41: "The Voices"

The original inspiration for this film was schizophrenic auditory hallucinations.  But...I don't have schizophrenia and I've never experienced auditory hallucinations without a hallucinogen. After much research on the subject, it doesn't sound fun whatsoever.  The voices, to a schizophrenic, don't sound muffled or distant like they are in the film. Schizophrenics experience voices that sound like they're right next to them in the same room.  As if a real person was talking to them.  And at first they're usually friendly voices that transform into hateful instigators that never quite shut up, causing the person to fall into a constant state of self-loathing.

I didn't end up feeling compelled to create a true portrait of what voices sound (and look like) to a clinical schizophrenic and didn't want to create something contrived on a subject I have no first hand experience with.  


I wanted to experiment with making an animation with a small amount of drawings and use morphing to create the animation itself.

I drew anywhere from 4 to 6 head poses per move and then drew each pose three times.  For example, if one head move had 6 poses, I ended up with 18 drawings for that particular head move, 3 sets of 6. This was just to give me some extra padding when I morphed the frames together so it felt more fluid:

Once I had 7 short head animations, I piled on the filters to create a sort of chiaroscuro effect.  Here are some before and afters:

After some more filtering and lots of layering and playing with speeds, I arrived at something that I could call a film.  Not overjoyed with how this came out but it's good enough.  I would definitely want to explore the possibilities of this technique further.

I did discover something interesting while working on this that I'd like to dive into.  There was a weird thing that happened when certain frames were morphed into each other.  As a result of After Effects not knowing how to best create an in-between frame for two drawings, it resulted in these really nice thin lines that added a texture and cooler line art to the heads:

So, the initial experiment wasn't a rousing success but the possibilities of these morph glitches is a good silver lining.

Here are some finished stills from the film:

Thanks for reading!