The world of dreams and nightmares. Simply a reflection of our daily lives, our wants, our desires, our fears. Some nights, when I close my eyes, the beautiful dreams quickly become dark reminders of my mortality and those that have left far too soon. I question the beliefs I hold, the choices I have made, and the place where those have left the world have moved on to. In the time I have been in college, I have lost many people to suicide, to old age, and to illness. It makes you feel helpless and some nights when I lay in my bed, battling my constant anxiety feeling empty and alone.
I want to create an animation that explores dreams shifting into not necessarily a nightmare but of things that are out of human control. I want to create a story I have never tried before. Something that almost makes me uncomfortable to approach.
For this animation, I want to utilize vibrant colors that contrast very dark scenes. I want to move away from dialogue and want to have strong imagery that has to be pieced together and cannot be fully examined until the end. I plan to once again use a composer. I have enlisted the help of Cooper Wood, who worked on the score for my last animation Dusk Initiative Emergency.
I came across Liam Wong’s photography, and I am really inspired by his use of color and lighting. I hope to get a similar tone across in my animation, especially in the dream sequence.
January 31, 2020
I am now starting to shift focus to using the environment for story telling. I have basic rooms built and am modeling the objects to fit in the scenes. For a couple, I started testing lighting, especially with and without the presence of a character. I am hoping as I make and find better textures. The walls in the bedroom won’t look as flat. However, more objects will be added to the floor and desk. Lighting in the lamp still need a lot of work.
February 6, 2020
These are from two of the main scenes. One is a room and one is of a hallway. I am still playing with the lighting. Night lighting has been the most difficult. I am not sure if I now want to move towards a realistic lighting or a more vibrant, neon lighting. I know the renders turned out darker, so I would have to edit the saturation in post. I am also experimenting with lighting in C4D versus Maya. Cinema 4D is better with the textures and cameras, but lighting is a lot better in Maya.
Here are the files to make the textures in Cinema 4D. I am using Quixel Mixer.
February 26, 2020
Plan from Workshop
Questions that are asked in the animation
- What does it mean to die?
- What does it feel like to have fear?
- What does it mean to have anxiety?
- How do we explore external problems in our minds?
- Can we truly heal after the lose of someone close?
- How does it feel to come face to face with someone’s suicide?
- How do we cope with loss?
How these questions will be processed in the animation?
Often times, after loss, humans find associations in their daily life with the person they mourn. I want to use symbolism tied to the after life in the opening shots, which will not be fully revealed until the end of the animation as everything falls into place. My animation will begin and end essential the same way and in a third person perspective. This is going to be used to show the continuous and unresolvable problems found within both anxiety and loss. The middle portion of the animation will be shot within a first person perspective. Through the careful actions that literally direct the viewers attention along with guiding mood lights and carefully organized environments, viewers will have a chance to place themselves in the process of moving between a calm to a storm to look at the formation of fear and anxiety associated with death.
- The protagonist feels threatened
- This is a dream
- We are a character in the story
- There is beauty and curiosity
- Panic begins when we least expect it
- The quiet is when we have time to ponder
- The paths we chose are not always known and require risk
- We want to help those in need
- We are helpless after the death of someone
- The protagonist is trapped
March 31, 2020
April 7, 2020
April 9, 2020
The project has now been rendered in a lossless quality that places it at 20 GB. It has now gone through the Media Encoder and been kept at a high quality and compressed into an mp4 of 500 mb. The color and the quality has now been able to be kept.
This is the audio draft. It is the skeleton that will be rerecorded. There were around 50 audio clips recorded and less than half were used. I am still looking at using a composer to create undertones under the narration.
April 23, 2020
Death. It is the one thing guaranteed to every one of us. No one knows when or how, but in many places, death has become way too familiar. War in many areas has exposed fear and normality of death to children at a young age. Diseases have presented an end as a painful and slow process that eats away at humanity physically and emotionally.
With mental disorders, feelings of persistent pressures, or immense loss, have even led to suicide. Old age is the one that a majority of us if we are lucky, will experience. Many nights, I lie awake as the anxiety of death washes over me. The clock is ticking in the darkness of night, indicating every little second vanishing from my grasp. The beautiful dreams that dance at the edge of my mind fade away into eternal terror as my mind slams against the wall that blocks me from thinking about how it will feel to die. As my heart raced at the thought of death, I try to search for the answers to loss.
Eternal Transience is a dynamic animation examining the complex ties between anxiety and depression in the face of death. The environment and its elements drive the narration. Telescopes, drawings, and patterns trigger our associations with the afterlife. Moving between scenes, the use of doors symbolize the movement of the mind through phases of internal thought from serenity to chaos. Through a third and first-person lens, audiences can switch between being an outsider to becoming an active subject in the piece. Ultimately, the work leads to no resolution but a bookend that is bound to start the cycle of helplessness and anxiety again when faced with mortality.
The animation of Eternal Transience reflects the memories of those who took their life with their own hands. Whose bodies’ cells worked to forge a path of immortality only to die in the process and those who were defeated by the test of time. However, it is more than those who have passed and the desperation they may have faced in their last moments.
This piece has made me think about how we as humans cope with loss. Loss can both break the spirit but also create unbreakable bonds and human strength. It is not an easy process, and we look towards many forms of healing. We hold funerals and ceremonies in hopes that the person dying is appropriately honored and remembered. We post messages on social media as if they are there to fill the gaps. We look at old photos holding on to those good times. In the wake of this happiness, there can be a scar embedded by those lost, which makes us fearful, regretful, and fragile.
When I think about every person I have lost over my four years as an undergraduate student, I wish that the hurtful things said could be taken back. The words I could never have spoken could have been better shared, wishing I could have been there for those in silent pain. As I reflect on those I have lost, I have also reflected on myself in hopes that I am more attentive to those who are suffering physically, mentally, or emotionally. While Eternal Transience isn’t direct and more abstract in its approach, I hope that viewers can place themselves and reflect on their loved ones and their own choices and experiences in life.