago, I was so unfamiliar with maya, After Effects, Premiere, Animation in general – ALL of these software. Even within maya, rigging was a completely new thing to me. I invested alot of time and effort into learning these under pressure and truth be told, it was really hard and frustrating at times.
However, such a steep learning curve only allowed me to learn and now I feel much more equipped in various skills.
The music : I am truly pleased with Dan’s compositions. His music really brought the animation to life and conveys the world that I envisioned. It helped pace the movie in a way that makes it cinematic.
The overall look: The matte, soft look really came through with this render. I also want to try rendering with others like RedShift one day! But for now, I’m very happy with it!

Figure 2: Scene from my graduation film, ‘Unique’ [1].

What would I changed?
– I think I would have looked after myself a little better if I were to do it again. I was often sleeping very little hours, sitting with poor posture, not doing exercise, consuming junk food while rushing for the deadline. I’m really feeling the effects of it now haha! Don’t worry, I’ll be sure to rest up now.
– Spending more time over the holidays learning software like After Effects properly. It would have sped up my production and editing time significantly if I were more prepared beforehand.
– Being a bit more brave with the animation poses. Sometimes I feel like I’m limiting my characters because I’m scared of ‘too much’. I think being more loose with my animation might make the performance more organic. This is something I will keep building on!

I’m really happy with the outcome but I’m ready to make something even better soon! I hope everyone has been well.

Stay safe,
Until next time,

[1] Unique. 2020. [film] Directed by K. Chan. United Kingdom.


The short that I’d like to share with you today is called ‘Armstrong’ by Russ Etheridge. 

It’s a very eye catching piece on the list of Vimeo staff picks. It tells the story of a heroine solving a moon mystery. As soon as the moon disappears, things start to get a little strange. We anticipate the solution to this mystery thought the film [1].

On Russ Etheridge’s website, she shares that her unique style stems from a place of simplicity. She wishes to remove all the unnecessary and just keep the minimal that is required to tell the narrative. 

figure 1: shot from ‘Armstrong’ [1].

Moreover, her unique style is the result of hybridising 2D artwork and styles onto 3D structures. The 2D style gives it a unique and refreshing aesthetic, why the 3D gives the short a little more depth. There are also scenes with only 2D which works really well because it’s not jarring. It also fits in with the overall look of them film.

figure 2: shot from ‘Armstrong’ [1].

What I like the most about this is the overall look of them film. It’s very unique and has a personality of its own. Moreover, the colour palette chosen really suits both the story and the medium.

The choice of choosing minimal is something that I also incorporated into my graduation film ‘Unique’. I felt the same, in that it lets the audience and myself give attention to the key bones that tell the story. Overcrowding shots may do you very little favour. Moreover, it’s an aesthetic on its own. Exploring a little outside to touch on various different colour palettes and implementing 2D designs into 3D is something that I’d like to try out this summer!

figure 3: shot from ‘Armstrong’ [1].

In terms of story, it’s not one that I’m overly keen on. I recently enjoy animations with a bit more depth and meaning. In terms of artistic animation, this would cut it for me. However, something with a bit more meaning would stay with me for longer. I’m still unsure what the message or point of this film is after watching it.

Did you like it? Let me know what you think! 🙂

Until next time,



[1] Etheridge, R., 2020. ARMSTRONG. [ Video ] Available at: <https://vimeo.com/388446129> [Accessed 1 June 2020].

For The Birds

Hey everyone! I hope we’re all well and safe in these strange times. These days, I’m looking for animations or art that will help me write my essay in the coming weeks. Therefore, I wanted to find films with a similar theme and I came across this short called ‘For The Birds’ by Pixar. I’ve seen this many times. However, the raw message of it really hit home when I searched for it [1].

(For The Birds, 2000)

My thoughts:

The first time I watched this, I found this so humorous! It’s so cute and funny. It depicts a story of bullying and how the bullies suffer from their own actions in the end.

