In this unit we learned how to craft a flash fiction in english, then using the narrative we made projects in all our other classes, a 3 page comic, a one page comic in Design, and an animation in Digital Media. Through each different medium we retold the story we used a different process, and different storytelling techniques. As you go through you will see my flash fiction and 3 page comic made in English class. Then you will see the same story boiled down in the one page comic I made in Design. Finally you will see the animatic and animation I made in Digital Media.


This unit taught me just how connected the freestyle classes could be, and how importaint it is to stay caught up in each one. If you fell behinde in makeing the flash fiction for instance then you couldn't work on the comics, or the animation.


When we were first told to do a short story without dialogue I thought of doing something without humans, mostly because I did not think I would be able to write about humans without them talking. What made me narrow it down was when we were shown previous freestyle student’s animation in english. The first one we watched was Rooted, by Anastasia Garachtchenko. It was about a raindrop who wanted to make it back into the sky. The natural theme was nice and I liked the theme the music got across. This let me think more about a natural theme, and that got me thinking about just doing the life of a tree. This evolved into a theme of nature vs the developing world, and how even though many times people go through people view them at odds, however they can co-exist, even in the limited way they do in the flash fiction.

If you want to see the Rooted animation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VtBqNPiw4y4

The Oak

SNAP! Flying away from home, going to make a place of your own. Ready to start a new life, your own world.

THUD! As you hit the ground you become buried in the earth - accepting, nourishing, protecting - your new home. Growing underground waiting for that first glimpse of light the little acorn dreams of the world it saw glimpses of through the canopy of the great oak it came from. Wishing it could see the animals it remembers and the humans which the great oak so fondly thought of.

After months of waiting the little acorn finally broke surface to see the world it had been yearning to see. As the sun hit its shoots it was immediately taken in by the brightness and colour that the world had to offer. The greens of the plants, the blues and reds of the birds, and the rainbow that stretched across the sky. The sprout finally got to see the beauty of the forest it would be growing up in.

As the sapling grew it could see more and more around it. Birds would take quick breaks on its branches, squirrels would skitter up and down its trunk hoping for some seeds to eat. And the sapling could enjoy the colors and feeling of the forest, and for a while it was happy.

One day, however, the Oak discovered a new type of brightly colored animal in the forest. It was different from the others. Like a bird it walked on two legs, but it had no wings or feathers, like a squirrel it had hair, but only on it’s head. It was also much larger than a squirrel or bird. It also had so many wonderful colors; while most of the animals in the forest only had a couple colors,this new one had many different ones: on its arms, its legs, across its chest. It was also making weird noises the Oak had never heard before. The oak could hardly believe it; after so long, could these creatures be the “humans” the Great Oak had spoken of? Realizing this the Oak tree hoped they would come more often. The next time the Oak saw humans, however, he learned something different.

Early one morning the oak was startled as the peace of the forest was disrupted by a large roar, louder than the Oak had ever experienced before. Suddenly there was a darker black that the tree had ever seen spewing into the sky, while a nasty smell filled the air and seemed to stick onto the Oak’s leaves. For weeks on end this sound approached closer and closer to the Oak. Finally reaching right next to it the Oak saw that the noise was coming from large yellow monsters with humans in them, as they took down tree after tree, and the stench of a machine laying down black scorched earth behind it was overwhelming.

Many years after the noise left and the black earth stopped stinking so much, the Oak, now the great oak of the forest, still resented the humans for leaving such a deep scar in the earth and for the occasional other stink machine that comes roaring past. Suddenly the black started pouring into the sky again and that smell starts coming back, the Great Oak saw that the humans are up to their mischief again when the sirens start. Red colored trucks start piling in the forest’s scar, coming with water guns as the tree sees that the black smoak had come, not from a machine, but a fire that was expanding through the forest. After these new red humans came through and put out the fire, the Great Oak saw why the previous Great Oak thought of the humans so fondly

Suddenly the Great Oak felt a little snap in his branches followed by a thud.

This is a screenshot of the audio session I used to make my audio file

From the flash fiction and three page comic we made in english, we made a one page comic of our rising action sequence in design. To start this project we researched more into panel composition to build off of the research we did in english. We then too a look at our story and split the rising action sequence into five to eight sections, and used pages in our sketchbooks to “block out” each individual panel. We set up graph paper on a burnishing board. Using a small scale drawing of our panel layout we copied it over to the graph paper and then filled each panel out according to our plan in our sketchbooks. Using a burnisher we burnished each panel onto the board, then colored it in. We scanned in our colored boards into illustrator and used them to make the final version of our comic.

One Page Comic

This illustration centers around the juxtaposition between the natural world and the industrial one, however it also tries to show that harmony can be brought between them. To start, the comic depicts the growing of a tree, and the innocents it has of the world. However, this quickly changes into hatred toward the industrial world for making a road through the forest and the cars that use the road and pollute the forest. The final scenes end with the tree realizing that there is a good side to the industrial world too, because without the road the fire fighters could not put out the fire. The last scene ends with the tree seeing things in a new light and no longer only displaying hate to the industrial world, but more of an understanding.

This piece was an adaptation of my three page graphic novel made in english class, this one however was cut down while still displaying the same feeling. There was more planning about what panels would be needed to show the story, and what the panels would look like. After making rough drafts of the individual panels and the overall composition, we transferred them from our sketchbooks onto a larger sheet of paper, from there we burnished them onto an artboard and colored it in. Finally we scanned them into the computer and used them as an outline to make the comic in Adobe Illustrator.

This illustration was a fun way to learn how to use the program Illustrator. It was also interesting to see how the comic evolved in the different pheses, and it made it feel like it was less solid and more fluid and acceptable to change. The comic was a good way to compile all the different drawing techniques we learned into one piece.

Thumbnail of graphic novel titlepage
Click to view Graphic Novel

Play Video
The panels of the graphic novel we made in english were used as the story board for our animatic and animation.

Animatics are used in big industry to show how a scene will look, and what it will say for the story. These are made quickly and cheaply, so that the animators can see what is needed and what isn’t. This way when things are changed or cut it didn’t waste months of work or a large amount of money. We used it to plan out what would be in each scene and what audio would be playing.

The process of writing the flash fiction, making a storyboard (my graphic novel), and then the animatic, has really shown me the long complicated process making an animation is. Before I knew about story boarding and knew that a script would be made at some point, but never knew how much work and time would need to go into each step, or how crucial each step is.


The animation assignment was to make an animation of our flash fiction. We were lucky that because we made our story boards when we made our 3 page graphic novel. We then turned the novel into an animatic to plan what our animation would look like. We finally used the animatic as a guide as we mde our animation.

I learned a lot about just how much work goes into makeing an animation. I knew about all the steps and always knew that it would be difficult, but because I have never acctually tride it myself I had no clue just how hard it would be. Because of this I planned for more than I was able to do in the time I had, so I cut down on the animation. This changed the meaning to be more of a grim this could happen, rather than a cautionary tale.

This is a screenshot of the adobe animator session I used to make my animation