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Cindy Yang p4

Animator Cindy Yang talks about creating characters, color and the inspiration for her short animation called Popsicle about a brother and sister coping with the death of their mother ...

READERSVOICE.COM: What are some of the most important things to remember when creating characters?

CINDY YANG: I would say try to create a well-rounded character. Imagine them as someone you know, that you know all their quirkiness and their habits. How they eat, walk, interact with other
characters is important. If you grasp this idea, the character will feel relatable, and more believable as well. Another important thing is the story you’re telling. Does the character brings out the tension
in the story? Are they exaggerated enough to make the story interesting? Will the characters change also because of their personality not only because of the plots? These are some questions that are helpful to think about.

RV: I like the way the colors create a mood in Rainy Day. And you used yellows and browns and greens for the rainy sky and buildiings. Your animations have a nice use of color, and I was wondering how you learn about using color. Do you just look at the colors in real life and how they work together?

CY: Thank you for liking that short! For colors, I did have some color classes that talk about basic color rules. But what helps the most is to try out the colors and play with them with or without the rules. Looking at the colors in real life is important too – for example, I love to take photos and look at other people’s artwork. If I see some interesting color combinations, I’ll look hard into it. And maybe it would sit somewhere in my brain that would be useful someday when I’m playing with colors. It’s all about experimenting I would say!

RV: How did you get the idea for the story of the brother and sister coping with their mother’s death, in Popsicle?

CY: It’s actually a rather personal film. My grandma died fours years ago – which was really hard for my dad to cope with. He was really sad, and to an extant I was really worried
about him. But time heals the wound, and after a while when he was more back on his track, I started to make my 2nd year film in CalArts. I decided to make a film to record this experience – for my dad and me, to take the emotions in and letting it go. So in the film, My dad is probably the brother, me and all other relatives are the sister telling him that everything would be fine, but we’re also sad. That’s why we need each other at this time.

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