Adding some SFX

I always like to find a specific background music for every piece that I make.
The reason is that I think if I can find a great tune to it, the animation can definitely communicate more than a plain background.

I found my background music for this piece in

It is quite a nice place to find free music to put in the video, some of them might ask you to put credits on or some of them are just completely free.

Anyway, I show the version with both soundtrack and background music to Steve. Apparently, I put the BGM way too loud that he couldn’t hear the soundtrack speaking. He suggested that instead of putting BGM, why don’t I try some atmosphere soundtrack? some ambients maybe.

I actually never thought about that but it is definitely worth a try! I went back and start putting together a new version with some outdoor playground sound and some outdoor pool tunes into the video, the animation does communicate even better than I thought. However, I still like some BGM at the back… So I keep the BGM with -20 level, just to make sure everything can be noticed in the film.





Composing in After Effect

Personally, I will say I really enjoy playing around with AfterEffect, the things that you can achieve in After Effect is outstanding and often with amazing qualities.

After finish shooting, I realize from the 3D CGI scene to the next scene where the black ball encounter with Children’s Society, it has not much of connections.
this is what the original clip look like:


Cause the previous scene is falling down, I thought if I made the ball falls down, it will make much more sense. So this is what I did…. (probably the weird and ‘take ages’ way)

I duplicate the same layer, and mask on of them out. Use the other one as a background.


Then I photoshopped one of the spheres into a single file png, that I can animate with. I animate it dropping from the top of it and adding some dropping expressions to it so it looks more ‘nature’

I also animate a shadow that follows through the ball. After few frames, I then combine the original footage with it so they can match and it won’t looks weird. 


The Finish version:



Making the leaves

At the second scene of the film, I want to show that there is a force that takes away his foster brother. Which then it reminds me I can use the wind to demonstrate that action.  At first, I thought I will draw out the wind after I finish shooting the animation with TVPaint or other programs. However, I was inspired from some of year 2’s work and I will like to develop some of the leaves fall with stop-motion animation. After having this idea, my first idea was to hang the leaves and animate it frame by frame falling down… Steve suggested that will actually take wayyyyyy toooooo much unnecessary work, which I can simply green screen it (which in this case I use blue screen)

Here is some process I made the leaves:


This is the wire I used to create the shape of the leaves.

This is the first method, I try to stick the paper with the wire with double sided tape, and it is totally a fail. The tape does not sticky enough to hold the paper.


The second method I tried is using glue gun, which it really works nicely, I just simply have to watch out it and cut all the edges carefully after it dry and cool down.


Start shooting with blue screen~  

A inside world -02

As I show the short bit of CGI to Shaun, he suggested that there is no need for the camera movement, which it might confuse the audience that it is a lonely feeling. The better way might be just simply let the ball sit at a corner and maybe the spotlight can then focus on it.

After I change it. I realize that the soundtrack is saying that ‘when I left school’
which mean that I might need some sort of transition in between the shots. I thought about falling out the box. Then I have to find a way to do it. Since the box is sealed and I have no idea how to animate a box constructing a door or suddenly appear a door.

A inside world

Although Steve was mentioning that I should try to draw out inside the mind of the character, but again, I rather test a different way, a new way that I can learn about different things. Therefore, I went off to Maya and start picturing a lonely world. Although it is not the first time I use Maya, but it is certainly something that I am not use to. I spend some time building up the set, however, the set looks really bored.


Its 4 walls with a ball. inside a box.

Adding some spotlight and camera movement. In order to make the camera move in a circle path. I learned how to attached camera to a motion path so it will always stay on the path. By using a ‘camera with aim’ I can position the aim in the center of the sphere, so the camera will always point toward the ball.

Finish animated version:

Some props

Here is some prop making process.



Almost 2 weeks away.

So I was away back to home to see my mom cause she had been diagnostic breast cancer.

Anyway, while I was away, I manage to get some material and did a bit of test shoot in the hospital. I shot two scene which it is not exactly going as well as I thought, but at the moment, I am sure the quality isn’t what we are aiming for.

