"Beatrice and the Bunny"

For this narrative unit, we were given the task of how to create compelling stories without using dialogue. We first had to write a flash fiction in English before making into a graphic novel, which was then used as the basis for an animation in Digital Media and a single comic page in Design. You'll be able to see all of these as you explore the website.

Icons of the Adobe programs Illustrator, Animate, and Dreamweaver.
The three programs used across our
classes: Adobe Illustrator, Adobe
Animate, and Adobe Dreamweaver.

We used various programs to make our final products - we used pencil & paper to make our graphic novel in English, Adobe Illustrator for Design, and a combination of Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Animate in Digital Media. We also used Adobe Dreamweaver to create this website.

I learned a lot about what makes a compelling story during this project, as well as how stories can change as they are adapted between mediums. I also learned how much work goes into every piece of art made, even though the majority of it isn't visible at first glance - it gave me new appreciation for people who work in animating or drawing.

A screenshot of the Adobe Dreamweaver session used to make this website. The Adobe Dreamweaver session used to create this website.
Free Write

This story was inspired by my own childhood, when I found it easier to not interact with my peers and do solo activities, like reading at the library. I also had a lot of anxiety and had a lot of trouble speaking up in class. I put these traits into the character of Beatrice, along with a bunny I added that is a significantly larger version of a small rabbit I've had since I was a child. It's a bit of a wish-fulfillment story for me personally, since I would have liked to have someone reach out to me like in the story as a child.

Beatrice & The Bunny

Beatrice, a young girl with hair that always seemed to cover her face, walks slowly towards the school with a packed lunch and a tiny stuffed bunny. Through the noise of the people inside the building, she keeps looking at the ground while fiddling with the bunny. She arrives in the classroom first, sitting at her desk and playing with the bunny.

During class, Beatrice continues to play with the bunny while the teacher talks. She suddenly hears the class laughing and looks around in confusion. The teacher is standing above her, staring at her, annoyed. She shrinks into her seat and doesn't meet her eyes. She keeps staring down into her lap, where the bunny is, for the rest of class.

When the bell rings for recess, Beatrice remains in class and starts to pull out her snack. A tall girl comes over with her posse and plucks the bunny out of Beatrices hands. Beatrice looks up in shock, watching as she dangles the bunny over her head. Beatrice reaches up to grab it, but the girl keeps it just out of reach. The girl cackles and taunts her, and Beatrice starts looking down into her lap, her lips moving with no sound coming out. Beatrice runs out of the classroom with tears streaming down her face, the girls laughing in triumph.

Beatrice sits down outside the building, sobbing loudly for the people who won't listen. When she runs out of tears, she stares down at the ground in silence, continuing to hiccup every once in awhile.

After almost an eternity of sitting out in the brisk air, a girl with spiky hair walks over. She holds the bunny out towards Beatrice with slightly bruised arms. When Beatrice doesn't take the bunny, she places it by her feet and introduces herself as Yvette.

They sit in silence, remaining outside even when the bell rings.

Eventually Beatrice puts her hand atop of Yvette's hand.

A few hours later, the teacher comes over to them, angry at the two delinquents, but Yvette and Beatrice remain smiling.

The next day, Beatrice walks to school, her hair tucked behind her ears, walking at a slightly faster pace than the day prior. She arrives in class early again, continuing to play with the bunny.

When recess begins, Yvette comes over to Beatrice, and asks her to come play with her. The bunny remains sitting atop of her desk as Yvette and Beatrice run out onto the playground laughing.

A screenshot of the Pro Tools session used to create the audio file for the story. The Pro Tools session used to create the audio file.

For Design class, we had take the part of the story leading up to the climax and make into a comic book page. Unlike the other pieces we made, we were allowed to include dialogue for this assignment. To make the comic, we first sketched out the panels and panel layout in our sketchbook before transferring each onto a large piece of graph paper. Then we burnished the comic onto a piece of posterboard and drew the comic in marker before scanning it into the computer. We then used Adobe Illustrator to make the final version of our comics, which is the version seen below.

Beatrice & The Bunny

The comic 'Beatrice & The Bunny'.
"Beatrice & The Bunny" comic illustration.

This comic page is based off of a portion of my short story “Beatrice & The Bunny.” Beatrice is a shy girl who gets her bunny stolen from her by a bully, and she runs outside before having the bunny returned to her by a girl named Yvette. It’s a short portion of the saga, and I had to rush many of the moments to fit it into the 8-panel limit – especially the beginning of the resolution – though I think I managed to pull it off. The fact that we were able to add dialogue bubbles helped develop the story a bit faster so I could fit it within the limited amount of space. The story is inspired by my younger self – while I was never bullied as a child, I was painfully shy and preferred keeping to myself. Despite this, I did want friends, but wasn’t good at making or keeping them. In the end, this is a wish-fulfillment story of how I would have liked someone to reach out to me.

The comic was originally sketched out panel-by-panel in a notebook before being sketched onto a large piece of graph paper. We then burnished it onto a piece of posterboard and then drawing it marker using the burnished lines as guides. We then brought it into Illustrator using a scanner and drew it in Illustrator. It was a little difficult to use Illustrator at times, as it can be rather picky, but I was able to make an end result I was proud of. Overall, I did a good job of staying on top of my work and rather enjoyed the whole process, though many of the earlier steps personally felt redundant to me.

I rather enjoyed creating the comic, though it was a little difficult to fit everything I wanted to into the eight-panel limit. I managed to fit everything I wanted to in there in the end, but it took me a fair amount of deliberation. Overall, I had a fun time making the comic and might make some more short ones in the future.

Screenshot of the Illustrator session used to make the final version of 'Beatrice & The Bunny'.The Illustrator session used to make the final version of the "Beatrice & The Bunny" comic.

Thumbnail of graphic novel
Click on the image to
view the Graphic Novel
After we finished writing the story in English, we made it into a 3-4 page graphic novel. We then used this graphic novel in Digital Media as the basis for our animatic.

Play Video
An animatic is made to help an animator figure out the basic flow of a story. It helps them know when actions occur and how long they'll take, as well as where objects are placed in the frame.

Each part of the process helped build onto the final project. The Flash Fiction helped figure out the pacing and order of the Graphic Novel, which helped me figure out the way the Animatic would go. The animatic was then used as a guideline for what animation assets I needed to create for the final product.

A screenshot of the Animate file used to create the Animatic. The Animate file I used to create the animatic.

For Digital Media, we had to create a 1-2 minute animation based on our flash fiction & graphic novel. As explained on the animatic page, the flash fiction was used to create the 3-4 page graphic novel, which was then scanned and used to create the animatic. This animatic was then used as a guide to create the final animation.

I learned how difficult it is to animate even a short animation like this, and I definitely struggled a fair amount at points. I learned that the way you imagine things in your head can't always be animated easily - many shots were redone in order for me to be able to animate them more easily. While animation may not be a field I'd like to go into, animation is certainly a field I now have a lot more respect for.

A screenshot of the Animate file used to create the final animation.The Animate file I used to create the animation.