Behind The Scenes: Animated Film for NOT

A behind-the-scenes look into the steps of creating our first animated short film with a young talented team: Luke Parker and Joyce Chen. Luke is a motion designer focused on Environment Design & VFX for advertising, and Joyce is a graphic designer specialized in branding and illustration. 

The process has been so much fun, we wanted to share the progress in this ongoing blog post. In-progress shots, email or message conversations, sketches, and more. The images and captions will be numbered simply to show sequence. Check back in over time to see new updates!


We began brainstorming ideas in February to create an animated film inspired by NOT's design process - the life of a NOT design from thought to reality imagined as an amorphous, living organism. 


animation fabric experiments jenny lai notanimation fabric experiments jenny lai notFirst experiments in animated fabric movement, based on actual fabrics from NOT collections.



storyboard animation jenny lai

First storyboard by Luke & Joyce: Set on a stage, where fibers dance and weave into fabric.



patterns not jenny laifashion sketches not jenny lai

Jenny shares sketchbook, grid paper, patterns, and other process materials for inspiration. Discussing inspiration from Basil Twist's Symphonie Fantastique to Batsheva's Sadeh 21 to William Kentridge's charcoal animations, and sharing references for stage design and music. 



NOT topsy Turvy Trenchpattern not jenny lai

NOT's Topsy Turvy Trench is used as reference for the final garment. Photographs of the exact paper pattern pieces are sent to Luke to "digitally sew" together. 



instagram message luke parker jenny lai

Communication on the project spans video calls, emails, and instagram messages!



stage section animation luke parker jenny lai

2nd version of stage setting.



sKetch jenny lai

Jenny sketches out ways to exaggerate the sleeve in the final garment.


texture references

animation luke parker jenny lai

Inventing textures for the garment, looking at texture references from contemporary paintings to tree bark. 


material development

 More material development using a "node system" to overlay various images into complex data paths.



animation luke parker

Jenny's actual design sketches are incorporated into this animated crumpled paper.



Mike Truesdell

 With the style frames in hand, we are able to start on music. Very excited that percussionist extraordinaire Mike Truesdell is creating an original soundscape for this animation. Here is his setup and one of many experiments. Over ten iterations are made, playing with different instruments and moods such as atmospheric, dance-like, or melodic. 



karate pose


After looking at ballet and modern dance references, Luke decides to reference karate movements to create the abstract dance for the floating garment.



camera and light set up

Luke sets up light and camera placements and creates inputs that draw thread ripping from the fabric edges.



animatic luke parker jenny lai

As a team, we review the final animatic to fine-tune timing of each scene and transition to the second. 




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