Animation analysis – Out of sight

December 4, 2015 in Photographic Research

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click it and watch the animation.

“Out of Sight” is a five-minute long clip about a blind girl named Chico, who enters an unknown world, beginning a magical adventure based on her senses and imagination.The animation was made by three Taiwanese students as this is their graduation project, they spent one and half years in total making this film.

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The plot is simple, one day, a blind girl is walking her dog in the big city, suddenly,  a thief grabs her purse and run away.Because of that, her dog immediately starts chasing the thief and disappears in the dark, which causes her to stray from the road she is familiar with; in order to find her dog she pass through a fence and goes in an unknown world and unfolds a magical adventure relying on different senses instead of her vision.

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The visuals of the animation are strongly connected to the sound,and with a very good reason: this is the story of a little blind girl,The animation presents how a blind little girl experiences the world without the ability of seeing, through different sounds and her own imagination.

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The animators chose 2 styles of representation.

  • When audiences get close to the little girl, they see how she is robbed and lost her dog.
  • as the girl tries to find out what happened, she passes through a hole in a fence
  • and from that moment, the animation changes its style, in a way that reminds of “Alice in Wonderland”, as Alice falls into the rabbit hole.

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  • after she passes through the fence, the animation uses a surreal representation.
  • she picks up a stick but in her mind it is a magic wand;
  • she walks down the street and suddenly she hits something which is unknown, but we don’t see what it is; until she sniffs around and uses her stick a (a magic wand) to feel everything,
  • she smells freshly baked bread and she knows she is next to a bakery; after hearing the sound  of someone opening the door, the door appears on the screen.

This style of describing the world brings you in a very personal space with the little girl, you get very close to her and experience the world just as she sees it.

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Chico’s imagination

While in the back alley, there are some strange sounds around her, which she cannot tell immediately what they are, so they’re represented in an abstract way. after hearing the sound , she finally realise what it actually is- it was in fact an alleycat, and it can be seen how the ball is transforming into the cat.

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Another very interesting aspect is how the animation is showing the character’s lack of real world experience. As a blind girl, she doesn’t know what the real street traffic looks like, as you cannot “touch it” to feel what it is, so in her mind, it’s like some smokey fish-like machines going down a river. Then a jet plane sound can be heard, and the little girl is imagining that’s a big whale in the sky, similar to the street traffic.At the end of the story, her dog is coming back with her purse, so you can see how the little girl is getting back to normal, and the style switches back to a realistic representation of the world. Everything is back to normal again. The stick she throws away touch the ground  as if it had the magic to change the world back to realistic.

Character design:

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Chico (The protagonist)

The main character, Chico, is an innocent little girl, she is about age 10, you can see from her eyes she hasn’t had the chance to experience the world yet. Her eyes are designed to look like she is always staring into the blank.She lives in her own world, and that’s mostly because she has to, as she is blind, she has no choice than to rely on her imagination.This is the perfect character to go on a day dreaming adventure in a big city.

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Gogo (Chico’s guide dog)

Gogo is her guide dog. Gogo’s appearance troubled the designer for quite some time. She had in mind a dog with a corgi body, Gogo was only styled after checking a number of stuffed animals for reference.

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The rest of the characters only appear in Chico’s imagination

  • Flower lady – Chico imagines her like a big blooming flower after smelling the fragrance of her perfume
  • A jackhammer –  It is in her mind a big bird pecking the ground when she hears someone is fixing the road
  • A fish car –  she hears cars driving through a puddle of water on the road
  • Animals waiting in line for the bus- she was imagination a bunch of different animals instead of human being when she hears the sound of buses coming 

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  • The animators used “Spirited Away (2001)”  as inspiration –
  • the same kind of story – the adventures of a little girl in a magical world
  • The idea for Chico’s transformation was based on “Aladdin”
  • Gogo’s appearance and many of its actions were inspired by the Disney’s “101 Dalmatians”

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