Ian and Orville Round

The Prompt

This project was created for DESMA 24: Motion. It was my first real animation project, but I was quite pleased with the results considering the extreme limitations. We were only allowed to use 2 shapes, a line or rectangle and a circle.

The Idea

Initially, these constraints stumped me. How was I going to use just 2 basic geometric shapes to create a compelling animated narrative? I recalled something I learned in a psychology class about how our brain ascribes meaning to motion that itself has no intrinsic meaning. This meant that it was probably very possible to communicate some kind of interaction or relationship between these shapes, breath life into them.

I began thinking about the 2 shapes and the relationship they had between each other. It occurred to me that circle is really just a line that is attached at both ends. That revelation was magic because it opened up a very clear narrative of a line aspiring to be a circle. Ultimately, this central idea became the foundation for the story of a young line Ian who wishes more than anything to be big and round like his father Orville.

I really like coming of age stories because I find them so relatable. I thought that this father and son aspirational piece has some serious potential to make a tender and sweet piece about youthful aspirations.

How it was made

There are many ways to make an animation like this, but I thought it would be easiest to do everything with keyframe animations in after effects. I drew all the shapes in after effects and then just keyframe animated the transformations such as scale, color, position, etc.


I learned a lot about the different types of keyframes and how they completely change the way our perception of motion happens. This project really helped me understand animation as a concept, which literally means to bring something to life. It’s almost like magic that we are able to trick our brains using careful attention to motion.

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