Story Beats

Hello! Today I’ll be bringing you through the story beats for my story for Visual Storytelling.

Premise: A girlย realised that her phone was running out of battery, so she rushed back home, only for her plan to be completely ruined.

Week 4: Initial story beats

Back in week 4, my original story beats went like this.

  1. Girl was mindlessly using phone
  2. She suddenly gets surprised looking at her phone
  3. She starts to run home really fast
  4. Intense run scene intensifies
  5. She reaches home
  6. Manages to plug in her phone into the socket with 1% battery left
  7. Goes to rest while waiting for her phone to charge
  8. Wakes up and realises that her phone was not charging the whole time… whoops

And here was my first draft:

When I showed the idea to Don, he thought that the resting part of the story (point 7) was very anti climatic between the run scene and the big reveal where her phone was charging, so the impact wasn’t too strong and asked that I modify the story. After some discussion, I altered the Story Beats slightly.

  1. Girl was mindlessly using phone
  2. She suddenly gets surprised looking at her phone
  3. She starts to run home really fast
  4. She reaches home
  5. Manages to plug in her phone into the socket with 1% battery left
  6. Heaves a sigh of relief, but did not place her phone properly on the stand
  7. Phone drops to the floor and shatters (much like her heart)
  8. She gives a look of defeat at her phone

This story worked out much better since there was just one “punch” moment at the end rather than the previous one.

With that, I drew my story beats of my altered story in class:

Week 5: Refining the Story Beats

I tried to draw some frames with different angles and compositions, as seen below:

Some differences:

  1. Running angle changed in beat 3
  2. Screeching to a halt angle at doorstep changed in beat 4
  3. Refined the girl in beats 6 and 7
  4. Changed angle of girl and phone in beat 8 to better see the cracked phone while still being able to see the girl’s defeated expression

Week 6: Beautifying the Story Beats

After getting the gist of how my storyboards will look like, I drew them out once again, except this time, the story beats are neatly lined, scanned, and digitally coloured. There were also some (minor) changes made to the composition of the beats.

These are my beats:

Changes made:

  1. Small background added in Beat 3
  2. Angle of face made to look more realistic in Beat 5
  3. And uhhh I guess changing the table in Beats 6 and 7 lol

I could have given the beats a bit more shading, but I was too tired at that point, so I just left it as it is.

After critiquing session:

Don said the story was okay, however there are some parts that could be improved.

  1. Add suspense during the running scene (eg. lock won’t open) to further heighten the tension of the situation, make the reader more curious
  2. The character needs a purpose to run home and charge her battery because charging the battery at 1% is not necessarily a very pressing issue. Possible motive could be that she has to send an important message to someone.
  3. Not to have too many “horizontal shots” (I forgot the term he want us to use) but I felt it gave continuity to the beats so maybe I’ll consider. ๐Ÿ˜›
To be continued! ๐Ÿ™‚


The Hyperreal Self-Portrait

Hello hello! Today I’ll be bringing you guys through my second project for my Digital Imaging class.

Title: Two Sides of the Same Coin



I was actually struggling quite a bit with how I wanted to portray myself in this project, since I couldn’t nail down the “essence” behind my work. But I knew from the start I wanted to draw something to “life”, like they are coming out from my game.

As you can clearly tell I am pretty out of ideas

I looked to some images done by artists that were featured on @photoshop on Instagram too but I couldn’t get inspired.

They are really, really beautiful though ๐Ÿ™‚

In the end, I decided that I want to have this duality between the me in real life and the me as an avatar playing games, so I Googled up some inspiration on the Internet.

Magnolia and Myosotis from Deemo by Siyouko on FB and Twitter
By chivi-chivik on DeviantArt

The artists I referenced above show 2 sides of the same character, with some small differences between them such as their expression of the character or a colour swap. My idea would henceforth be somewhat similar to those examples.

Some more (really crappy) sketches to get my ideas going:

Badly drawn stuff ):

I decided that one side would be myself and the other side should be a character I’m playing as, showing unison between the both of us and the screen keeping us apart is broken. It makes me warm and fuzzy inside to be a character in the game.

I used a Nikon D5500 and my camera settings were 18-55mm lens, f/5, 1/50s, ISO800. Firstly, I cleaned up the wall to make it look smoother and with less distractions, then I applied a mask to the background to make some minor curve changes to myself. I then applied a overall curves to the image to make it look brighter. Afterwards, I drew my character on the other side of the screen and added some drop shadow to make her stand out more against the grey-black background.

I chose to hold a 3DS in my hand this time since I also spent a lot of time playing games on it, but mostly Pokemon. The girl avatar I drew is the female protagonist of Pokemon Black 2 White 2, since I probably spent the most time on this game and I was really immersed into it. (Also I think she looks really cute…) However, in hindsight, I probably should have made my 3DS screen face the camera to show some kind of victory or triumph in battle to make the delighted faces of me and the girl avatar more significant, but it’s unfortunately a bit late for that (sad face). Me and my girl avatar are also separated by a black and white background to show the polar opposites of us in nature but I could still resonate with the fictional character (granted Pokemon protagonists are actually silent but it still feels good playing as them, also unintentional Black and White reference to the game title :P).

And so here’s the final again:

Some reflections:

In hindsight, I probably could have done more to make my image more engaging, since it feels kind of boring and flat, like as if there was no dynamic in it at all. If I had thought of my idea earlier and had more time to think through how can I compose my image better, it might have turned out quite differently and I would have been more satisfied with the outcome.