(For The Birds, 2000)


– Being different: The theme of being left out for being different is a key theme here. Visually different. The bird that joins is visually bigger and a different breed altogether.
– Strength in numbers: A natural instinct really. If it were one bird vs one bird, the scenario may play out different, especially as the bullied bird is much bigger and perhaps stronger.

(For The Birds, 2000)

– Belonging: A sense of longing to belong to a group. We see the singled out bird is eager to join in and make friends – as he perches himself right in the centre of the row of smaller birds.

(For The Birds, 2000)

– The last laugh: A lesson here for the bullies out there. You reap what you sow. This is a playful film with a serious message and educational value to youngters.

(For The Birds, 2000)
(For The Birds, 2000)

– I’ve been trying to figure out how to place my title for my short film this week and this actually helped alot. I considered modelling a fancy title but when I saw how effective a simple text layered over background could be – especially when time is limited in short films – I took inspiration from this!

(For The Birds, 2000)

The scenario here is not complicated – it is simply one scene – but they’ve managed to convey such a strong message while keeping the audience entertained and engaged – using a strong performance, interesting characters and beautiful visuals – there is so much to learn from here!

I hope you guys enjoyed this share 🙂

Until next week!
Stay safe!


(For The Birds, 2000)

[1] For The Birds. 2000. [film] Directed by R. Eggleston. Pixar Animation Studios.

Flatten The Curve

Hello, all!
Yesterday during the crit, Shaun shared a really unique piece of animation which features work from numerous animators across the globe. The direction and concept are credited to Studio Desk, Kathrin Steinbacher & Emily Downe . It encourages us in our current situation and it is titled Flatten The Curve [1].

I really like this because the message it brings is empowering. It highlights positivity in such uncertain times. Moreover, the fact that it features many animators across the globe – it brings a sense of unity in the animation community. This joint effort to create art is truly effective, especially when we often see divisive behaviour on the news. It makes me proud to be in this field!

Here are a few of my favourite shots in this series.

It was so cool to see so many different styles come together to create something so relevant the current climate.

What I like about Figure 1 and Figure 2 is the way the artist meshed two styles and gave birth to a whole new style altogether. In Figure 1, the coloured blocked person layered over the black and white illustrations really help make the character stand out and keep our eyes at the right place.

Figure 1. Animation & Sound: Iulia Voitova [1].
Figure 2. Animation & Sound: Iulia Voitova [1].

What I like about the following animators’ styles in figures 3, 4 and 5 is the texting of the brush strokes. It creates something really smooth similar to that of an oil pastel. The colour palette paired with the brush strokes creates a scene that is easy on the eyes.

Figure 3. Animation & Sound: Lewis Heriz [1].
Figure 4. Animation & Sound: Jenny Jokela [1].
Figure 5. Animation & Sound: Angela Stempel [1].

The following two shots in Figure 6 and 7 have a style that I’d like to explore. It’s a style that I can only describe as the perfect creative balance between fine detail and rough. The drawings are not filled in to a clean solid colour, giving the drawings a unique texture. I’d love to explore this style sometime soon!

Figure 6. Animation: Elisabetta Bosco / Sound: Francesco Maccario [1].
Figure 7 Animation & Sound: Louisa Kohlhoff [1].

Lastly, I love this shot (figure 8)! It’s what I would describe as minimal but effective. The shapes and sizes of each body part are an aesthetic of its own. The solid colours and line drawings compliment eachother – it’s something that I’d imagine being animated in After Effects.

Figure 8. Animation: Magali Garcia [1].

These are all great inspirations for trying out different styles. Overall, it’s a great insight into what other animators are up to during these strange times. Let me know what you think!

Until next time,

[1] Studio Desk, 2020. #Flattenthecurve – 1/3. [ Video ] Available at: <https://vimeo.com/414349909> [Accessed 8 May 2020].

Pit Stop

Hi all! How are we today?
Today, I want to talk about this short called ‘Pit Stop’ by Raship Trika!

Video 1: ‘Pit Stop’ [1]

It was part of a 4th Year independent film project at Sheridan College, Canada and has been nominated for numerous awards and festivals [2].

Figure 1: A still from ‘Pit Stop’ that showcases their unique personalities straight away [1].

