Process Presentation

Nicholas Grassi and 2 OthersJanice Tabin
Charlie Coes

   We created an animation that describes the social media landscape using dark humor to show how people get attached to their technology to the point where it consumes them.

   A storyboard is a series of comicbook or frame-like drawings that are used to map out the cinematography for an animation or film. We did not get to animate all the ideas we had finalized on the storyboard, in order to try to finish in time.

   The use of color was very significant in the animation, as we decicided to make everything in black and white, save for a few exceptions. One of these exceptions was the main character, when he momentarily looked up from his phone. This is to signify how if people would just take a moment to look up from our phones and observe the world around them, they might find a litte color in their life. We also colored the feather in his hat throughout the animation, wanting to make it stand out as we had planned a scene for the end of the short that we did not get to, where the feather would be spat back out of the phone and drift delicately down back onto the phone.

   Both the main and backround characters only look up from their phones once each, and only for a very short period of time before darting their eyes back to their devices. Our team tried to make it seem like even with seeing the horrifying events lain before them, the passengers still cared more about their superficial technology. One way we were going to present this, was by having Harrison (our main character) bump into someone on the way to finding a seat on the train, and making the collision so massive that the person passing's arm falls off. (Instead, we only had enough time to have them just bump into each other, which still gets the point across.) We wanted to make a point that neither of the characters care, or even notice, because they are on their phones.

   We came up with the idea of staging the animation on a train because one of us noticed that often people will focus their attention on their phones on the subway to pass the time, and sometimes can get a bit too distracted by them.


Upon creating our animation, we were tasked with using Adobe Animate, as it contains useful features in order to help us. We primarily used two animation styles. One, was frame by frame animation, which means we drew a segment of the animation, one frame at a time. The other, being tween animation, which allows you to use the same image. You select point a, and point b, and the computer generates the frames in between. Finalization of the animation ultimately completed the film, as each member of our group worked on a separate section of the storyboard, within their own computer. A very important aspect of animation, is having a detailed, and relevant background to set the scene in which your film takes place. In our case, the background helped our film in many crucial ways. It allowed us to include other people, who appeared less important, as well as less detailed, than our main character, which allowed him to stand out. Lastly, and perhaps the most important factor of animation, is to have accurate weight and movements. Without such qualities, ones animation could look unprofessional and rushed. In our case, we were careful to include these, by giving our characters time-accurate walking motions, plus correctly timed emotions and scene shifts. All of these themes allowed for us to create an animation, which catches the interest of its viewers, and issues its meaningful message to the world.

Summary Presentation

Nicholas Grassi
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Source for Thanksgiving Image

Summary Text Post

Nicholas Grassi

Our prompt (Charlie, Janice, and I's) was to create an animation looking at the issues with social media and it's effect on our generation. Therefore, our video uses dark humor to depict social technology as passionless and cold; making people's experiences limited to 10 pre-designed programs, which suck many people in.

The core idea of our animation, The Kraken, was for a person on a train (Harrison) to text an octopus emoji, causing several tentacles to grow out of his phone and suck him in. No other passenger would notice because they are looking at their phones.

There are a couple symbols (besides the Kraken) in our presentation. This includes eyes growing out of the background people's phones. This could represent privacy and security in this era, but could also represent the Kraken watching people's actions. During most of the film the people while looking at their phones are lifeless black and white sillouettes: the only light on their body is from their phones, giving the sillouettes a bit of three dimensionality. This is not the case when Harrison looks up from his phone and turns colorful. This is used to depict that our lives are much more interesting when not on our phones; for those experiences are created by someone else and are not interesting or creative for any user. During the beginning shot of the film, Harrison and the other person were colored in while they were looking at their phones; yet, this was not the intention. This makes the scene seem like an outside perspective looking at these people who are glued to their phones: a happy accident.

As a group, we were slow at animating our pieces; in fact, some of us did not finish our parts. Therefore, we put in sketches of our incomplete scenes in between the finished parts to help the audience understand what is going on. Our sluggishness also effected our sound design: we did not have time to add more interesting sound effects, so we put a song over the entire animation: The Rip by Portishead. This song is effective because it is dramatic yet hopeful.

We hope this film has an impact on people to look up once in a while to enjoy what is in front of them, versus what is fakely projected.

Process Text Post

Nicholas Grassi

We (Charlie, Janice and I) were tasked to create an animation expressing our opinions on social media and how it effects our generation; therefore, we created a video using dark humor to express how people get "sucked into" their devices.

The main idea of our animation is for our main character, Harrison, to text an octopus emoji, then for several tentacles to grow out of his phone, and suck him into it without the other passengers noticing due to their phone addiction. In our film, people who are looking at their phones would be black sillouettes; while they were not, they would be colored in. To make the people look more interesting, we would only give the sillouettes light on their body from their phones, to break up the solid black crowds in the backgrounds. Besides the people, the train cars would be greyscale.

After coming up with an idea, we had to design Harrison's look: at first we were experimenting with giving him a hoodie. This way, when he was black and white, the viewer could only see his white dot eyes with the rest of his face in shadow. We then wanted to make him stand out more, so we gave him a fedora with a yellow feather in it (this feather would stay in color, yellow, throughout the film, because we thought it would be fun to make it burp out of the phone at the very end of the film).

The second step of the process was storyboarding: we would draw on note cards depicting the actions in each scene. It originally started with Harrison, entering the train from a back view, looking down the train.

From a side (two dimensional) perspective, he would walk down three train cars until he found a seat, while looking down at his phone for the whole time. While walking in the first car, the audience would see emoji blurbs coming out of his phone. During his walk through the second cart, he would crash into another person, whom is also on their phone. Eventually, they changed directions. They wouldn't notice each other, yet the other person's arm would fall off after the two people would start walking in different directions.

On the third car, finally, Harrison looks up from his phone and turns toward the camera in full color (the background is still greyscale). He would notice the people sitting on benches on both sides of the train. They were all on their phones. Harrison also noticed the eyeball plants coming out of each person's phone. They moved lifelessly from side to side, watching everyone. When the eyeballs were on a black background, those areas would appear to be white. When they are on a white background, those parts are black. This gives the eyes a not-from-this-world look.

At this point, Harrison sits down (at a front view of his row of seats) and an octopus emoji blurb comes out of his phone (in the same style as before).

Then, we cut to see Harrison's perspective, where several tentacles come out of his phone, wrap around him, and break through the train walls. The next shot would be outside of the train to see the tentacles smashing Harrison on the ground while the train is moving.

We then go back into the train to see Harrison being sucked inside of the phone. The other passengers, who had not noticed Harrison's monster, look up to see a phone on what used to be his seat, and would become colored-in. They shrug and look back to their phones (back to black). Harrison's feather (from his fedora) comes out of the phone, and falls delicately down to the train floor without anyone noticing.

We did not finish this project because we focused far too much on detail rather than getting things done. To make the film as complete as possible, we got rid of the tentacles smashing around Harrison outside, the feather sequence, and the additional emojis (not including the octopus emoji- this is a very important part of the story). Additionally, when the people look up to see Harrison's phone without a user we had to keep them black and white because the color would have taken too long to animate; it triples the time spent on a single sequence due to the amount of layers created and filled in.

Out of the essential scenes, we did not finish the scenes where Harrison sits down and sends the octopus emoji as well as when Harrison gets sucked into the phone by the Kraken. Therefore we added the storyboard sequences to, hopefully, give the audience hints at what happened between finished scenes.

We were also not communicating well during the process, so when Harrison is walking down the cars, him and the other person are in full color. This worked out because it shows what the characters look like from an outside viewer.