Student Showcase 2013: Behind-the-Story Tips on Cat Animation


By: Felipe DeLanteuil
Jun
13
2013

Cat Planning Animation 1 Student Showcase 2013: Behind the Story Tips on Cat Animation

When you think about it, storytelling is like exploration. You go to different places, experience different things, and enter a world of discovery. So imagine the power of a story that allows you to explore the path of a ferocious feline. Animation Mentor student Felipe DeLanteuil explains it and then goes on the prowl through his storytelling.

And do you have a ferocious feline story of your own? We want to know. Start by sharing the story of Student Showcase 2013. Then get ready to tell yours.

— The Animation Mentor Crew
Student Showcase 2013
@AnimationMentor #storyteller

A strong and confident cat
The still young but strong and confident male is exploring a recently discovered territory. He feels that this will be a great hunting area and a good place to make his home, but he is still unsure about the presence of other males in the area.

My main intention was to convey the fact that this is a very strong and confident cat and that he’s got complete control over this kind of terrain. The main trick was how to make it also feel like this was a new area to him and that he was still exploring it.

Some details were added in order to achieve that. First, the tail touching the rocks, he is almost trying to feel the rocks with his tail at that point. Second, the look down, the long pause, and the way he retracts his ears before the second jump help add to the feeling that he was quickly considering all the variants before taking the leap.

I had to be careful not to make him too hesitant or else it would make him lose his confidence, which was very important to me. Finally, the turn and look at the end was added to help with the idea that this is a new territory and there might still be some surprises saved for him before he may conquer it and call it home.

Cat Planning Animation 2 Student Showcase 2013: Behind the Story Tips on Cat Animation

Best advice: Get into character
Try as much as you can to get into your character. This might be hard when your character is a big cat that jumps around rocks — but believe me, try as much as you can. I might have never added the tail touching the rocks if I did not walk around my house trying to explore the environment. During one of the walks, I realized how much I was leaving one hand touching the area behind me, almost like I was trying to keep some kind of tactile memory of the environment.

Cat Planning Animation 3 Student Showcase 2013: Behind the Story Tips on Cat Animation

I am a storyteller
I am a storyteller and I want to emotionally connect with people and make them laugh, cry, feel fear, and fall in love.

When I made my first graphic novel, I realized that I wanted to be a storyteller. I was probably a young teenager and I remember using one of my school notebooks to write and draw this one story. That story later became the script of a movie that was then planned but never executed when we finally realized that a bunch of kids would probably never be able to produce such a challenging film. This experience made me aware of my passion for storytelling.

Everything is possible
For years, I focused on the visual aspects of it and went on to study design and visual communications. Animation Mentor has helped me go back to my origins and the great thing about animation is that everything is possible, and it doesn’t matter if the story is happening in London or on the moon.

— Cheers,
Felipe