Our Chosen Story-Cassie’s Mom

Our narrative is based of this story by Cassie’s Mom (Dolly), which she was kind enough to record for us. Dolly has a lot of emotion for the situation- especially when trying to justify her actions.




Presentation One- Ideation

Our presentation went quite well- Mike, Yuan and Conánn were all very impressed with our research and ideas overall.

The next thing to do is to experiment with these ideas and pick one!

Concept Art- Bones and the Body

When designing concept pieces for our world, I was really inspired by several concept pieces I saw online. Many of them incorporated the use of body parts into the environment or were inspired by the human body to develop their structure.


Jessada- Art is a profile I stumbled across on Deviantart. The pieces below were the original inspiration behind my premise of incorporating the human body to the work. You can see the use of bones, fragmented to give the shop of the mountains.


Bone Mountain. (Jessada-art.deviantart.com).


Mysterious Castle. (Jessada-art.deviantart.com).


Dragon Station. (Jessada-art.deviantart.com).

Emmanuel Shiu

Emmanuel Shiu is a concept artist who works on both video game and movies. He has worked on many projects from Star Trek to The Lost Planet 3. When looking into interviews with Emmanuel, he offered the following advice on creating alien environments.

The key to creating any environment is story. Story drives everything. From story, I derive the shapes and designs that best fit the scenario. Aside from getting my inspiration from the story, I also look to everyday things to inspire me. There are times when I’ll look at an ordinary object, turn it upside down and all if a sudden you have a new kind of architecture that’s unique.

I tend to sketch a lot to get the right shapes and silhouettes as well. From there, I usually take it to paint and further explore. One if the trickiest things I’ve found while designing fantastical worlds is the need for the designs to be based in some kind if reality. It has to make sense. If it doesn’t, you run the risk of the viewer not believing it. Knowing that balance is the key. (Io9.gizmodo.com).

From this, I realised that it is highly important that our world itself has an origin story. I will mention this to our team, hopefully we can create something quite dark, as that seems to be the vibe we’re going for.

When looking at his artwork itself, it was all very intense- giving a sense of peril and adventure. His use of colour gives the feeling of unease- many of his more futuristic environments are in dark colours, with sparks of fluorescent light. I really think something like this would benefit in our own work. I especially liked how he created armour on the world- something to explore in future designs perhaps.


One of my favourites of Shiu’s work- I love the armoured look to the buildings. Maybe we could use the military research to reflect this look in our own world? Like an exoskeleton?(Emmanuel Shiu, 2016).

Art work for Lost Planet 3 by Shiu.


(Emmanuel Shiu, 2016).


(Emmanuel Shiu, 2016).


This one kind of looks like a rib cage.. (Emmanuel Shiu, 2016).


(Emmanuel Shiu, 2016).

Kev Jenkins- Knowwhere as seen in Guardians of the Galaxy.

‘Knowwhere’ is a planet that exists inside the Marvel universe. The planet is the severed head of a terrestrial being (a Celestial) and acts as an end of galaxy port of call for travellers. In the Guardians of the Galaxy, the planet is basically a giant mine, used to obtain the marrow from the bone and the spinal fluid in the neck. Kev Jenkins created some amazing concept art for this planet in the movie.

Clips of Knowhere from the Guardians movie. (YouTube, 2016).


(Jenkins et al., 2015).


(Jenkins et al., 2015).


Jessada-art.deviantart.com,. “Jessada-Art On Deviantart”. N.p., 2016. Web. 28 Feb. 2016.

Io9.gizmodo.com,. N.p., 2016. Web. 28 Feb. 2016.

YouTube, (2016). Guardians of the Galaxy ‘Knowhere Reel’. [online] Available at: https://youtu.be/6X8BoSt_ANc [Accessed 28 Feb. 2016].

Jenkins, K., Jenkins, K., Jenkins, K. and Jenkins, K. (2015). Kev Jenkins. [online] Kevjenkins.blogspot.co.uk. Available at: http://kevjenkins.blogspot.co.uk/ [Accessed 28 Feb. 2016].

Old Blog Post Links

I ran out of room on my old blog, so here are the missing posts prior to this.

  1. How do things float?

  2. Rome Statistical Research-Income

  3. Rome Statistical Research- Education

  4. Rome Statistical Research- Weather

  5. Floating City Research..

  6. A world with a core?
  7. Ancient Roman Medicine
  8. Roman Architecture 
  9. Historical Research- Rome

  10. Roman Scientists
  11. The Spine
  12. Research- Texture Experiments
  13. Energy as a Power Source
  14. Research- The Human Body making Energy

Finalising the Four Ideas

We finalised our four ideas today to the following;

  1. Cassie’s Mom and the Lightbulb
  2. Bully circle- sticks and stones
  3. Hidden disorder- Blindness
  4. Chip on your shoulder (teapots)

Cassie’s Mom and the Lightbulb

Although nothing is set in stone yet we realised that the character design in this animation is kind of nailed already- given that we all draw C.M. in the same way. We experimented with different ways to convey the story and how it could be edited together,


We liked the idea of little warning symbols appearing around the screen- something easily done in editing in After Effects. The music video for Grimes: Maim vs Kill has something similar to what we wanted to achieve, especially in the fluorescent lamp style look to the font. Could we have like little wiggly lines around her head- in an over exaggeration shown in the old Chuck Jones cartoons.

