Our 2014 Cartoon Brew 2014 Student Animation Festival continues today with Journey of Two by Joshua Mulligan of Detroit’s College for Creative Studies. Mulligan’s idiosyncractic drawing style serves as the primary source of intrigue. Delicate, wispy lines flower out of each other organically, forming abstract shapes and recognizable objects, including the film’s two main characters. There is a delightful element of surprise as the viewer wanders deeper and deeper into the constantly evolving linear universe created with hand-drawn animation. While the characters in the film go on journeys of both the mental and physical kind, the journey that the viewer goes on is equally rewarding.

Continue reading for comments from the filmmaker Joshua Mulligan:


Journey of Two started out as characters I drew in my sketchbook. Initially I didn’t think I was going to be able to animate them because of all the lines they took to draw. The film was made because I wanted to challenge myself to see if I could animate characters with many detailed lines.


Journey of Two is a traditionally animated short film. Once all the animation was inked on paper, I captured the sequences with Dragonframe and a Canon EOS Rebel T3i. Then I imported the image sequences into After Effects CC. I cleaned up the animation by adjusting the levels and positioned the frames in the composition. Then I layered other separate sequences using the multiply blending mode to create my scenes. All the scenes were then edited together using After Effects CC.


The biggest challenge was time management of the film. The style of animation is time-intensive and some of the shots took five frames an hour to ink. The most important thing I learned while making the short was problem solving ways to cut time but not quality in the animation. One way I did this was by using moving holds on parts of the characters that weren’t moving in the scene and then compositing the pieces together.


My inspiration for making the film was the desire to create something that pushed my artistic ability way beyond what I knew I could do. I was driven to completion to prove to myself that I could animate in my particular style of drawing.


In five years I see myself being an independent animator working on projects that could range from making music videos, educational/informative motion graphics, advertisements, films, book illustrations, or any type of project that would seem fun to be a part of.


Website: Joshua Mulligan’s Behance portfolio

Cartoon Brew’s Student Animation Festival is made possible by the generous support of our Presenting Sponsor JibJab, a company that has shown consistent commitment to supporting young and emerging talent. We’d also like to extend a thank you to our grand prize award sponsor, Microsoft.

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