This playful, comedic film features two men in space – both with very different physical appearance as well as personalities. While one is trying to fix what seems to look like a toilet cubical, the other attracts multiple little aliens. In the end, the aliens fly off their spaceship and they’re stranded with just a toilet cubicle.

Figure 2: Process and development of ‘Pit Stop’ [2].

It is a 3D animated film, that is carefully planned from the storyboard stage. It gives a great example of how to follow through and really play in the storyboard stage. This is something that I want to improve on and be more organised in.
In his ‘Making Of’ video, we can see how each stage evolves more and more into the final piece.

What I like?

– It’s an easy watch: nothing that requires too much thought. Just simple, character animation. Very enjoyable.
– The overall look: At first i thought it was maybe 2D animation. I would love to achieve something like this, as I feel that 2D animation has a very unique charm in terms of aesthetics.
– Characters are distinct. The narrative is clear and we understand what’s going on straight away. The director gives each character their own roles and uses visual cues to enhance the difference between the duo also.
It’s very short! I like that because it’s just a quick enjoyable watch. Given the story, any longer may have made it less snappy and effective.
– Character animation: The performance is incredible here. Everything is very fluid and so much that I thought it was hand-drawn! Something I struggle within 3D animation, is that my animations often look very computerised and not organic. However, this is not the case for this film at all!

Here is the full video of the ‘Making of’ – it’s really useful for animators to watch and see how precise he progresses from each stage.


Let me know what you think! 🙂

Until next time,

[1] Trikha, R., 2019. Pit Stop. [ Video ] Available at: <https://vimeo.com/331495729> [Accessed 30 April 2020].
[2] Trikha, R., 2020. The Making Of Pit Stop – Student Film. [ Video ] Available at: <https://vimeo.com/405266016> [Accessed 30 April 2020].

Pink Panther

During this season of animating, my lecturer Kevin pointed me towards this classic, that is Pink Panther. After viewing my current animation progress, he thought that I should take inspiration from Pink Panther for my character performance.

While the versions of Pink Panther has evolved through the years, I thought I’d take inspiration and share with you, my observations from the very first original season [1].

I’d like to break down my thoughts into 3 main headings: Visuals, Character performance and Story-telling.


  • The colour palette used in Pink Panther Season 1 Episode 1 stuck close to the classic pink, muted blue, black and white. Sticking to a limited palette not only simplified the colouring process in animation, but it also simplified the screen for the audience, allowing us to concentrate and immerse into this simple world.
  • The choice of colours is also important in this episode, because it is primarily a battle of colours between Pink Panther & Little Man. Pink Panther wants the world pink, but The Little Man wants the world blue.
  • Another effective way to help direct the audience’s attention to the correct place, we only see what’s essential on the screen. For example, there are no unnecessary props in the background that would not add any value to the scene.
  • As someone who is watching Season 1 Episode 1 in 2020 – I feel like this original aesthetic is really beautiful. The colours, drawings and performance is very suited to its age. In a special way, I feel like it shows me the world in 1960’s. I love the details such as the wired telephone (in later episodes)- they are all true to its time.
  • I personally would describe the (original) aesthetic of Pink Panther as simple, striking and strongly communicative.

Character Performance

  • The reason that Kevin recommended to me to watch Pink Panther was down to its particular character performance.
  • There is plenty of anticipation and overshoot to enhance their performance E.g. When the character looks left and right, there is overshoot in his head.
  • Follow through: Pink Panther’s tail and when The Little Man tries to shake open the door, there is follow through in his head and hat.
  • Reaction time: while keeping the upbeat pace of the animation, the animators also give the audience time to react with the character. E.g. when pink panther tastes the blue paint.
  • Speed: When Pink Panther runs, he slips and doesn’t move the first few frames – which makes him seem even faster.
  • Direction: the character leads his body with their eyes. E.g. when they are painting the walls.


