The focus of the Narrative Unit was to create an original story and convey that story, which we did in many stages. Each stage of the process has a page on this site.

The first stage was the story itself, which we wrote in English class. I wanted to create a story that represented returning to nature, which is something that i try to do but often put off.

The next stage was completed in Design class. We converted our stories into visual form by drawing a graphic novel and adapting it into a full page comic in Adobe Illustrate.

The final stage, in Digital Media, was to create an animatic and final animation in Adobe Animate.



She sat on the spindly arm of a crane, swinging her legs and absentmindedly staring out over the gray horizon. Smoke, polluted air, and the tops of skyscrapers were all she could see, all the way to the hazy gray horizon. But there, in the corner of her eye. She spotted a glimmer of something she didn't recognize. She turned, gaping. A hazy, smoky ball was bouncing and weaving at about shoulder height in the stuffy air, brightening its surroundings with its pinkish luminescence. Reaching out to grab it, she fell forward as it darted swiftly away from her. The crane groaned and she felt the platform shake. She felt a surge of excitement. The ball bobbed and weaved a few feet below, and then spun and whizzed when she didn’t follow. Hesitantly she stepped towards it, and it suddenly zoomed away. And the chase was on. She slid down the ladder after it and ran headlong, not caring about the cold gray world she left behind. Jubilation filled her for the first time, she felt, in her whole life.

The ball suddenly stopped. It circled a spot over the asphalt. She ran straight toward it and couldn’t help but feel a little disappointed. It was just going to give up like this? But as she got near, the ball came and whomped her in the stomach, sending her flying onto her backside. She sat, winded, and could only watch as the ball quivered, winding up, and slammed itself into the pavement. It disappeared, and the only thing remaining of its presence was a wide hole, so deep that she couldn’t see the bottom when she regained the strength to go and look down it. An extreme desire to follow filled her, and wiped out any sense of fear she had seconds before.

And down she jumped.

Suddenly she found herself in a new landscape, pink and purple and blue nature surrounding her. She gasped. She had forgotten what trees looked like. The ball waited, and once it seemed to notice her, it set off again on its manic flight. There were geometric cubes made out of the same frosted-glass material as the ball, with the same internal glow that the ball seemed to possess. She jumped over them, ran between them like an obstacle course. The ball found the biggest one, and threw itself down on top of the cube. To her surprise, the surface splashed and the ball disappeared inside of it. She jumped and splashed as well. Suddenly she was swimming from the bottom of a vast sea, pursuing the trail of bubbles that the ball left behind it.

She surfaced, running up a shore. In front of her stood a large mountain. The ball bounced from rock to rock, no longer concerned with whether or not she was keeping up. She stumbled and fell, defeated. She resigned herself to the fact that she would not catch it. And now she was stuck in a foreign land, with no idea of how to get home. She cried bitterly. But a familiar hum filled her ears. The ball was back, and it threw itself into her hands. It lifted her off the ground and pulled her to the top.

She stared, speechless, at the most beautiful view she had ever seen. By the time she remembered to look down at her hands, the ball had vanished, leaving only smoke. A single tear slid from her eyes as she smiled, free at last.

This is the Pro Tools session that I recorded my voiceover and the sound effects in.

My Flash Fiction was inspired by going back to nature, which I personally am guilty of. Nature is a large inspiration to me and I think everyone should get out more.


I then adapted my story into a digital illustration in my Design class. I included the rising action of the story. This was created layer by layer in Adobe Illustrate, using mainly the pen and brush tools. Learning to keep my layers in order and work from the back of the image to the front was hard, but I got the hang of it towards the end.


My artist's statement for this piece is as follows:

The main character of this comic is a girl who feels trapped in her mundane, polluted environment until a flying ball leads her back to nature. We are all guilty of spending too much time inside (especially here in Silicon Valley) but nature can do a lot for a person. Personally, nature is a big inspiration in all of my art and I think it is just about the most beautiful thing this planet has to offer. Not all of us have magic talismans to follow there, however, and we need to get outside even when it’s not convenient. This piece was also a statement on industrialization and its effects on the environment. I wanted to illustrate the contrast between the city and the landscape with colors. The city that the girl begins her journey in is full of smoke, brown buildings, and gray skies. I tried to keep the color scheme really neutral and dark until she escapes to the end environment, which is full of vibrant pinks, purples, and blues. Her journey to the end of the comic is also a little surreal, with all the glass- encased plants and the ocean that she jumps into. Visually, the comic panels give the reader an idea of what will happen within. My personal favorite is the panel where the girl is swimming, which I made into an organic shape instead of having harsh lines like the rest. Finishing this process helped me to understand the Illustrator program better. Although it is frustrating at times, I learned how to work back to front in each of my panels and use the pen tool to create my comic. I can use the skills that I learned creating this for my projects in Illustrator to come.

If you look at the color scheme from the beginning to the end of the comic, it is clear that the girl’s world becomes more vivid. Grays and browns become pinks and purples.

This is a behind the scenes look at the Adobe Illustrator file I created this in.


The first thing I created after the Flash Fiction was a graphic novel. I drew each panel and unique scene and then scanned it into the computer. I then used my graphic novel to create a rough animatic before the in depth animation.

graphic novel thumbnail
Click on this image to see my Graphic Novel.
The purpose of an animatic is to plan each scene for the final animation without in depth animation (to save time and effort in case scenes are cut). Every animated movie you have ever seen has probably had several animatics produced in its process.

Click here to play my animatic.

Finishing this process helped me learn the steps in creating an animation. Starting with an idea, writing a story and creating a graphic novel helped me from from the beginning of the production to a final product.

When you watch the final animation, you will see that I had to delete several scenes from the animatic. Making a rough animatic helps to see which scenes are really crucial to portraying the story and which would be too hard to animate.

This is the Adobe Animate file in which I created the animatic.


My animation was inspired by the same things as my flash fiction as it was based on the same story, but putting that story into motion was more challenging for me than I had expected. Animating is a lot of work!

Here is the final animation.

Once again, this is the Adobe Animate file that I used to create this piece.

I used some computer-generated animation, like for the girl running and sliding down the ladder, and some frame-by-frame animation, like the girl's hair blowing in the wind. Frame-by-frame animation is definitely harder to complete but I like the look of it better.