In this animated short, a lonely lady indulges in a wishful thinking about what it’d be like to wear a luxurious coat.
MAKING "MY PRAYER"
The project started off with one simple agenda: to create an animated piece that evokes an emotion. In order to develop a storyline from scratch, I listened to loads of music to see what what kind of imageries the melodies and lyrics can inspire. As I have always been a big fan of oldies, I went through a random playlist of music from the 50s/60s, from which I ran into “My Prayer” by the Platters.
Seeing that the transition from a melancholic tune to a romantic one in the beginning could be a great impetus for a story, I listened to the music multiple times to identify what sort of emotion the music evoked. I thought the overarching shift from melancholy to romantic to dramatic resonated with what would be like a fantasy sequence in a musical. While I wasn’t paying too much attention to the lyrics, I felt underneath the romanticized escape into the imaginary lay a sense of longing for what one cannot have. Coincidentally, I ran into a clip of Breakfast at Tiffany’s upon surfing the Internet, of which the opening sequence echoed this sense of longing. Once I locked down WHAT emotion I wanted to communicate, the storyline came together pretty quickly as I had the music to build off of.
The challenge of this project came more so from a technical end, as this project was my first step away from a full animatic, and a small step toward something that looks relatively more animated. The whole learning curve felt much like one a person would experience in learning how to speak a language. Even when I knew how to animate individual elements, it was far more complex to put together the animated elements in a way that tells a meaningful story. For example, when I first designed the keyframes in the beginning of the project, I was largely thinking in terms of a flat surface, where the elements had no real dimensional relationship from one another. However, as I started compositing my images in AfterEffects I realized the great potential the 3D camera work has in achieving a 2.5D look. This epiphany became a breakthrough point in my process, from which I started implementing this consideration of the dimensions into my storyboard as the project progressed.
Due to the exploratory nature fo this project, the final product of the project shows a bit of inconsistency in the motion treatment across the entire video. I see the final version as more so a glorified animatic/storyboard, rather than a complete animated short. The project turned out to be a significant opportunity where I was able to work out a method that implements both Photoshop and After Effects in a way that is efficient and takes full advantage of the unique fortes of each software. I'm thrilled to integrate the insights I gained from this project in the new animation project I recently started.