Marina and the Archelon (Experimental Animation Final)



(PLEASE READ THE DESCRIPTION)This is my final project from my Experimental Animation class at College for Creative Studies during the Fall 2017 semester. this is a short hand-drawn animated film based an original story of mine called “Marina”, a personal project I have been developing for almost a decade. For this project, I decided to focus on one little moment in the life of this mermaid princess named Marina.

SYNOPSIS:
The story takes place with Marina as an infant (about 12 or 18 months) as she explores her surroundings, when she comes across a sad looking baby Archelon (a prehistoric giant sea turtle). Curiously, she tries to pet it, only for the turtle to bite her hand! Ouch! Naturally, this upsets poor little Marina and she tries to attack the creature back in revenge only to discover that the Archelon has a six-pack ring around its neck. So Marina decides to help the poor turtle and yanks the piece of human waste off its neck. Because of her kindness, Marina and the turtle become best friends. The story ends as we dissolve to show the lapse of time as Marina (now a young adult of 17 years) and her turtle friend, now a great giant, have grown up the best of friends.

BEHIND THE SCENES:
-For the opening establishing shot, I wanted to capture a feeling of depth with a “Multiplane Camera”-style shot. This was done by making separate layers for the background and then scanning the images one by one, erasing white areas for transparencies on Adobe Photoshop and compositing, arranging and animating them on After Effects. I wanted to replicate the classic Disney movies with their spectacular use of the Multiplane Camera and I think I accomplished that quite well.
-For the character designs, I tried to emulate the style of animation director Chuck Jones, especially the work he did when he worked for MGM in the ’60’s. I felt his style perfectly fit the cuteness of both Marina and the baby sea turtle I was looking for. I even drew all the character animation using the exact same type of pencil he was known for using: the Palomino Blackwing! If you look at the third shot, when Marina sees her hand bitten, you’ll notice she gives a side-eyed look in irritation. This side-eye expression is a common trademark in many of Chuck Jones’ cartoons which I decided to incorporate, giving the character more personality.
-I drew EVERY SINGLE BACKGROUND AND FRAME of character animation MYSELF. After checking the timing of the animations on Dragonframe, I converted every scanned frame to a PNG in Adobe Illustrator, colored the pictures on Photoshop, exported them as PNG sequences and composited them over the backgrounds on After Effects. I created the underwater light beams on After Effects, using the YouTube AE tutorial in the link provided below as a guide. Overall, this took me around two to three weeks to complete.
-The music is an orchestral version of the famous “Clair de Lune” by Claude Debussy, peformed by the Philadelphia Orchestra, conducted by Wolfgang Sawallisch. I do not own this particular recording. It belongs to its respective owners. I felt it perfectly captured the beauty and serenity of the ocean for this piece.

To learn how I created the underwater light beams, click on the link below!:

Made with Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere, and After Effects, Dragonframe, and over a hundred hand-drawn frames.

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