iAniMagic Winner Interview: Ray – Between Stillness and Action Sequences

Animation Desk Ray

We are happy to have Ray for our third iAniMagic 2019 Winner Interview. Ray uses soft and mellow colors in his animations; however, he used burgundy red and black in his iAniMagic entry, Cheers! This interesting video quickly caught the judges’ attention and won the Golden Award in the 8th iAniMagic Animation Competition.

Please tell us a little more about yourself.

I’m a Japan-based graphic designer. I’ve worked in the advertisement industry for more than 10 years and I’m experienced in motion graphics, website design, and graphic design. As for now, I’m working as a self-employed graphic designer.

I like animating and doing housework. I really enjoy doing housework and cooking. Working at home is perfect for me–I can animate and do chores all day!

Animation Desk Ray Profile


Making animation requires planning, but the journey can be full of surprises. Does the final animation, Cheers!, look the same as you originally expected?

Well, the final animation was not exactly the same as what I planned. Before I started making the animation, I thought of scenes with lots and lots of animals. I also wanted a powerful and explosive ending. However, we faced some challenges in production and had to give up the original plan.

 After some discussion with my partner, we got an idea about the storylines and the content for each frame. I duplicated frames that I would reuse repetitively along with the animation. In each frame, I used the layer feature to separate the “still” and “animated” parts of drawings. Finally, I kept a layer for lining, so I could make smooth and accurate lines without messing up other parts of the drawing.

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I prefer to think over action performance while I am drawing these scenes. Draw and explore – I think this is the best way for me when it comes to drawing the in-betweens.

The setting of “Cheers!” is a rabbit, an herbivorous animal, and other carnivores as the main characters in this animation, joining a banquette together. Does this setting mean anything?

Because the theme of the Competition is about an animal party, I thought of a group of animals in a banquette. Speaking of a banquette, there would be wine! Besides, I thought a scene with drunk animals should be interesting. 

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In our original plan, there was only one hammered rabbit in the first scene. I could present the funny posture of a drunk rabbit. However, later on, I added these furious carnivores in order to extend the complexity of the story.

I guess it was easy for people to relate to the drinking scene.

We really like the color scheme in this animation.  How did you pick and match the colors?

Thanks for the compliment! I tried different colors to make the wine look tasty. On the other hand, the rabbit should stand out from the rest of the scene. I also wanted to limit the colors used so I can manage them easier. Considering these factors, I came up with the color scheme for Cheers!

The judges appreciated the exciting storyline. How did you design each scene in order to create an impressive storyline? 

I think the tension between the stillness and action sequences is very important in order to express an idea to your audience in 30 seconds. This tension creates suspense on-and-off and evokes amusement in this animation. Also, I think it’s appropriate to add some silliness to the characters to emphasize the dark humor in the story. 

Is this your first time using Animation Desk? Do you like the features? Any suggestions for us?

I have been using Animation Desk for a while. I can animate anywhere and at any time with the app. I also like the beautiful preset color palettes. The quality of the brushes is awesome. It would be fantastic if I can fill in the color based on the colored lines in each frame. 

When and how do you use Animation Desk?

I created and post animations with Animation Desk on Instagram. I haven’t used the app much at work yet, but there will be opportunities for me to do that someday.

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Image source: oto_mu (Ray’s Instagram)

What do you like about animating? Do you have any plans for the future?

Storytelling and music are two things I like a lot. I love animating because it’s an art form that combines storytelling and music. Though I can’t animate what’s in my head and present it vividly now, I enjoy the process of making animation. I want to make longer animated videos in the future.

Where can we find out your new works?

I update my works on Otom / Animation and my Vimeo channel. We made the animation and original music. Please check them out.

Our best wishes to Ray. Thank Ray for creating this awesome video. Please support Ray by following his Instagram or subscribe to his channel. Download Animation Desk (Android, iOS, Windows) to try out the tips from Ray. Stay tuned, we will have more animation challenges and campaigns in 2020.

Post was written by Afra, Edited by Joseph DiGangi III

Animation Desk