  • For an animation with no speech, I feel that the body language and expressions need to carry the message. I personally understood the story with ease. I feel that the reaction times, simple colours, body language and expression carried the story so well that no speech is needed.
  • While it is a simple story of Pink Panther wanting Pink while The Little Man wants Blue, the pace and frustrations of the character make the story very interesting; it leads us to think why the characters want these colours?
  • Body language: The posture of each character and the way they move in space also tell us a little bit about their story. For example, Pink Panther walks with his head high, suggesting that he is calm and confident.

I hope you enjoyed this piece as much as I did! 🙂

Until next time,


[1] Edwards, B., 1964. The Pink Panther Season 1 Episode 1. [online] youtube. Available at: <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=59lKdaXX6Eo> [Accessed 19 April 2020].

Grand Bassin

Hello, all!

Today, I am going to share my thoughts on a really beautiful piece called “Grand Bassin” which features observations in a swimming pool. 4 directors and students at École des Nouvelles Images, Héloïse Courtois, Victori Jalabert, Chloé Plat and Adèle Raigneau collectively created this piece. It has been Oscar qualified and had 64 festival selections [1].

(Grand Bassin, 2019) [2]

I actually came across this via Staff Picks on Vimeo. What caught my attention was the aesthetic – of large shapes and a striking visual – it really hooked me with the thumbnail.

What I find interesting:

  • Visuals – I personally really enjoy this 2D aesthetic of very solid, flat shapes – especially when paired with exaggerated shapes and sizes. It’s something that I have found difficult to achieve and is outside of my own artistic comfort zone but I really do wish to expand my skillset in this area!
(Grand Bassin, 2019) [2]
  • It is mixed media of 3D shapes to give the character shape and weight – layered over a flat 2D background. Water is achieved using 3D and the reflections are done in 2D. I love this merge of the tools and how they work so fluidly together. To be honest, I thought that the humans were perhaps done in stop motion and coloured on top – the making process is really quite fascinating!
(Grand Bassin, 2019) [2]
  • Sound Design- Now that I am working on my own film – I’ve had the chance to study the power of adding sound to animation. It really does bring it to life and experimenting with more creative, less organic sounds can be effective. The Creators have opted for sounds that hint to the audience as what is happening, such as under water resonances while also including more abstract voices and music, which matches as the film concept and visual is also a little abstract.
(Grand Bassin, 2019) [2]

Background [1]

  • Setting: The creators chose the swimming pool as they find it to be such a unique public space to observe such strange but normal interactions between individuals [1]. A film which also showcases in complex and the unsaid of social norms and social pressures in this setting.
  • The creators chose to visually amplify the characters shapes, sizes and motion – in the same way that sound is often amplified at the swimming pool.
  • Sound: Sound was created in real life settings such as directly at the swimming pool, with a heavy focus on amplifying the sounds – as the amplified bodies move within the scene.

(ZF Team, 2019) [1] ,(Grand Bassin, 2019) [2]
(Grand Bassin, 2019) [2]

What I think:
I think that this is a really creative, fun and interesting piece! It’s really insightful to see such a public space through the lens of someone else’s eyes. It is also interesting to focus on the unnoticed. The choice of visual style is suitable and it keeps the audience engaged. The mildly ambiguity of this film keeps me wondering what is going to happen at the next scene. Overall, I think that this is truly successful and lives up to its merits.

Let me know if you also enjoyed this! 🙂

Until next time,


[1] Team, ZF., 2019. Grand Bassin By Héloïse Courtois, Victori Jalabert, Chloé Plat And Adèle Raigneau. [online] Zippy Frames. Available at: <https://www.zippyframes.com/index.php/shorts/grand-bassin-short-film> [Accessed 25 March 2020].
[2] Grand Bassin. 2019. [film] Directed by H. Courtois, V. Jalabert, C. Plat and A. Raigneau. École des Nouvelles Images & Miyu Distribution.

DreamWorks TROLLS

Good afternoon!

We are back with another share! This week features the one and only TROLLS by DreamWorks. I remember when this first came out back in 2016. I was in my final months of my undergraduate degree of Engineering and I LOVED this movie! I’m sure I’m a little older than their target audience but the story, cute animations and quality soundtrack was enough to keep me glued to the screen. Little did I know, I’d be lucky enough to study in this field 2 years after!

