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Living Lights anchor


Create a graphic narrative to explain a scientific concept


Animals all over the world have evolved ways to harness and create their own light. This 2D animation explores the various ways that creatures utilize light, and aims to educate the general public on the basics behind biofluorescence and bioluminescence. These concepts are depicted in a playful and bright manner in order to entice a wide audience.


Date: February 2021

Client: Professor Shelley Wall

Audience: Educated Lay Audience

Software: Illustrator, After Effects, Audition

Format: 2D animation

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I initially decided on the topic of bioluminescence, but after discovering the growing research behind a second process known as biofluorescence, I decided to depict both in my animation. After learning about the core concepts behind both of these phenomena, I dove into researching how various animals use light for their benefit.


After deciding which creatures to shine a spotlight on for this animation, I began creating a script. I knew I wanted to illustrate visually pleasing graphics that showcase how animals use light, but it was also important for me to explain the science behind living lights. Therefore, I created a script that both showed visually interesting light in animals, as well as a glimpse into how this light is produced.


Once I finalized the story in the script, I created a storyboard for the animation. Since this animation focused on examples in animals, I decided to create a personable character to guide the audience through the story and provide a human aspect. For the visual style, I was very inspired by the Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell videos on YouTube. These videos have always captivated my imagination, so I chose to create a style that also used bright colours and playful themes.


I created all of the visuals seen in this animation in Illustrator before bringing them into After Effects to animate. The human character and several of the animals were rigged using Duik Bassel in order to provide seamless and natural motion. After recording the audio and touching it up in Adobe Audition, I composited all of the scenes in my animation together to create a final piece.

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