Engaging Minds, Transforming Lives

King Creativity at Southwestern

My Creative Proposal for an Animated Short Film

by: Ryan Smith
Major: Computer Science

Initially, my project was to create a vast 3-dimensional world with various artistic sculptures. The final short animation would have followed a spaceship flying through the world to view the objects. As the project progressed I quickly realized that the idea was quite boring. It lacked a sense of excitement; the initial project would not consume the viewer as I intended.

The project has evolved. The final animation is much more interested and meaningful than the original concept could ever have been. The roots of the story depicted by the animation lay within early Japanese history. The story portrays a fight between mechanical power and “ki,” which, according to Japanese history, is the energy with which the universe and everything within it are composed. Thus, the artistic representation of a human figure in the animation is also the embodiment of strong “ki.” The animation portion of the project grew several times more demanding and thus is also much more fun.

The story and animation as a whole represent a much more deep meaning for me. Through the majority of the art I’ve attempted/completed so far, I’ve always felt very bound to the final product, whether I liked it or not. The literal destruction of a piece helps me achiever a sense of relief that I need, knowing full well I could recreate it even better. Yet the 3-dimensional modeling and animation, all the materials and even the final product are nothing more than 1s and Os. To destroy this project is to simply put it in the recycle bin. Needless to say, it doesn’t have the same effect as burning a pencil and paper drawing.

The destruction of the project is now within itself. As a side effect of the fight within the story, objects are visually destroyed, leaving very little by the end of the animation. This destruction within the project also gave rise to a much better title for the finished animations, “Viral Ki.”