Animating for a documentary

A few weeks back I was told that the father of a friend of mine was doing a documentary in which he needed an animator to do a couple of simple things. We’ve exchanged contact and I’m suddenly in his project!

His name is Luis Correia and the documentary is filmed in Bijagós and it records the life and traditions of the tribe living there. They take everything they can from nature, food, clothes, entertainment…

The documentary starts with an old myth from the land. A girl, who was an orphan, was being raised by her evil aunt. The poor girl was doing all the hard work, carrying things and living the life of a slave. One day, while feeling really depressed, she takes a walk by the sea and seats on the rocks. She asks god to take her and turn her into another living thing. The sea levels raised until she was fully covered by water and turned into a manatee that then swam across the ocean.

For the people in Bijagós believe that manatees come from people. The man in the beginning of the documentary is telling the story while illustrating on fabric with paint he just made.

My job is to animate those illustrations! It will probably be a 10 second animations but I’m sure it will take me a month at least…

I already started making some animation work but there’s always things to improve and change. Working with Luis has been great and I can’t believe I got this opportunity!

For now I’m Illustrating on Photoshop since I don’t know any other program but it working alright. I’m doing a frame by frame 2D animation.

Here are some screenshots of some of the editing:

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The girl on the screen is the main character. She was drawn by the man who told the story and all I did was “cut” her legs in order to be able to move them around. I cut them in half so there is an angle between the upper and the downer leg making a small joint, the knee.

I have quite a few scenes to animate and I’m a bit worried about the time and if I’ll be able to fulfill what Luis wants…

For now I’ll keep trying and we’ll hope for the best! stay tuned 😉


Ps: sorry for any misspellings… I am a bit tired..


Krakow Visit

Series of pictures

About a month ago I went to Krakow, Poland, with my family. I had the chance to try a really good camera so I spent the trip experimenting it.

I decided that my theme was going to te “lights” and the colour “red”. I took several pictures and hopefully I will mount them on an A1 sheet. Some of them are really abstract but what I like about it is that they are spontaneous. If I was in the same place at the same time that I took the pictures I wouldn’t be able to even have a similar result.

Rita Magalhães was one of the artist/ photographers that inspired this “series”. She usually plays a lot with filters or glass and abstraction. I used the same method since my pictures are taken through a window but the outcome has nothing to do with her work. It’s my individual view!

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Like the typical touristic family that we are, we took a Tuc-Tuc around the center. That’s when I took the first pictures above. I really like the results and I’m still finding out why… In my opinion, for a first experience, it went okay 🙂

From the colour red, I also have some pictures. I found a really cool bathroom in a restaurant we stopped to eat. I went inside with the camera and, as the bathroom was shared, I had some awkward moments with strangers… Obviously, you don’t see a girl taking pictures to a bathroom every day…

Well, here they are!

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Some of them were also taken of the Salt Mines and in bars, I’ve been in Poland. In the Salt mines specifically, I played with the exposure time. All the pictures above presented have no editing whatsoever that’s why some might me too dark or too light.

Though it seems that way, I didn’t spend the trip taking pictures of weird stuff… I have a couple of portrait pictures I really like.

Hopefully, I won’t be too lazy to post them 😉


Hope you enjoyed!

LTAV Final Work

This year, for the first semester I have a module called “LTAV” which means Linguagens e Tecnologias Audiovisuais. It’s where I learn about camera angles and settings and video formats in the first part and the second part of the module it’s about audio.

For the practical work on the first of the module, the project was to make a small film of our own street. We had to capture at least 15 different angles and have 2 tilts and 2 panoramic movements with the camera. The sound had to be the one recorded by the camera.

First time I went with my camera it went terribly wrong. I wanted to film at night and as my camera is not at all good enough for that, the image was really grainy and the ISO was definitely too high.

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After the first try, I decided that maybe I would film during the day. That worked out fine but it was not really what I wanted. I went to get a camera from the university and tried again in the night. This time it worked really well! When I got home I was really happy with my footage. Of course that this camera was 10x better so that helped.


Of course, the outcome got much much darker but the quality increased.

There were a couple of interesting things that happened during the shooting. When I was filming the elevator, the light turned off and I was actually annoyed by that but still kept filming and then I see how the light of the elevator appeared and the effect was great!!! Also with the noises of the movie, there was a cat screaming or crying and it was really creepy and scary. I filmed it and put it in the movie but most people that have seen it ask me if it’s real… It is real, people!!! The police and ambulance noises were also there, I guess I just got pretty lucky with those because actually, my film was kind of a thriller. I took a friend with that really helped me. He was the “man in the shadow”. Throughout the whole movie, you almost don’t see his face, just his silhouette.

