15 Second Animation · New Narratives

15 Second Animation – Ideas

In class we were set the task of creating a 15 second animation, our first ever attempt at a brief animated short in our first year. I was initially very nervous about taking on such an enormous task, but form what I have uncovered from previous years, it is through the experience and the mistakes that you learn how to properly tackle a programme like Maya, or at the very least learn the basics. We were separated into teams of four, only this time we were given the chance to choose our own teams rather than it being picked at random. My team consisted of the reliable Bradley, Alistair and Charlotte, and we were very motivated to start working as soon as we were given the chance.

We then began the initial brainstorming for our animated short, before we could get started on planning our story board and animatic to gain a basic gist of what the final product would look like. We individually formed our own ideas before deciding as a team what idea we would choose as the basis of our animation. When I was writing ideas down in my sketchbook, I had come to terms with how difficult the actual process would be, taking into consideration not only the strict 15 second time limit, but also whether or  not the plot would be achievable in 3D.

After relaying our choices, I was so flattered that the team went with one of my ideas and I am very grateful for that. The idea in particular was the story of a mother bird, waiting for her three eggs to hatch. The first two eggs would hatch two normal little chicks, and suddenly the last egg would hatch a funny looking snake, the mother would at first seem terrified. However as the credits roll, Polaroids of the family together including the snake would be shown as a light hearted twist. Due to previous lectures focusing on the topic of explicit and implicit meanings, we wanted the story to have a meaning that was as cute and heart warming as the visual elements included. Family isn’t blood, it’s what you make it!

Once the initial plot was decided upon, we then began to think briefly about how the birds we were going to animate should look, that can effectively convey their silly and cute nature whilst also being easy to model and manoeuvre. Through this, we went off individually to draw and describe rough ideas on how we thought the birds should look. Then this allowed us later on, to take apart our designs and pick out our favourite aspects, merging them together to complete our finalised designs. In order to figure out how we should go about starting our animation, we looked at various different shorts online that involved birds. It was a lot easier to visualise how our birds would look when we could gain a visual library of other artist’s interpretations. Below are a few examples of differently styled animated birds and how the animators incorporated comedy into not only the story line but also their physicality.

Another helpful part of this assignment was the pitching to the class our idea and receiving feedback from both students and lecturer’s alike, this was when we could confirm that this was the idea we would use from the positive feedback.



  • The Angry Birds Movie. The Early Hatchling Gets The Worm (Hatchling Short). 2016. Web. 23 May 2017.
  • Pixar. Piper Short Movie. 2017. Web. 23 May 2017.
  • Pixar. For The Birds (Pixar Short Films). 2001. Web. 23 May 2017.

Group Credit

Bradley:: https://bradsbadart.wordpress.com/

Allistair:: https://alilyonsblog.wordpress.com/

Charlotte:: https://charlottebryansart.wordpress.com/


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