I personally feel like DreamWorks did a great job – which is why it attracted those outside of their target audience. They excelled in many areas – but here are a few that I believe led them to success.

  • Quality Soundtrack with Star-studded singers
  • Voice actors
  • Engaging storyline
  • Character Design
  • Character Performance
  • Cinematography

Quality Soundtrack:

I note this one because this is actually what led me to watch this film. I stumbled across some pretty catchy tunes that featured Ariana Grande, Justin Timberlake and Anna Kendrick on Youtube. Their choice to invest in such high profile, talented singers paid off because suddenly, it’s not just a childrens movie. This is an animated musical featuring some of my favourite singers of all time!

Aside from the singers, the actual songs are so catchy! I still listen to “They Don’t Know” sung by Ariana Grande from this soundtrack. They composed some really catchy, upbeat songs that would attract young children and this worked perfectly.

Voice Actors:

To name a few, Justin Timberland, Anna Kendrick, James Corden, Gwen Steffani and Kunal Nayyar. Most of these actors as well as singers are a household name in their own right – which is perfect for a musical. For me, I was really intrigued to see the animation paired with a talented cast of voice actors!

Engaging Plot:

This plot had highs and lows and it was timed perfectly so that the audience could understand exactly what was happening. It was not too slow that it dragged out and bored the audience. The song breaks staggered out in the movie kept it upbeat – without being too lengthily. The challenge of defeating the Burgens was made clear and exciting throughout.

Character Design:

This was something that I personally LOVED. The concept of trolls was really interesting – neither animal or human – it almost seemed like a bit of both! The bright colours and distinct personality of each troll allowed for moments of humour to seep through. It actually reminds me of Pixar’s Inside Out.

Poppy’s character had hair that would sometimes elongate and this is show in the track “Get Back Up Again”. This interesting as I recently rigged my characters with limbs that elongate. I am curious as to how they rigged the hair as it is much more smooth and adds alot of character to Poppy. The rig also inflates which adds to comedic value.

The textures used throughout the film creates a world that is distinct to the Trolls. Backgrounds and clothes are rendered with a fuzzy fabric. I feel like this aesthetic makes it look alot more organic – compared to rendering it out in a shiny smooth texture.

Character Performance:
Character Performance is something that I have alot to learn from. Their performance is so natural and fluid. The trolls have so much expression and is combined with the voice acting really well. There is not too much that makes it strange – it is a perfect balance and this gives it a really strong, lively performance.

Squash and Stretch giving the character a bouncy feel [1].
Squash when Poppy falls [1].
Overshoot when she gets back up [1].

The use of focus and choice of camera shots make for a really aesthetic film. It looks very cinematic and pleasing to the eye. I assures me that I am watching a quality production. The use of blur when Poppy falls in various scenes potentially means that the production team don’t have to waste time building huge sets for those scenes that are costly to render too.

What do I personally not like about the film?
For me, I think the colour palette is too wide. However, I think it is most suitable as it is aimed a young children. They follow primary colours and colours of the rainbow – which children are familiar with.
That being said, I would enjoy a more muted, cohesive colour palette.

Overall, there is plenty to learn from and I hope to incorporate aspects of this into my final film that is currently in progress! Particularly the aspects of cinematography and character performance!
Did you like it?

Until next time! P.s. stay safe, stay home, all!

[1] DreamWorksTV by Peacock Kids, 2016. “Get Back Up Again” Clip | TROLLS. [ Video ] Available at: <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IFuFm0m2wj0> [Accessed 10 March 2020].
[2] TROLLS. 2016. [film] Directed by M. Mitchell. DreamWorks.

“Oh Willy…”

Good afternoon! Today, I am sharing with you this piece called “Oh Willy…” by Emma De Swaef and Marc James Roels [1].

After weeks of animating my final film in Maya, it was so refreshing to set eyes on this beautiful stop-motion piece! I was just browsing through Vimeo in search of some inspiration, and what drew me towards this was definitely its unique visuals and palette.

