The lovely people at the British Dyslexia Association approached me with the idea of creating a brief and uplifting introduction to dyslexia aimed at children, which could double up as a myth-busting tool in their awareness campaigns. We decided to create a short in a similar vein to Amazing Things Happen in the hope it would pave the way for an animation series on diversity and inclusiveness for children.
The animation seeks to preempt misconceptions among young audiences by shedding light on the challenges dyslexic children face while acknowledging their strengths and potential.
The short has had a great reception. TV presenter Dom Wood has recorded a heart warming introduction to the animation, which you can watch here; and while Twinkl Educational Publishing are distributing it to schools all around the UK the animation has made the official selection on a few festivals around the world, such as the Canadian Diversity Film Festival, Conscious Cartoons, Euroshorts Film Festival and even the St Albans Film Festival in Hertfordshire.
Here are some sketches from the storyboard cards:
* Warning: incoming geek paragraph *
On this project all the characters were rigged using DUIK’s plugin for After Effects. Most noteworthy is probably the shot of the boy rummaging through his shoes, who’s head was created using Video Copilot’s Element 3D to facilitate the rotation of his head, making the afro and his comb move very nicely while keeping the 2D look, his face’s texture is a live After Effects comp, that way I still have control of his facial expressions. The boy in the biplane was also created using Element 3D, so I had to build a 3D version of him on the plane. Even for such a short shot it was totally worth it.
Lastly, the faces were rigged using Joysticks and Slider, which in some cases also controlled the torso’s rotation.
The film features a wealth of famous/successful dyslexic people. See how many can you identify:
Client: British Dyslexia Association
Narration: Alec Newman
Direction and animation: Alex Amelines
Script: Liz Horobin & Tania Sentobe Bruun
Script advisors: Bernadette McLean & Tilly Mortimore
V.O. recording: Just Voices Agency
Score & mix: Chris Harrington
Foley: Studio Tinto
Funded by: Department for Education