A summary of the animation

Morenna, the protagonist in Soulscape, leads souls of the dead to heaven by helping them become stars. The character was developed as a young girl with freckles, who is blind. Her red hair likened to a flickering flame in the night, is a reflection of the souls she helps. She navigates the world by ‘seeing’ the innate life nature contains.

lore & background for the animation

In the East, there are many countries that remember their dead by lighting a lamp and setting it off on a small boat in a water body. The story borrows this tradition and represents it with a flickering flame in a lotus that then sinks to the lake floor.

When Morenna casts her magic through a ritual, these souls at the bottom of the lake are called to the surface before being transformed into stars. This thought came from the abstract notion of loved ones watching over their descendants as stars in the night sky. To emphasize this, the stars in the night sky form a constellation.

character sheet & storyboard

On the left you’ll find the character sheet and on the right the storyboard. The marks on Morenna’s face are meant to look like freckles, but they do dim, glow and move based on her expressions.

initial and final animation videos

Below on the left is the final animation and on the right is the initial black and white version.

animation references & focus points

This animation project was a fun challenge. I looked for references for the various parts that I had difficulty imagining. This involved referencing and piecing together different video references I found in order to better understand what I was animating as I animated it.

The final animation was adapted after referencing the video on the left from seconds 11 – 14.

Here, the Sagittarius constellation has been used to set a period of time, that is, the ending and beginning of a year. This time frame speaks of loved ones who have passed on being released from their earthly ties, allowing the living to welcome a new year with new tidings.

The Sagitarius constellation as referenced from the star chart on the left for the final animation.

One of the things I had the most fun with was dotting Morenna with marks (they were supposed to look like freckles, but, oh well). 

If you study the images above and below, you’ll begin to notice that the marks form a specific pattern – like strappy sandals. I had imagined Morenna wearing strappy sandals or ballerina like shoes, till I realized that based on the characteristics I had given her, it would be make more sense if she didn’t wear shoes, which is why the markings fulfill their role in this manner.

As I thought about making the scene more interesting, I came up with the idea of these marks that reacted or moved based on stimulus or thoughts and emotions with relation to Morenna

Another fun part in this piece that’s easy to miss – Morenna’s marks on her arms act like a mirror for the souls before they turn into star dust!

is the story complete? will there be a part 2?

Yes and no? For what is animated I would say the story is complete, but if you’re looking for a proper happy ending or acceptance and so on, there would need to be a part 2. The only problem? I may not actually make a part 2? I had always imagined part 2 and the sequels for this story as a game of sorts. I may end up splicing or re-doing some parts of this animation to better fit the game therefore.

In any case, should there be any updates for Soulscape, whatever the medium it ends up in or if there’s a continuition, you’ll find it here!

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