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A Glimpse into the Design Thinking Process of Knowledgeable Animation Enthusiast, Emmanuel Charon

The deadline for content submission for iAniMagic2016: My Ani-Character has come to an end. The judges are now carefully reviewing each submission as we speak, and they are just a few steps away from picking the winners for this year’s animation competition! This week we have the pleasure of featuring one of the prize winners of iAniMagic2015- Emmanuel Charon, who earned an honorable mention for his impressive Pandora’s Box.

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Emmanuel Charon is an art teacher in a middle school in France and highly experienced and knowledgeable in the field of digital designs. Before embarking on his journey as a school teacher, he was making multimedia courses with a focus on scientific visualizations in the University of Rennes 2 in France, specializing in both 2D and 3D techniques. In parallel to his job, Emmanuel also enjoys taking part in animation, comics and computer art competitions; he is currently working on a project featuring classical art and sci-fi story.

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Photo of Emmanuel

Teach with Technology

Having discovered Animation Desk over a year ago when Emmanuel was searching for an intuitive app to make a short movie with his pupils – a creative project he enjoys leading every year, he gave the app a try and it was quickly adopted. Besides using Animation Desk as a tool to teach at school, Emmanuel soon brought Animation Desk back home and his 12 year-old son loves it.

“My son wants to be a movie director and he is also drawing on an Android tablet. One day we came across the iAniMagic contest and he told me that I had to participate, so I did. For me, it was also a challenge to do something more ‘creative’ besides my actual work,” Emmanuel shares.

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The Story Behind His Winning Project

Emmanuel used last year’s theme – The Living Light box to dynamically illustrate the beginning and the end of a planet. “During initial brainstorm, I had the idea of doing something that would be an endless movement. My early storyline was too classical: an endless fall to a planet. I thought that didn’t seem enough and I wanted something more creative, so I decided to illustrate this in a different way by mixing old art references to technology. Mixing art from the Middle Ages such as the miniature paintings from the Limbourg brothers to an animation process was the main plot,” he explains.

To really create an impact and show the contrast and drastic change in the planet, he then added references to Muybridge works, Star Wars and Alien movies. After creating the end and the beginning, “I had to do something to justify the presence, so I took inspirations from Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey and referenced the Black Monolith”.

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The Backlight Options -“The Coolest Feature” of Animation Desk

To help him animate, Emmanuel considers the backlight option as “The coolest and my favorite feature of Animation Desk”. He adds, “The backlight option allowed me to control the continuity of the animation and transformation of the backgrounds. I could import some quick movements and use them as references. I also worked with the image-swapping option, which was very useful especially when I wanted to duplicate an entire sequence”.

Emmanuel well deserved the prize from iAniMagic2015. His Pandora’s Box illustrated a thought-provoking idea in his very unique illustrative style. As a final tip for his fellow animators, he said, “Don’t be afraid of using animation references. Take inspirations from works by artists such as Richard Williams”.

Emmanuel’s enthusiasm and passion for drawing animations motivated him to continue to take part in the competition this year. We wish him the very best of luck for iAniMagic2016.

We hope Emmanuel’s story inspires you to rethink the way you approach an animation project. We look forward to reviewing all the great works from this year’s contest. Stay tuned for more updates from us in the upcoming weeks!

Want to see more of Emmanuel’s animation? Check out his other work here.

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About the author

Charmaine Cheung

As a graduate in languages from the University of Bristol, England, Charmaine is currently working in Hong Kong, specialised in marketing and corporate communications. She has a strong international background, is fluent in English, Chinese and German, and has lived and work in the UK, Germany, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

She has been doing some projects and blogging for Kdan Mobile since 2015.

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