PERSONAL PROJECT | DESIGN + ANIMATION
- MARCH 2023
I have gone through many inner reforms in these years. I understand myself different now and have tried to transfer myself into a new state. The change has been drastic and has greatly influenced how I react to this world. During this time, I have built a new worldview that contrasts with the old one. I wanted to use this project to showcase my shallow understanding of the world or my life so far. The one-minute work is too short to talk about the subject matter, but it is the most truthful representation of myself.
Through this work, I want to present the idea how I understand my life mission and which is, Simply put, there are thousands of pains that could suffer us during our lifetime, but they have their reasons to exist. So, I choose to accept them and peacefully live out the rest of my life.
Keyword: humans, deities, souls, incarnation, emotions, karma, religions, spirituality
As humans, we are born into this world with no memory or direction. As we grow, we start to discover the purpose of our lives. We suffer and struggle through various outer incidents and inner emotions, which can bring us tremendous traumas. However, through these frustrations, we discover that misery actually has meaning, rather than being nihilistic.
Thus, we become peaceful and accept these experiences, whether they are good or bad, because they are the factors that help us grow, help us return to our true selves, and ultimately, fulfill our life purpose. With this mindset, we realize that we are both human and divine, and that we are headed back to our origin at the end of our lives.
To better present my idea, I have divided this story into four parts:
P1. Before form - a part of the universe
P2. Incarnation - shock, unease, and constraint
P3. Escape - suffering from various emotions and pains
P4. Acceptance and Epiphany - living out the rest of our lives.
I inevitably lean my style towards a darker and more serious form, as I feel this aligns with my (visual) identity. I was/have been described as dark, serious, negative, and pessimistic, even though I had changed a lot.In this work, I explored abstract and spiritual subjects, and I present them in a surreal format. While the scenarios appear real, they also contain an element of unreality, which creates a sense of an alternate world."
This is dark, yet not pessimistic.
I chose Wayshak, one of my favorite illustrators, as a reference because of his style in using hatch shaders to portray exaggerated, cartoonish characters in a dark and explicit format. This perfectly captures the conflict I want to depict - the intersection of horror and virtuality. Wayshak's style strikes a balance between scary and cartoony subjects. To me, he skillfully avoids taking his style to any extreme.
I find that his work aligns well with the atmosphere I aim to create - it is scary, yet not overwhelmingly so, and also conveys a sense of sadness without becoming too melancholic. To me, the overall effect is neutral, which is exactly what I wanted to achieve.
Character Design Reference
Stylframe: particle aggregation
Stylframe: eye opening
Stylframe: human shocked
Stylframe: dark room escape
Stylframe: human runs
Stylframe: hands pulling Back
Modeling, Animation, MoGraph
C4D is such a fun software to learn and explore. I have taken the time to utilize it to help me with my projects. As for modeling, it does not cause much disturbance, since the character design is not too difficult to build up.
However, for other needs, I require a lot of motion effects to enhance my scene. For instance, particles, water droplets, breaking walls, and falling paper. To achieve this, I experiment with different sets of MoGraph effects in Cinema4D. It can be challenging, but it's also a lot of fun.
Shaders are another important role in this project as they align with my visual look and bring out the overall vibe. I used Sketch and Toon to generate the sketch shader, mimicking Wayshak's style.
Sketch and Toon is a shader function based on a still image, which usually is a pattern. To mimic the illustration, I had to analyze how the original reference was made. After some experimentation, I found that the small, simple sketch(pic below) was the best minimum element to build into the final sketch shader. Based on that, I put the sketch pattern into Sketch and Toon system. For the next steps, I played with the parameters, adjusting the density, contrast, and pattern direction to achieve the desired final output for my sketch shader
Motion Test: Particle aggreagtion
Motion Test: fish
Motion Test: emotion changing
Keyframes of running circle
Keyframe of facial expression
The patterns to create the final sketch shader
The Material Editor of the sketch shader
Sketch test 01
Sketch test 02
Sketch test 03
Soundtrack | 酸＋forgotten madness
Towards the end of 2022, I was working on my Cutting grass, a title sequence, During the day, I spent most of my time at school, often staying until midnight. For many of those nights, I listened to the music of Bremen Entertainment Inc. I was captivated by their album “Taured".
To me, it represents the feeling of being lost, but still having hope. It's like when we want to give up, but we find the strength to overcome the difficulties in the end. One particular song, "Suan," talks about how they see the world and how we can feel lost in it. However, our souls keep coming back to the world, reincarnating to solve the problems that need to be solved. It may seem crazy, but it is meant to be. The feeling of resignation is there, but we choose our path anyway.
(Note: The sound clip is merged by another music, "Forgotten Madness," also from their album.)
Professor: James Gladman
Design: Li-Yu Chen
Animation: Li-Yu Chen
3D: Li-Yu Chen
Soundtrack: Bremen Entertainment Inc.