Cutting Animatics

David Lean

By figuring out the transitions between scenes. Some part I use bubbles. But also I took a look at of some live action film reference. Especially David Lean.

In many of his scenes, he like to use sound design to transit into the next scene. Like the famouse match scene in Lawrence in Arabic.

So I talk to my sound designer about the scene transfer into indoor. I was thinking that I can use a light sound. But my sound designer gave me a better idea. He said we can use a wooph flying sound to transfer to the indoor.

Film is a language.

I enjoy working with people and share these ideas.

in the end by transfering to the future… I want the sound design to show the differences with the other part.

So I ask him to make traffic noise and some high tech sound from the phone.

Technique – ToonBoom

I decide not to do hand drawing. Based on my children society film experience. I can finish one minute film in 3 months. So graduation film all by hand drawing and finish it in 6 months, it is impossible for me. I need to find a way to make my life easier.

ToonBoom can use rigging to finish most of the animation. And the rigging can be used again and again.

Benefit: it allows me to have more time to think about the story and art direction. 

I start to study ToonBoom in January. It is  Canada software. I compared it with Celaction, which is a UK based software. Then I decide to use ToonBoom.


  • First, Toonboom is easier for a personal project. Again, I work on the graduation film by myself. So I need a software work quick and doesn’t need many Teamwork.
  • In a Celaction project, it needs a designer to design things in photoshop or illustrator, and then import these things into celaction. The drawing tool is not very good and handy to use.
  • ToonBoom has many plug ins. Most of them can replace the usage in After Efect. Like creating 3D background. Add blur and glow effect in ToonBoom, after each element is animated. It saves lots of time.


I’d like to set up the location in a small village in England.  Because when I visit some countryside in England, it makes realize the influence of the environment on the story.

I went to York and see a rabbit hole. It’s the first time I see a rabbit hole in my life.

Then it makes me realize why Alice in Wonderland can be written here.

Then I went to kent and lake district. The beautiful scenario makes me believe England is a place can create a fairytale. Because the mountains are very gentle. And trees can have varies shapes.

Then base on the photos I shot, I created this image. It is mostly based on the rose garden in kent. Because in kent, all the trees and grass are trimmed. the shape is beautiful and creative.

Another reason I choose to do vector drawing is that in this way. I can work faster by myself on the background.

Because I only have six month to finish a film by my own.


  • The young couples choose to have pets first then kids. In this case, more and more kids will grow up with a dog or cat.   
  • Along with emotional and social benefits, long-term pet ownership has implications for health 
  • Children raised with pets show many benefits. Developing positive feelings about pets can contribute to a child’s self-esteem and self-confidence. A good relationship with a pet can also help in developing non-verbal communication, compassion, and empathy. 

Graduation Film working thoughts & process

I’m in the stage of animating. In the meantime, I’m working with my composer, sound designer, actor and Pei who is the first year helping me out.

I’m very thankful to work with these talented people. And I start to feel that things are getting serious. Before working with these people, I have the thoughts of playing casual. However, they’re professional and hardworking people which influence me a lot. When the sound designer and composer talk to me with the professional words in their field, I try to broaden my knowledge so that I can catch up. By working with these people, they give me a fresh view of my own work. For example, when the sound design asked me about what the girl’s emotion in a particular point. I start to dig in more into the story and try difference ideas with the sound designer.

The music also influence my animatic. When I get the cue 3, I start to know in a particular scene the timing is not right, I need to change it.

Film Marathon 02 – Box Office

In the cinema, you can see very clear that which age or gender is the main audience for this film. Some Disney films labels “Family” and the audience are mostly parents bringing their kids to the cinema. The adults watch it because they want to spend some family time with their kids. However, the film Zootopia which has great box office result attracts adults to watch without kids.

Taking a look at the worldwide box office of recent Disney animated films.

Frozen     $127 Billion

Incredibles 2  $123.7 Billion

Zootopia $102 Billion

Coco $80 Billion

Moana $63 Billion

The Incredibles $61 Billion

It is very interesting to look at these figures. The Incredibles 2’s box office is twice as much as the first incredible film. Why? Is it because it’s twice as good as the first one? On IMDB the first one’s rate is 8/10, the second one is 7.9/10. You may say time changes in these 14 years and it involves in economic growth. But The Lion King which is a 1994 film, the box office is $98.6 Billion. Interesting, eh?

The success of the Frozen and Zootopia, because of the target audience has contained as wide as possible. Both of these two films discussed feminist which is the hot topic in the society, it leads empathy toward many people.

It is quite fun to take a look at the box office and see these figures meaning. After all, everything has a price.


Film Marathon 01

Films I have watched recently:

The Smallfoot


The Nutcracker

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

Johnny English Strikes Again

I like to spend one afternoon in the cinema and watch two films, doing a film marathon. I get values from a couple of ways by doing this.

Firstly the latest films offer me a sense of what is in trend. The “in trend” is not only refer to the technology and CGI but is also referred to the story developing and other details even for sound effects.

Taking Harry Potter, for example, the sound effects start to develop since the third one. It adds detail to the sound effects for each spell which makes the film more vivid. And the sound effects are still developing in the latest Fantastic Beasts film.

Secondly, in the cinema, it is clear to observe the audience reaction and target audience.