Later it came the editing. I used iMovie because I still don’t have premiere. For this project it worked but I know I have to install premiere and start working on it. I tried to place the different footage in order to make a small narrative. It doesn’t really have a great meaning but the goal of the project was only to film the street. First I put them in the order I thought it worked the best, then, of course, I made some changes. I worked with the sound to make it work as a whole. In some parts I lowered the volume, in others I put it up according to the feeling I wanted people to have while watching the movie.

In the end and beginning added some text and thank you notes.

I was very pleased with the final movie. It was another project that helped me learn a lot about cameras and movies since it was my first film, the first time I was actually shooting something with a camera. Editing was fun and made me realize the number of possibilities that a producer has when making a movie. Of course, this was the first experience and I know that it’s far from being professional but I am looking forward to learning more and get better!

Meanwhile, I will find a way to share my movie.

Stay tuned!!!

Photography and photoshop

Some photography experiments

A few days ago I visited the Ribeira, in Porto. I decided to take my digital camera to experiment. (The one my mom lent me). I tried to focus on one theme – buildings. I didn’t take a lot of pictures due to lack of time but I still had fun with it.

Once I got home I uploaded the pictures on my computer and started working on them. I don’t know if being a good photographer means not having to edit your pictures at all but I usually do. I took this chance and decided to play a bit with photoshop. I took only 3 pictures and edited them. They’re all buildings.

Here they are: (after editing)


I am happy with the outcome! I am sure I will get better.

The picture I played with the most was the middle one. I altered the levels of some colours, I’ve changed the background..It took me a while! I’ll show you the original one for you to compare:



At the end, I’m not sure which one I prefer since the original one is much more natural. Oh well…

More experiments will come and I still have a lot to learn!

Movie “Mommy”

After professor Jaime showed us the trailer for this movie and suggested that we watched it I followed his advice! I’m just starting now to be critic about movies because I guess that’s something I should start thinking about. How things are made the way they are, what they want to express… Techniques and that sort of thing.

Generally, I absolutely loved the movie “Mommy”. I had no expectations whatsoever but the movie is really well made and the plot is really really unexpected. (although not relatable) I especially like the main character’s performance and I think that all 3 main characters are so incredibly complex but in some way, they fit together. The film is realistic and makes the viewer wonder about things and choose sides.

My favourite scenes are the last one and the one where the main characters dance. In the last one, the music chosen fits just perfect and I couldn’t think of a better ending, though I didn’t predict it at all. And the one with the dance just has a great impact on the viewer, at least on me.

The movie is quite special and it’s on 4:3, a square, instead of taking the whole tv screen, and it has a reason..

I’m not going to say more because I recommend everyone to watch it.

Here Is the last scene

Here Is the dance scene

Roll-up for birthday party

My sister’s 18 birthday is tomorrow and she asked me to design a roll up for people to take pictures at the entrance. During this week I designed one 🙂

I feel that I’m getting more and more comfortable with photoshop, which is a really good thing.

I started with some really fast sketches

After I searched some backgrounds on Pinterest and saved the ones I thought my sister would like.

Pinterest backgrounds

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Next stage was photoshop. First I designed Inês with the pen and used fonts for the other letters. I had the idea of circles so I made a lot of experiences but unfortunately, I didn’t save them all..

I also had to research the standard size of roll-ups and the resolution that the image had to have.

Here are some of the results:


I shared them with my family and they said that the word “Birthday” was not going to be well read. Since that there was someone else involved, she changed the lettering, with I personally don’t like at all and as it was not made in photoshop so I’m afraid the quality of the image will not be the best one.

This was the final outcome of the roll-up


It ended up being square because the roll-up was 2mx2m

The final outcome is not really what I had in mind and the font really bothers me but I learned once again what it’s like to work with other people and accept their choices! Either way, I’m glad I designed this and I’ll be happy to see it on my sister’s birthday party!

Hopefully, I’ll post a picture of it live 🙂

Stay tuned!


FMP – Another day at the office

Today I started cutting my set. I just took a card box and started cutting it the way I think will suit the best for my set.

After that, I made a few stop motion experiences of details of the bird. (the eyes, the beak, the hair and the fake legs)

Later on, I made a few extra eyes to add some emotions. Meanwhile, I got the email from my dad with the pictures of the gym so I printed them and put them on the set to start picturing how I want the set to look like.


The pictures are not great quality but as I know the gym by heart it’s easy for me. I will use paper with a wood pattern for the floor. That’s what I decided.

After that I started storyboarding the stories I wrote and Eve told me that I should write under each picture what’s happening, the dialogue and arrows indicating what he character is doing.



The project is going as schedule but it is still a lot of work ahead. I am really excited about the final outcome and I love how this project is making me grow and understand what it takes to pursue animation. (though I am aware that in the animation world I won’t be able to participate so much in one animation, I would be responsible for a small part)