Cutting Grass


- OCTOBER 2022

This is a title sequence for a short animation called Cutting Grass, created by an amazing student team from the Tianjin Academy of Fine Arts. This film is around 11 minutes long and tells a story of vengeance. For this project, I created a 90-second-long title sequence for the film.

Film | Cutting Grass

Cutting Grass, a student final project, was made by the students of the Tianjin Academy of Fine Arts. It is a 11-minute-long 2D short animation. The director used the method of traditional 2D animation skills to create a cinematic quality for this piece.

The story is about a girl, the protagonist, who was adopted by a doctor. This doctor brought her up yet also conducted experiments on her, which traumatized her mentally and physically. One day, the girl escaped and starts planning her vengeance on the doctor and everyone who was involved in this horrible event.

the girl, the protagnist

Doctor Li, the head of villain

The maskman, one of experimental stuff of doctor Li

The nursewomen, one of experimental stuff of doctor Li

Original Logo

Still 01

Still 02

Still 03


I started the project with a couple of ideas. In the end, I decided to treat this title sequence as a prequel of the film and supplemented the information that was not included in the film, that is, the background information of the characters’ relationships. My main title’s narrative aims to imply the reason why the girl embarks on the journey of vengeance.

Different early pitches for this film title

Storyboard 01

Storyboard 02

Storyboard 03

Storyboard 04


Textures and Elements

Cutting Grass is a horror movie. In order to align with this genre, I used smoke-like, ink-like brushes and liquid, blood drop elements to create a horror atmosphere.


For the logo design, I used bold, unruly calligraphic strokes to showcase the film name, which has an intense meaning. The film title“翦草” is excerpted from a Chinese poem, and the excerpted sentence is “殺人如翦草.”If translated directly, it means “slaughter people like cutting grass,” which is parallel to the plots of the film, in which all the bloody and violent scenes take place.

Color Palette & Typeface





I used a bold and saturated red as my main color to present the violent feeling of the film. Additionally, I integrated bright yellow varying my overall visual look. To present text credits, unlike the logo, I chose a neutral Chinese serif font, for it can be read clearly and not distract the viewer’s attention from my main narrative.

Mood board

Typeface Choice

Textures and Elements

Logo refining process. Left: old version, Right: final version

Styleframe 01

Styleframe 02

Styleframe 03

Styleframe 04

Styleframe 05

Styleframe 06

Styleframe 07

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Motion Treatment
The motion mainly used the camera movement to track/truck the still objects to reveal the story. Thus, I modeled objects first, and then I arranged the animation to each object for each scene, which is quite tricky, and I needed some trial and error to find the perfect timing and composition to fit all the frames.

After rendering out the 3D objects with Sketch and Toon in 2D look, I used a gradient map to apply my color palette. I also used level effect to fine tune the contrast so as to customize each object’s color.

Models I made for the scenes

Assets I made for the scenes

Model with motion

Model with motion

Coloring Process

Coloring Process

Soundtrack | Kiss of Death

This amazing soundtrack Kiss of the Death by Kadir Demir is a big plus to my work becasue it has strong rythme to present a spooky vibe, and Its iconic beats from the cello’s notes give me a perfect environment to sync with my footage.



Client: Xiaoqi Xu
3D Model: Li-Yu Chen
Design: Li-Yu Chen
Motion Design: Li-Yu Chen
Soundtrack: Kadir Demir