The purpose of this project was to explore storylines and create a cohesive story without using dialogue. We used Animate to create our animations and animatics and iIllustrator to create the comic book page.

  • We had to do different things in each of our classes to complete this project; it started in English where we wrote a short story, called a flash fiction. We then turned the story into a comic book without dialogue.
  • Then, we had to take the comic book to Digital Media, where we animated the panels to create the animatic and later, the animation.
  • After that, the project went to Design, where we took the rising action and conclusion of the story and turned it into one page of a comic book, this time using design concepts to enhance the impact of the story.

I learned a lot while doing this project; I gained a new understanding of the impact of dialogue in a story and how to make a good story without it, as well as a greater understanding of the visual impact of a story. I was better able to communicate cohesive ideas without words through the comic book and animation.


The assignment in Design was to take our graphic novels that we had made in English, identfy the rising action-or the part of the story where the main conflict is resolved-and make a single comic book page from those scenes. We manipulated comic book tecniques such as paneling to create motion from image to image and emphasis and others. For the comic book page, we were allowed dialogue, but I chose to leave mine without.

A Helping Hand

During this project, I learned a lot about the way that the program and I work. At first, I didn’t feel like I had the artistic skill to accomplish something like this project; I didn’t think I was very good at art. However, by learning more about how shapes and other techniques make up most art, I was able to manipulate those techniques to make my project as good as I wanted it to be with the skill I had. I used paneling to create impact during the dramatic scenes of my comic page, and I used the shape of the panels to provide feeling and movement to the story where needed. It was particularly hard to keep myself from getting frustrated when things didn’t work the first time; I had to remind myself that I was still learning and it may not come right away, but that didn’t mean it wouldn’t come at all. I had particular trouble with the angle of one panel; it is positioned from above and angled downward, and I couldn’t place the legs of one of my characters in a way that made sense both with the angle and anatomically. Eventually, I was able to use reference images drawn by friends to help see where everything belonged in the frame.

Going back, I would change the environment of certain frames; the scenes inside the rooms don’t have background because I didn’t have the time or knowledge to draw a classroom, the faces are fairly simplistic, and my proportions are wrong in several frames. I started drawing one part of the body before I realized where that would place the other body parts and how that would relate to what was going on around them; for example, in that same panel that gave me angle struggles, I accidentally made the arms too long when I drew the head first without realizing how small a head that size would make the rest of the body. Interestingly, it is that panel that gave me the most trouble that I’m also most proud of. I overcame the challenges facing me instead of giving up and choosing the easier path, something that I have had problems with in my past. I persevered and got help from those more experienced that I was to gain the skill I needed to accomplish the task. And although it wasn’t easy, and took me far longer than any other panel, it was worth it to be able to say that I overcame.

Making the comic illustration was very similar to making the graphic novel, but we had more to go on. With the graphic novels, it was more focused on the story itself and we learned about storytelling techniques. But with the comic illustration, we learned about the visual elements to the comic book, and we learned how to use subtle image techniques to create emotion and story within 8 panels.


The animation assignment was to create a short, one to two minute animation with sound effects, but no dialogue. We started with a Flash Fiction about 500 words long, transformed it into a graphic novel, then a comic book page with just the rising action, and from there we made an animatic to plan out the scenes for the final animation.

I was somewhat nervous to start making the animation, since I have limited artistic skills, and, true to form, when I started animating, it was slow and frusrtating. But as I learned how to better navigate both Animate and the drawing technique, I got more efficient and I started to animate scenes a lot faster, spending an hour on one instead of 3 hours. I learned that the most important aspect of the animation isn't really the ability to draw, but more the ability to work with the program and manipulate the characters. It doesn't take much artistic talent to be able to do that, and once I was proficient there, I was able to get by with the limited talent I do have.


thumbnail of graphic novel
Click thumbnail above
to view my Graphic Novel.
The grapic novel was extremely important in creating both the animatic and the animation. We used the images from the graphic novel as our storyboard to create the animatic, and of course the plot of the graphic novel to create the plot of the animation and animatic.

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An animatic is a moving storyboard and the step in between image and animation; it's where logistical things like zoom and pan are decided for the final animation and where rough sound effects are chosen. Each panel of our graphic novels became a scene in the animatic, and we used those images to decided how our characters would move and interact, and occasionaly modifying a scene; cutting down one that might be too long, combining two that were short, or even deleting unnecessary scenes.