Because I was away and I miss the crit with Lucy and David (who from Children’s Society) Shaun suggested me that I should make a video explaining the rough animatic along the way. To make sure the client understand each step and decision I take during the process.


Rough cut animatic (improved version)

Me Explaining the concepts.

Morphing references.

Here is some reference that I find during the research about using my character in the short film. Mio Mao is definitely has a huge influence on me in this particular piece. The way it changes from the character into a geometric shape and morphs it back is great.


Mio Mao – is an ItalianBritish children’s TV show produced by Misseri Studios & Mad Mouse Productions, L+H Films


This is another one that I found with smooth morphing and at the same time with a variety of different morphings.



This one is not just fun to watch, but I really like the colour of the film and most importantly, they timing on every frame is great.

My roughest ever story board/animatic.

I was just drawing out the story straight away inside TvPaint, without really thinking about it. I love this kind of way to work around it, especially at the very early stage of a project. Therefore, rather than putting images that make them into a pdf with the description, I put them together. I guess it is not an animatic since there is not sound… and the timing are not correct either, but it is what it is!

According to Steve, as a very rough storyboard, there is not a necessary pattern that I have to follow. As long as it can communicate to the client what the idea is. It is a good job done.


I have some issue that needs to resolve during the break, which gave me really little time to focus on the project, (As I spoke to Shaun before, about my mother’s condition) Therefore, I wasn’t able to produce the amount of work that I need to present on the pitching day.

From the soundtrack that I was given, I can tell that this is a worker from the children’s society speaking, but I was quite confused about it. (during the brief Lucy mentioned we’d be hearing from young people and the people who work directly with them)

I email Lucy telling her my confusions…as follow:


Dear Lucy,

I hope you are well.
I am writing this email because of one question:
Am I allow to change a piece of audio? This was suggested by one of the tutor …
or if I can maybe know more about his background?
The audio that I was assigned to sounds to me quite confusing….
First of all, it’s not like what the brief said ‘ a teenager speaking’ (but that’s not really the problem)
Second, I was quite confused with what is his ‘issue’? The audio sounds to me that… either this man did not suffer through the pain that he say he did… or that he is really trying to hide his emotions.
However, I understand that this actually sounds like a great piece of audio track for the campaign.
Sorry for the long email and I have also attached my audio track so that you will understand more what I meant.
Hope to hear from you soon!
Best regards,
Reggie (Ta-Chun)
Lucy was very nice and she was able to get back to me the next day!!
She also provided me some background about the person speaking – The person speaking is a project manager at The Children’s Society working with young people directly. He is talking about how his childhood, in particular having a foster brother, shaped his desire to work with young people.

The emotion in this audio piece isn’t necessarily about pain, but the challenge for you is to convey the emotion he felt growing up with a foster brother and how that influenced his decision to work with children – for example, he mentions the ‘profound impact’ he felt after his foster brother left home. So perhaps think about how it would have felt for his foster brother to leave after six years together, how the foster brother may have had issues himself to deal with, and so on.

The objective of your audio recording is to help our supporters (the audience) understand our workers – why do they work with young people, how do they feel about TCS. If this is done successfully, people will feel warmed to the character, they will feel that the young people we work with are in good hands.

I hope this is useful. Happy to answer any further questions.




From Lucy’s answer, I was able to narrow down my mind and start to generate some ideas.
The angle that I am going through is from an angle of all age people. and focus more on the children to be specific.
I generate some ideas below:

1.Using different colour bubbles to represent the memory of the childhood. And all the sudden bubble pops and everything disappears with only one bubble left which is – Children’s Society
2. there is a seed that drops into the dirt, growing rapidly into a huge tree. The tree is a metaphor of a strong support which represents the children’s society. The tree then reaches out into different directions helping different people.
3. Clay animation, animating a sphere that it can jump, morph, however facing different problems on its path. Until it finally meets the children’s society which then changes its life.
This is the finish version of pitching that I show to Children’s Society: