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by Artstreak26 on 12 May 2021 for Rookie Awards 2021

Every kid dreams of growing up, graduating from school and following their passion and achieving their dreams. When the time comes for the kids to leave their nest and fly away to a different place, they go through a roller-coaster of emotions, feeling happy and excited about the new adventures to follow, being sad to

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The short film "Light" is my graduation project from Vancouver Film School. It is a 2 minute 11 second short film that I made as a thank you to my parents for being supportive of my dreams and passion for animation. It is also a tribute to all those parents who, at some point in their lives, faced a similar situation.


Writer, Director, Animator - Rishi Gupta

Character Modelling and Rigging - Rishi Gupta

Environment Model - Rishi Gupta, Victor Navarro

Asset Modelling - Rishi Gupta, Victor Navarro, Dirce Carsi, Yung Jen Chang

Character Designs - Manolo Jamie Franco

2D Flashbacks - Elizabeth Maria

Lighting and Compositing - Rishi Gupta


Character Designs

The personalities for the characters were laid out in order to show a Father-Son relation, rather than the typical Mother-Son story or Father-Daughter story. The idea was to show the emotional side of a father, as they tend not to show their emotions a lot in front of anyone and try to keep it all bottled up.

The character design began with the Father's character, since he was sort of the "Protagonist" in the film, and the decision to make him round and chubby was to show a soft and huggable character, one with whom the audience instantly feels sympathetic and falls in love with. The design for the Mother was done in a slender and sharp looking manner, contrasting the emotional personality of the Father, since she was quite realistic and down-to-earth. The Boy was in a neutral space between the two, since he was quite excited to begin his new journey, so the personality needed to show the same. The Boy's personality was enthusiastic, excited, soaring for the sky, giving the design for the hair and the overall character. 

The idea to not include a mouth was pretty much there since the beginning, although some exploration for it was still there. This was done so as to take forward the idea of "Fathers tend to not show or speak a lot about their feelings", as well as the demand for the story never required any sort of dialogues or big facial expressions in conveying the emotions. This is a story everyone has experienced once in their lives and the moment doesn't require a lot of big gestures. Simplicity was the key factor in designing everything for the short film!

Environment Design

Storyboard and Animatic

The initial storyboard was just to get the idea of the story. As the production for the short film progressed, quite a lot of changes happened in the story, and the first animatic was way different that the final product.

Color Script

The overall color scheme was divided based on the mood for the story telling, happy in the beginning since the boy embarks upon a new journey, sad in the middle since the parents miss the boy and feel his absence in the house, and transitioning towards happy again to show the parents' acceptance.

Shot Progression

Look Development and Art Style:

The art style and look was quite a challenge to achieve. It took inspiration from One Small Step and FĂș (Airbnb) short films from Taiko Studios. The aim was to achieve something different than the usual 3D style of animation, and add an element of 2D for the same.

Lighting and Compositing:

The lighting and compositing breakdown for some shots from the short film. The idea was to further develop the look development test into the short, develop it further and to achieve a different look for the overall short film.

Thank you for going through the process. It was an amazing and quite a learning experience to make the short film. 

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