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digital animation, firealpaca, 2021

selfish is a digital frame animation that i completed for an introduction to frame animation studio course in spring 2021. it was assigned as the final project for the course, the objective being that the animation had to total of 60 seconds– not including the credits– and set to music. 

this animation is my most ambitious project to date. i had gone into it only with a vague idea based off of the song i had chosen, selfish by polearm, and i knew that i wanted to tell a story. back in 2018, i created two characters, edith yamato and jessica chamberlain, as part of an original character universe with a friend of mine. it's been several years and i haven't had the time nor the energy to revisit them or their story, but i really felt like their relationship would fit perfectly with the vibe of this song.

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concept designs of jessica and edith, respectively, both from early/mid 2019

jessica and edith had initially been created to be regular college students, but i felt like their characters could reach new heights in this animation. after listening to the song for more than a couple times, i decided that i wanted to tell the story of a forbidden love between an angel and a demon, one that sprouted from pain but still manages to be fulfilling and special despite the odds. the line "she's a devil / she's a two timer" really spoke to me and and helped me make this decision. 

i began my animation process by simply diving into the project. i have never been one to plan out my work extensively because i love working as i go, evolving the project on whims and working with new thoughts and ideas every day. i drew around 760 individual frames for this project, all of them drawn in firealpaca. as i worked, i put completed sequences into premiere pro to see what i was working with so far.

an early, in-progress version of the animation

i wanted to focus on bold linework and storytelling for this piece. i elected to change the initial color palette (this is seen at the beginning of the video on the left) to something a lot more simple: a sandy yellow and a bright red coupled alongside white and  black for a more dramatic effect. this decision was heavily inspired by the minimal color palettes found in mid-2010s youtube animatics, particularly hamilton: the musical ones, that i used to watch constantly in my youth. i wanted to evoke an animatic sort of style, and i believe it was successful.

this project really challenged me in more ways that one. the time crunch to complete it before the final class critique coupled with my own personal burnout proved to be monumental roadblocks that i managed to overcome. i have never attempted to do an animated work like this, much less one without any sort of tweening or keyframing at all, and i am extremely proud of how it came out in the end. it's definitely set me on a path of genuinely enjoying the animated work i create, and i am very excited to do more work just as (and even more!) ambitious than this one.

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various stills from the final animation

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