Assignment 04 – Self Portrait

Final Video

I own an electric unicycle and I ride it wherever I go, the only time you will see me without is when it is spoilt, or when it is spoilt.

Javon Goes to Class (ft. Erwin Lian)

Music – ‘My People’ by GRiZMATIK

P.S This is not a promotional ad for electric unicycles.

Riding through different locations is a metaphor for riding around places which I have never been to in Singapore, or just lazy to visit because it’s too tiring to walk there. At the end of the film, I crash into the classroom where the presentation for this assignment is happening :p





Every individual elements had to be separated, for those that I needed to animate at least. All assets for this project were done in photoshop.

Assets from ‘pier scene’

Environment Animation

The animation for the environments were fairly simple, they appear and exit out of the shot with ease-ins and ease-outs to give that bouncy effect. Basically, I animated the scale parameter from 0%-130%-100% when they enter, and then the reverse for when they exit.

Animating the environments


Every body part had to be separated, and then parented together and rigged in after effects.

Assets for character

Character Rigging & Animation

I used a plug-in called DUIK for my character rig. I began by manually placing puppet pins on the character’s joints, and then used the plug-in to link them together and to create the controllers for the respective body parts.

Character Rig

Below is the tutorial on character rigging using DUIK that I referred to, by Matt Wilson.


I was inspired by a previous film I did a few years back. The particular scene I wanted to reference was the scene of a character cycling in a stationary position with backgrounds panning across the shot.

Screenshot from ‘Delivering Happiness’


One problem I faced was definitely the rigging part, although it was fairly simple, I struggled for awhile figuring out how things worked and how to parent puppet pins to bones to controllers to limbs.

Another problem was the spinning wheel of death, the pre-comp for my character was so ‘heavy’ it was impossible to play the animation, and I had to view the animation on my main composition whenever I want to see my character move. If I forget to switch to the main comp, I had to restart AE, which was why I literally saved every 1 minute.

Nonetheless it was a fun project and I have sort of re-familiarised myself with the prowess of AE, and Erwin, I only used AE ONCE BEFORE, and it was self-taught, for that one particular project. So please don’t overestimate me regarding for this assignment ūüôā


Assignment 3: A Short film about Dreams

A Day Out


‘A Day Out’ is about a character who comes out of his owner’s sketchbook whenever the owner opens it to draw. The character, intrigued by the real world, spends his time out of the sketchbook admiring all that’s around him.

Music: Chopin Nocturne op. 9 no. 2

As my film is about a sketchbook character, I wanted to keep his drawing style loose, as well as a relatively rough animation style to further separate him from the real world. I decided to have my film in black and white as I wanted to accentuate the sketchbook ‘theme’ of the film.

Towards the end of the film, as the owner closes his sketchbook and leaves, the character from the sketchbook vanishes. His desire, or dream, is to some day be able to explore the real world, without being bounded by the sketchbook.

Storyboard Page 01
Storyboard Page 02
Storyboard Page 03
Storyboard Page 04
Storyboard Page 05
Storyboard Page 06
Two-Column Script
Visual Audio Script Pg01
Visual Audio Script Pg02

As I planned my shots according to the music, I had to gauge how long each scene and animation sequence will be.

Music: Chopin Nocturne op. 9 no. 2

Paperman (2012)
Secret (2007)

I was inspired by the 2007 Taiwanese film ‘Secret’. The story revolves around a school girl who travels back and forth between the present and the future by playing on a ‘magical’ piano.¬† She walks around her campus, admiring the future world and intrigued that no one can see her. This was the basis of the inspiration for my film, to have the character who came out of the sketchbook explore the real world, unseen by others.

Also, the film heavily emphasises on music, mainly the piano, which is why I got inspired to use a classical piano piece.

Assignment 02 – Movie Campaign For A Film Production

For this assignment, we were tasked to create an original movie campaign for a brand new film.

Yunaku – „āÜ„Ā™„ĀŹ

(Drama/ Fantasy)

Koyo is a nine-year-old girl who lives with her parents in a small village in the Arctic. During a fishing trip with her father, a devastating avalanche causes them to be separated. Koyo stumbles across a lost polar bear cub who has also been separated from its family due to the disaster. With only each other to rely on, the two venture across the Arctic to get back home.

Yunaku – Japanese Version ( Friends who understand Japanese, please ignore the topmost text, it is utter gibberish c: )
Yunaku – English Version

I wanted the illustration to give a small hint about the plot of the movie. Below are some aspects of the film’s plot I have included in the final design:

  • The characters floating on a piece of ice in the middle of the ocean suggests it had broken off from the mainland, likely due to ice melting/ a disaster, and that they are lost at sea.
  • The cub howling and the girl patting it tells the viewer she is comforting it.
  • The ray of light shining onto the characters gives a sense of hope to whatever plight they are currently in.
  • The shooting star symbolises hope and good luck.