UPDATE: Critique feedback

The image was generally okay, however Bryan felt that maybe my girl avatar could have been more glossy to look more blended in like my skin, and also the shadow could have been more like my own image’s one. He also commented that I should clean up some stray hair from my face to make the image look more well thought out and presentable since they look kind of distracting coming out of my nose. He commented that I have also put in more consideration into my choice of clothes in the photo and how it can also add more meaning to my work. I could have also made my 3DS more bright and saturated to give audiences a visual cue, much like the red Pokeball that really catches the audience’s attention. Bryan also said that I could make it look like the girl avatar’s side of the image have like Pokemon like coming out towards me to show some kind of liveliness in the picture (I forgot his exact words because I have a 5 second memory but that was roughly the gist of it >_>)

Anyway, thank you for reading my post and see you guys next time! (:


Hello everyone! For this post I’ll be presenting on a fear that I chose for my first assignment.


My inspiration for choosing this fear came from hearing that someone had a fear of fishes (called Ichthyophobia), and that their way of overcoming it was to go diving. They then realised that the fishes usually swim away from them and there wasn’t really anything to be scared of… (or is there?) Pretty cool huh?! So I decided to work my story around that idea.

So I did a little digging into Ichthyophobia.

A google search showed up that people actually do take diving lessons to curb their fear of fishes, which I will link to at the bottom of the post. Generally, people that have a fear of fishes would first try to touch a fish or eat one to try to overcome it, but I thought tackling the idea that someone would go diving to curb that fear would be more interesting.


Aaaaaand that leads to this drawing of mine:

Deep down under

I chose to depict a diver diving down into the sea into a huge school of fishes. Although the fishes are great in quantity, they are all swimming away from the diver, showing that they meant no harm despite their numbers. I also made the areas further away from the diver to be darker so that the diver catches the viewer’s attention first. I also added some underwater plants to make the image less empty and to fill in the environment of this picture.


Don then gave us the assignment to colour our first picture and make a second one in colour to continue the story, so here are the results:

Some colours

For the first image, I decided to add extra grey tones to the fishes for a better gradient, and gave some earthly tones to the corals. I would have used some blue as the sea but there was too much black for me to add it in to look natural. I added some yellow to the diver to make him stand out more too.

Why hello there.

While the little fishes are swimming nonchalantly in the ocean, the diver kept diving and came face to face with this huge marine creature staring them in the face. I chose to continue the story this way since the sea is full of all kinds of sea life and they are bound to meet fascinating sea creatures, both big and small. I chose to draw a whale shark since even though they look deadly to humans, they actually only feed on small fishes and microorganisms in the sea and do not harm or target humans.

I added blue to represent the ocean in this picture, and also make the diver and whale shark stand out more against the backdrop because of their colour. The blue darkens to black near the edge of the paper on the bottom right to once again give focus to the diver but this time the whale shark is also large enough to catch people’s attention.

And that’s it for my story (so far?) Hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I have enjoyed conjuring it up! ๐Ÿ™‚

EDIT: 2/2/18

After presenting in class and learning more about using colour to set the mood, there were some things I would have changed to convey the mood of my drawing better. First off, I realised the bright blue colours I used do not really convey this sense of fear when the diver meets the whale shark, but instead looks more like a cheerful encounter, which Don agreed. Don said that I could use the colour mood of my cover image to give a more ominous feeling, since the blues are darker too. I also realised that I should have given the diver a different body language, one more of shock and caution rather than happily embracing the situation (and thinking that he is swimming to his death). I could have also probably replaced yellow on the diver with orange instead since blue and orange are complimentary colours to each other. Overall, this has been a fun experience for me to learn how to use colours to convey emotion in an image.


Extra reading –ย


The Narrative Self-Portrait

Hello everyone! New semester and new things to post and talk about ๐Ÿ™‚

So for the first project of digital imaging, we are tasked to take a picture as our self portrait. After some brainstorming, executing and editing, this was my final picture.

Title: In My Own World



Artist Statement:

My idea of this image is pretty simple, I just simply wanted to express my love for video games since it has shaped a big part of my life. Video games are so much more than games, they make you laugh till your stomach is in knots, bawl your eyes out until they are dry, and flabbergast you with their twists and turns. The feeling never changes. ๐Ÿ™‚

Camera settings: 24mm, f/4, 1/8s, ISO800

I am fairly new to using camera as a medium for capturing images, but this was the setting that I achieved after fumbling around with the Nikon D5500 for a while to capture the lighting and angle I wanted. I also used a Nikon Speedlight SB-500 to help supplement some lighting to the image, or it would be too dark.

I chose my bedroom as the setting for this image since I see it as my safe haven where I could escape from my problems while I’m busy fighting monsters in some other god knows what world. I also depicted myself with a shocked expression since I am a very emotional person and reactions like these are common whenever I play games. I also chose to use my Nintendo Switch since it is my most recent console and I’ve been having a blast playing on it.

As for post-processing, my original edit was at a subpar level, which looked something like this:

It almost looks like I’m glowing…

Yea it’s pretty terrible. I was still quite confused on how to properly mask my picture and adjust my curves to make them look realistic. Thankfully, with Bryan’s guidance and some more trial and error, the final image turned out much better (as shown above too):

I think I’m doing this right…?

I learnt how to mask with the smudge tool and this time only adjusted the curves for myself to make myself stand out more. I also slightly increased the saturation and made minor adjustments to the curves to shift the lighting around. I also darkened the edges to make the focus on me stronger. Overall, I still have ways to go, but this is certainly a step forward compared to the picture I presented in class.


I referenced some of the official images Nintendo used to promote their Nintendo Switch, such as how they promote the console and the way the models are playing on the console.

Aaaaaand that’s it for Project 1! See you next time ๐Ÿ™‚