Making a Difference – Together for Short Lives
We recently had the privilege of creating a fundraising animation for Together for Short Lives; a children’s charity carrying out amazing work with families who have a child with life-shortening conditions.
The animation was premiered at the charity’s Midsummer Fundraising Gala to help illustrate the day-to-day struggles of parents in these situations. Following this, a full web roll-out of the animation is scheduled to further spread awareness of the issues.
TFSL provided us with a real-life case study which collectively, we shaped into a script. Inspired by the rise in ‘Go Pro-esque’ point of view footage, we decided that the best way to help viewers understand the situation was to place them directly into the shoes of someone in experiencing it.
Striking a balance between being approachable and being realistic was the main challenge with the art style. Our goal was to keep the illustrations charming and engaging while stopping short of being naive or childish. This was further assisted with the implementation of visual effects (see point 4) that we layered across the animation. We used gradients and an expansive palette to add richness and depth to our visuals.
Originally the animation started rather bleakly. We discovered however, that this approach made the story more difficult for people to relate to, especially those that aren’t in this predicament themselves. By preceding this with a scene showing the joy and hope of the birth of a new child, we were able to create a connection with the viewer.
Elements such as the ‘blink’ transitions were ways that we could keep the viewer immersed in the experience. On occasion we broke from reality (i.e. the plates and shopping dropping outside the car or the screen shattering) to provide a window into the thoughts that weigh on a parent’s mind.
4. Visual Effects
We used an array of treatments to enhance the fluctuating moods throughout the animation – colour, light and saturation played a key role in this. High vibrance and light (complete with lens flares) evoked happiness, hope and joy. A blue filter and reduced saturation helped us communicate our character’s feelings of sadness and despair.
In key scenes such as driving the car, layering up multiple rain effects really helped build atmosphere. The tear effects were particularly tricky!
Ciao for now,
Lead Animator, The Like Minded