References/ Inspiration
Studio Ghibli’s Movie Posters
Mood boards

As my movie is about a girl and a cub trying to find their way home after a devastating disaster, I wanted to evoke a sense of hope in my poster design. I explored a few colour schemes which pertained to this emotion, mostly analogous colours of blues to pinks.

I originally wanted the story to be about destruction, such as a huge fire in the arctic melting the ice, and therefore looked up some purple-red colours that represent fire in a cool-dark environment.

Mood boards
Mood boards
Designs and colour explorations

There are two colour schemes which I wanted to explore in the following few designs, the third colour scheme of red and purple was for a fire-destruction theme which was scrapped and hence did not appear in the final design’s colour exploration.

Design 1 Colour Tests
Design 2 Colour Tests
Design 3 Colour Tests
Text variation

For both the Japanese and English versions, I wanted the text to be simple and handwritten to match the essence of hand-drawn animation, as opposed to the ‘rigidness’ of typed texts.

For the Japanese version, I eventually went for the vertical placement of the text, much like how Asian scriptures are written. The vertical placement of the text also leads down towards the characters.

Text variation – Japanese Version

For the English version, I added a paw print inside the letter ‘a’. One consideration was to allow viewers who don’t understand Japanese and what the title means to hopefully link the paw print and the word ‘Yunaku’ together, which is the name of the cub.

Text variation – English Version


poster compositing
Poster feature in Shinjuku, Japan
Poster feature in Shinjuku, Japan
Poster feature in Shinjuku, Japan
Poster in Singapore

During Studio Ghibli’s 25th anniversary concert, the orchestra played the music of various Studio Ghibli films while the different scenes of that soundtrack was being screened. Hence, this.

Screenshot from a scene in Yunaku.
Studio Ghibli 25th Anniversary Concert, Feat. Joe Hisaishi
Studio Ghibli 25th Anniversary Concert

Assignment 01: Human Emotions with Digital Images

For this assignment, we were tasked to create a series of images that would evoke or express various emotions.

Final Images

I have created a series of four images which depicts the emotions of happiness, surprise, sadness, and fear. The series revolves around a bear and his interaction with different environments, each evoking a different emotion  to the viewer based on colours and lighting.

Final Images

For Happiness, I picked a sunset, autumn-like colour scheme of warm orange. I wanted to evoke a sense of tranquility along with happiness; the bear jumping into a calm lake in a seemingly peaceful forest.

Image 1 – Happiness

For Surprise, I wanted to express this emotion by introducing specks of light in a dark environment. A field of fireflies in the dark creates a sense of wonder and mesmerisation.

Image 2 – Surprise

For Sadness, two things came to mind, dull muted colours and rain. Rim light was included to  add some brightness to the otherwise dull image and to separate the various elements from the background. Rain was added to give the illustration a more gloomy feel.

Image 3 – Sadness

For Fear, I initially pictured the bear alone in a dark forest, but I thought that if there was another bear which had been shot dead in the scene, it would evoke a stronger sense of fear for the bear. Rim light was very important to distinguish the characters and trees as I wanted minimal light in this scene to evoke this emotion. A dutch tilt was also incorporated to create a sense of uneasiness in the scene.

Image 4 – Fear

Thumbnails & Colour tests

I started by sketching out thumbnails of different compositions for the various emotions. I then blocked out the values in grayscale. After which, I experimented with a few colour schemes and selected the one that best portrayed the particular emotion.

Thumbnails (Happiness)
Colour test (Happiness)
Thumbnails (Surprise)
Colour test (Surprise)
Thumbnails (Sadness)
Colour test (Sadness)
Thumbnails (Fear)
Colour test (Fear)

Final edits

The final step was to add a subtle filter of light to enhance the image, creating the glow from the light sources.

Happiness (Before final edit)
Happiness (Final)
Surprise (Before final edit)
Surprise (Final)
Sadness (Before final edit)
Sadness (Final)
Fear (Before final edit)
Fear (Final)

Research and references

For my research, I looked at the concept art of various animation films, as well as a book called The Colour of Pixar,¬†which contains scenes from various Pixar movies catalogued by colour. I also referenced Pascal Campion’s style of illustrating, his use of colours and the way he uses lighting to enhance his illustrations.

Art of Ratatouille
Art of Moana
Art of Kung Fu Panda 2
Art of The Good Dinosaur
The Color of Pixar
The Color of Pixar
The Color of Pixar
The Color of Pixar
Artwork by Pascal Campion
Artwork by Pascal Campion
Artwork by Pascal Campion
Artwork by Pascal Campion