I learned a lot about the process of creating an animation through this project. In order to even start with the Flash Fiction, it was necessary to have a clear idea of what you wanted to write about and how it could be drawn; if you wrote a story that was too complex to animate, you were done before you could even start. It's really important to have an accurate grasp of what you can and can't do at your skill level of working with the equiptment so as not to create an over-ambitious project that you could not complete. It was also very interesting to explore how each step connects to the others in the process; the story goes into the graphic novel and animatic, which turns into the animation is how they connect on the surface, but below that, when writing the story you have to make sure you can draw it. When drawing the graphic novel you have to make sure it moves well. When making the animatic out of those panels you have to make sure it won't become redundant when it starts to move in the final animation. And finally, when you're animating, you have to make sure that original idea is still visible and clear in the images you draw.


The assignment in English was to create a short story, around 500 words, with no dialogue. The word limit was a particular challenge for me; the story itself wasn't an issue, since I write creatively in my spare time. However, the stories I'm used to writing are long, multi-chapter affairs with character interactions, so to make a story short and speechless was very difficult for me. I ended up focusing on description and introspection, which ended up fitting my topic perfectly.

My inspiration for my flash fiction came from personal experience. I have struggled with thoughts of suicide for a while, due in part to constant bullying when I was younger. It was always hard for me to talk about it or try to get help, which only made things worse. Oftentimes, it felt like I was completely alone in my experience and in my life. I had supportive people around me, but when I was in a bad place, I didn't remember them. Fortunately, like my story, those people never left my side during those low times. My friends and family who love me helped me to learn how to fend off the negative thoughts. And, also like my story, while it's still a work in progress, I never would have made it this far without those friends and family.

Having had the experiences I have, my motivation for writing this story was one part expelling remnants of that experience from my mind, one part wanting to talk about how damaging bullying is, and one part to show how vital having a hand to help you up is when you're in that kind of situation.

A Helping Hand

The door opens, the torture starts. They never touch her, no, but the marks they leave are worse. No matter how she runs, hides, tries to be invisible; they’ll always find her. They always do. The taunts and jibes, reveling in her private pain. Poking at her insecurities, echoing the words already in her head, screaming of her worthlessness. The words cut into her like knives, and the world grows increasingly bleak. She should be used to it by now. Years of the torment, yet she never grew thicker skin. Only more scars. A tear falls, and they laugh. Cruel, malicious tittering. Why are they like this? She’s never hurt anyone, never been malicious. She doesn’t understand why they all hate her. She feels unloved. Betrayed. She ducks into a dark hallway, and allows herself to release her thoughts, thoughts that haunt her every night as she falls asleep to the symphony of her tears. Suicide. She imagines standing on a cliff, slitting her wrists, swallowing a bottle of pills; anything to stop the pain raging through her, the pain that never seems to end. She is alone. Tired. In pain. Everyone she knows hates her. She is worth nothing. She doesn’t know how much longer she can take this. A hand touches her shoulder. Startled, she turns, heart racing, only to calm when she realizes it is just a friend. That’s right, friends, she remembers. Not like the ones who she used to confide in, the ones who spread her secrets behind her back. Not like the one who started her mess, not the one who created her hell. There are people who care about her. She doesn’t have to face the world alone. She is not alone in the world. The people who care about her will fight with and for her. They will be her support, keep her strong through the dark, safe through the sorrow. They will see her through to the end, where maybe things won’t be so bad anymore. They will stay by her side, holding her up until she can hold herself up. Keep her safe until she can protect herself. They will always be at her side when she needs them. Her world may be dark and cruel now, but the world is not. They will help her see that. And for that, she can stand again. And while she can’t quite bring herself to believe that she will be happy, she can believe that they want her to. While she can’t quite bring herself to see the good in the world, she knows that they will show it to her. Walking hand in hand with friends that save her life, she can’t quite bring herself to see any worth in it. But she can see worth in them. And she knows they see worth in her. And she has hope that one day she can too. While she can’t quite live for herself just yet, she knows why she is. It’s for them. And they will help and heal her, until she can stand on her own and share in the beauty they see.

This is a screenshot of my Pro Tools Session that I used to create my story audio.