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..


Script Writing – Final Project

In the beginning, I thought the module was interesting but it got even better!! Especially when I started to write!

This module’s final project was to transform our creative writing story into a small movie, therefore, a script. We could change some parts of the story but the main idea had to be there.

The final project was to write:

  • Statement of intent
  • Synopsis
  • Character Description
  • Step-Outline
  • 2 to 4 pages of Script

Since I didn’t love the story I wrote in creative writing it was really hard for me to find the motivation to start. I spent last year in England so my writing got really really bad compared to what it used to be. Besides my lack of confidence, I didn’t find a way to turn around my story and I couldn’t think of it visually, as a movie…

The teacher Ana Sofia really helped and gave a lot of feedback on this project which made me want to do it little by little.

The script writing is really different from the “normal”. One cannot simply write about feelings and abstract things. Everything has to be highly visual so that the hypothetical producer, that reads the script, can already have an overall image of how the movie will work and how the characters will look like. Usually, the present is the only tense there is in the script. The text also has to be interesting and the writer has to find a balance between putting his style on the writing and keeping it visual!

It was a completely different writing exercise from creative writing. Although I feel like I learned a lot I am aware that I only know the basics.

Here is my final project (in Portuguese):



Enjoy if you can 😉




LTAV Final Project

Our final project for the sound part of LTAV was to make a small audio file of 30 to 40 seconds. The audio had to contain a dialogue between at least 2 characters and there had to be a big noise interrupting the dialogue. We had to present a script along with the audio so the teacher could see what kind of noises we would use. We could get sounds anywhere, samples, youtube videos, television, radio…

I gathered a lot of sounds and it was quite fun to play around with them!

My initial script was good but when I was done editing the whole audio I noticed it was waayyy too long. As I worked in GarageBand, instead of seconds, the measure was in “beats”. Well, I had 40 beats but it turns out that that was in fact 1.20 minutes so I had to cut a lot on my script.

Here is my final script (it’s in Portuguese):

Projeto LTAV – Maria Giraldes

I’ve been through a lot of changes with this project since I never worked with audio like that before. For the voices of the characters, I used my friend’s Constança’s voice because she has a diverse amount of accents and voices. After recorded (on my computer) I almost didn’t change their pitch. I put the voices on opposite sides so it looked like they were far from each other, talking.

For the ocean sound, I used a lot of combined samples like ocean waves, seagulls, water fountains. It was a bit tricky but I played with the volumes of each sample and I think it worked!

Throughout the whole project, I was watching some tutorials on how to edit audio. I am aware that Garageband is not at all the best program to work with sound but I hope to learn better ones in the future. Screen Shot 2018-01-03 at 19.39.43.png

Here are some screenshots of my editing:

This project really got me interested in editing sound. First time I actually played with stereo and I found that sound is an amazing tool with infinite outcomes!




Christmas Ornaments

I guess I’ve been postponing these next blog posts..

A couple of months ago I made some Christmas Ornaments. Since I am living in a new city and for the first time I had my first Christmas tree I decided to dress it as I like!

I had some leftovers of clay so I designed some Christmassy characters and patterns and used Pinterest to get some ideas!

I modelled the clay, waited for it to dry and then painted it with acrylic paint. In some of the pieces, I just painted patterns that were coming to my mind.

Here are the sketches and the whole process

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Here is the final outcome!

🙂 Merry Christmas!

DHL – Christmas Bookmark

This Christmas, DHL made a partnership with the editor of the book that I illustrated. They bought a bunch of them and sent them to their clients, for their kids. Given that, I was asked to design a christmassy bookmark for the children.

I made some skecthe but I came up with the final result really quickly!


I sent DHL some ideas I had for the text and this was the final product:

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It was a fun job!

Instant Character Design

A few weeks ago I tried something new. I started designing random characters from scratch. Some of them are oddly amazing and some are just too normal. I was hoping that by drawing them I could think and imagine an interesting background for each character since they all came from my mind…

Playing with face shapes and different ethnic characteristics was quite fun. Each character usually has a specific trace, either their clothes, the piece of jewellery or their expression.

I asked my drawing teacher, Sarah, her opinion. She said I should actually just choose a couple of characters, the ones with more personality or more mysterious and just create a story for them, give them a body and try to really animate them!! I thought it was a great idea though I’m still having some issues with their bodies….

Hopefully, by the end of the year, I’ll have a small animation of at least one of them!


Hope you enjoyed and feel free to comment which of the characters you like the most!

Wacom Tablet

I just got a Wacom tablet!!!

I guess I should have gotten it a while ago since I long to be an animator but they’re quite expensive so it’s not that simple…

The tablet itself came with 2 software. One to animate in 2D and another one to paint frame by frame animations or to make illustrations. I’m still learning how to work with them but one step at a time.

Drawing looking only at the screen is challenging at first but I got it quickly. At first, I tried all the different brushes available and tried the difference of pressure on the pen.

My next step will be making small animations. 2D, frame by frame so I could learn the basics. I still didn’t find a program where I could do that easily but I won’t quit!

I’m really really excited about my new “toy” and the possibilities are infinite!

These are my first drawings using the tablet:


I feel like I’m back to pre school but I really liked the outcome of the second drawing, the hat character!


More to come 🙂