Things I love

  • Narrative: This is quite a unique and entertaining piece, given that it’s titled “Oh Willy”. However, the medium of animation somewhat gives the story a particular artistic filter that live action could not achieve.
  • Colour palette: This is what attracted me to click on this video! I ADORE this palette so much! This selection of nude, warm tones is really gentle on the eyes. I personally love how it’s not overcrowded with too many colours – it sets the film in a very particular space and time.
  • Textures: I personally feel that textures is a great strength in Stop-Motion that I find so difficult to achieve in CGI. The textures of the materials used is so intriguing and it truly brings out the charm in stop-motion. For example, the texture of the fluffy trees here have an interesting organic appearance. It’s mesmerising to see how artists can get creative with a certain selection of materials!
  • Set up & Focus: The creators used blur & focus really well to give a cinematic feel as well as help the audience focus on the narrative, even when there is no dialogue.
  • Music: Dramatic music sets up the scene in a way that allows us to immerse into this little world that the animators have created. It also gives the audience a sense of what emotions the creator wishes to convey. Subtle sound effects such as the fence ripping also brings this animation to life.
  • Lighting: The use of lighting here compliments the palette chosen. It is really gentle on the eyes – nothing too harsh. The use of lighting here gives a sense of reality – it is convincing that the characters are in a real place with real sunlit landscapes.

What I took away: Boiling down to the key features I took away from this piece:

  • Aesthetic: stunning visuals that blend together to create a specific space and time. Choice of palette, textures and camera shots are utilised and well thought out.
  • Camera: the choice of camera shots, lighting and set up really create a cinematic feel here. I think this is something I should plan out before executing my animation.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this artistic piece. What are your thoughts?

Until next time,


References: Emma De Swaef and Marc James Roels Co-produced by Beast Animation/Vivement Lundi!/ Polaris Film Productions/ il Luster Films, 2012. Oh Willy…. [ Video ] Available at: <https://vimeo.com/45322909> [Accessed 20 February 2020].

Frozen 2

Good afternoon,

Today, I’d love to share with you a post that I came across just before I headed to the theatres to watch the much anticipated… Frozen 2!

I absolutely loved Frozen and after reading this article on The Insider, I was really excited to see all of the new features and developments in animation seep through the screen.

Interesting developments in the years between Frozen and Frozen 2 included [1][2]:

  • Hair & Clothes : Following the production of Moana, Disney really upped their game in the animation of hair. Not only do we see multiple changes in outfits, Anna and Elsa also have a change of hair throughout the movie. This was achieved through the use of a program called Quicksilver, allowing their hair to react to fields such as water and wind. It was noticed that details on their clothes was another indicator or how far technology had developed. Throughout the movie, we can even see the sequins and seams on Elsa’s dresses.
  • Limbs: There is a scene where Elsa runs into the water in her bare feet. Here, Disney were able to capture feet moved in a natural and realistic way using various control points. The same was applied to their hands and fingers.

  • Underwater horse: this would have been very hard to achieve at such quality in the years of Frozen 1. Here, the creators were able to capture a horse made completely of water than moved seamlessly through the waters and interacted with Elsa.

My Experience

After the credits rolled, my conclusive feelings towards the movie were quite conflicting. On one hand, I was absolutely mesmerised by the effects, quality and aesthetic of the film. It was such eye candy! They made such a cohesive and beautiful film paired to catchy melodies. However, I was slightly let down by the story. I personally felt that the arc wasn’t so great – and that it wasn’t really a storyline that would have kept me gripped to the screen had I not watched it in the cinema. Nevertheless, it was an overall enjoyable movie!

Please do let me know what you think!



[1] Insider. (2020). How Disney’s animation evolved from ‘Frozen’ to ‘Frozen 2’. [online] Available at: https://www.insider.com/how-disney-frozen-2-was-animated-2019-12 [Accessed 7 Feb. 2020].

[2] Disney (2019). Frozen 2. Available at: https://disney.co.uk/movies/frozen-2 [Accessed 7 Feb. 2020].