Animation | Treatment

The Working Title of this project is D.C.W | The Dream Coloured Waves, this name was derived from the general plot of the animation which tells the story of someone who is unsatisfied with their life and decides to leave in search of their ambition, in this case it specifically relates to the waves.

This project is a shot animated film which was planned to be 90 seconds at most. This was done in order to comply with the ‘Sense of Hope’ contest rules yet it also helps to cut out any extraneous scenes that aren’t important to the plot.

My target audience for this film would be young people (specifically teenagers) who feel they are somewhat trapped by their current situation and want to pursue their goals in life. I chose this age as it is often a time when people struggle most with what they want to do in the future.

The short opens on a shot of the main character standing in an elevator as it moves to its destination, after entering the classroom/office it sits down at its desk and then disappears after a few seconds. It remerges in a white void with vey simple geometry, this is to get across how the path to getting to where you want to be in life can be very unclear. After running around for a while it reaches the edge of a cliff and finds a surfboard there, its at this point where it can see its destination and starts heading in that direction. Upon reaching the ocean the robot gets on his surfboard which turns into a mech of sorts that then flies away into space. This is meant to further drive home the theme of uncertainty that is persistent throughout.

There is only one character in the story, everything about it is left up to the viewer as the character is more of a blank slatted emphasise that this is an issue that can affect everyone regardless of age, race or gender. In terms of design the character was initially meant to give off an arrogant vibe and the microwave head was meant to communicate that he was hot headed. Both of these concepts were abandoned early on in the project due to the length of the video and how it changed the general tone of the story as would’ve made it harder to understand the character’s actions and relate to them.

In terms of lighting the short will open with a monochrome aesthetic with red hi lights, this is to give the audience a sense of unease at the start of the short but also to establish that sense of not fitting in. After this short portion of the film it would switch over to a very blank and empty looking set of shots which will be mostly devoid of any colour. At the end of the film when the character goes to space the white and black colour scheme will invert in order to establish that the world and their perception of it has changed and create a visual shorthand for this shift in perspective. Due to how limited my skills are at the moment there will be very few complex camera movements other than one planned camera rotation around the character although this can be done due to how the character is comprised almost entirely out of cubes and cuboids.

The sound will only consist of one track which I created in GarageBand, while I initially planned to have two tracks in order to establish a more distinct atmosphere for each of the two main environments. I eventually decided against it after testing out song/tone transitions in several tests (see Shoehorn). After this I shifted the plan to just be one constant song with no sound/foley effects as a means of saving time, this track being this.

I felt this project was a good fit for the criteria as it needs to revolve around a sense of hope. While you could argue that this is present in most media I think this piece mainly focuses on the uncertainty of hope and the risks we take in order to do the things we want. I tried to storyboard this project so that every cut within it would be possible for me to animate with my current skill set, there are a few moments like the rotation and some of the effects that will be fairly challenging though. In order to create the core assets of this project I will be using Adobe Animate and then editing all of it using a combination of After Effects and Premiere, both of which I will need to improve at Premiere in particular in order to make the cuts flow together nicely without the viewer noticing.

One of my main sources for information was ‘The Animators Survival Kit’ which helped me to improve my general animation skills, as for research I used several google questionnaires in addition to asking a bunch of people I know what they felt I could improve, these included changing things like the backgrounds as well as some specific movements (see Feedback, Animation Writeup and Development).

In terms of equipment I will primarily be doing the key frames and some specific cuts using a lightbox to see the previous frames and then scanning them in to redo them digitally. A small pool of the cuts will also be fully digital in order to save time. As mentioned earlier I will be editing the short with Premiere and After Effects.

As for as production issues are concerned the only issue I can see being a problem is time as traditional 2d animation can be a lengthy process, in order to avoid this I shifted some cuts from hand drawn to digital. Ovarial though I don’t foresee any major issues coming up.

Due to the nature of the way this short is being released the only things I need to ensure is that this short doesn’t either break the law or the ruleset provided for the ‘Sense of hope’ contest.

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