Screen Shot 2016-05-07 at 15.19.02.png

Screen Shot 2016-05-07 at 15.18.20

Stills from Grime’s music video.

Another idea that we had for this storyline was the inclusion of the light as a character in the animation. The ‘animal companion’ as applied to Vogler’s book, which we previously studied. We thought it would look quite cute too, as our lightbulb wants to reunite with his best friend- Cassie’s Mom.

13169849_10201693141728309_1040651240_oExploring the use of the lightbulb as a character.

Sticks and Stones

This animation was based off of our research into both the shape animations (one shape doesn’t fit all) and the Darwinism comic. It also incorporated Lorna’s research of Idioms and sayings as we took an original idea of something looming on a character and incorporate the saying “sticks and stones may break my bones.”

Our idea shows a character, a twig man, being bullied by these stone like slabs looming around him cause him to fall down. As he stands a flurry of names attacks him but he brushes them off to show they don’t hurt him.

13161289_10201693286891938_304450439_oWe liked the idea of having the stone bullies having a puppeteer look to them like in the animation Bear Story (2014) as shown in the environment i.e. the trees popping up as if on stilts.

Bear Story trailer

Blind Spot

This animation was heavily influenced by Out of Sight (2010) and The Optimist (2014) . The whole idea of blindness as a hidden message- the story starting out normal or funny (like that in Animades- The Impossible Hug.

The Optimist shows the hidden message really well- I didn’t even realise the girl was blind until Lorna pointed it out to me.

We really liked some of the visuals from Out of Sight (above), especially the sudden appearance of unknown objects as the girl touches them.


Our own idea revolved around a wizard boy. He starts on a stage and moves, tapping the air with a wand. A cereal bowl, bottle of milk and a spoon appear, the audience questioning what is going on. As he makes his final move to magic up his main item there is a crash and the camera pans up from the characters feet. Cereal is collecting as his shoes and as the camera pans up it is evident that he is blind- his magic wand was actually a stick.


Looking at Second Year Animations

In class we were shown a lot of the animations from last year. Dylan, Katie, Natasha and Aimee KP all worked on this animation called ‘Pants.’ We really liked the simple used of colours and the comical side to the story. Dylan’s tumblr also provided us with some inspiration to look at.


The team had looked at the work of Eoin Duffy when searching for minimalist styles. Again this 2D animator uses the simplified shapes to portray characters, with little depth. However, we can still identify with the characters and what they actually are.

The Missing Scarf.(Eoinduffy.me, 2016).

Eoin Duffy’s most recent short ‘The Missing Scarf.’ This video again implies a hidden meaning. Like the plot of ‘I Want my Hat Back,’ Albert the fox is looking for his missing scarf. On his journey, he finds several animal friends, much like in Klassen’s book, but they are all busy with their own problems.

  • Cecil the Owl is confronted with his fear of the dark. Albert advises him that with the fear of the unknown- how could we make new discoveries.
  • Conrad the Beaver is distracted with thoughts of his damn- fearing it would break and he would drown. Albert tells him that failure is better that success and that every time you fix a ‘crack’ you make a better damn. Conrad makes his damn as “strong as it can be” however, as Albert moves on, the damn breaks.
  • Edwin the Fox is plagued with the fear that the rest of his pack don’t like him. Albert advices that the fox not be so hard on himself and that the feeling of hate is self perceived. To be liked he must appear to be likeable. Edwin decides to be “more open” with his friends- as Albert leaves, Edwin appears to have some sort of heart attack and dies.
  • Fredrick the Bear fears nothing- the fear of the world destroying itself and nothing existing. The bear’s thought process gets pretty intense- worth a watch at 3.50mins in the video. Albert says that nature is tough- it works in ways that are still not understood, working to preserve and evolve to survive many circumstances.
  • After this Albert realises that the world itself will be fine- he doesn’t need his scarf as Spring is near. The world itself then ends- Fredricks fear coming true A bit of a morbid animation after all.

Another Animation with a morbid tone. The premise of it reminded me of that of Jon



Eoinduffy.me, (2016). EOIN DUFFY. [online] Available at: http://eoinduffy.me [Accessed 27 Feb. 2016].


About Me


Hello! I am a Northern Irish girl currently studying a Animation BA HONS degree at Ulster University.

On this blog you’ll see some of my main projects and the thought processes that go behind them.

If you would like to offer me any advice of inspiration please feel free to contact me on rebeccablair22@hotmail.co.uk.

I hope you enjoy what you see!