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  • Writer's pictureAshton Blyth

The first person I told

Shot 1 of Chapter 3: Coming Out. The first person I told that I thought I was trans was the therapist I was seeing for a short course of CBT at the time when I was 18. I remember it feeling good to actually voice my thoughts out loud for the first time, how I'd done my research and felt like I actually found myself for the first time ever.

For this shot I drew out about a second and a half worth of everything except for the arms - so the sofa, cushions, shoes and legs and repeated that for the twelve seconds. the arms, hands and notebook were individually drawn frames for the majority of the animation, with odd moments where I could repeat bits where the hands weren't moving.

I'm probably most happy with the detailed areas of this shot, the cushion and especially the shoes. I really like the laces and the slight movement of the feet. It's nice working on shots that don't involve the face as I feel it highlights the likeness I've managed to capture in other areas, where as when there's a face you're watching for the likeness of a person that's been captured: the light in their eyes, hair movements, lip-syncing to the audio etc.

My dad was the actor for the shot, I needed somebody male as the therapist was male and to wear smart trousers, shoes etc. to look the part - so I just grabbed him after he got home from work for 5 minutes. Ideally I would've used more simple looking furniture to film it but there wasn't much choice as we have dining chairs, island stools, and then sofas compared to the usual hospital fancy waiting room style armchairs that you get at counselling.

I debated whether to change the sofa into an arm chair while rotoscoping, but it's quite a sink-into sofa which you can tell from the position of my dad's body and I think if I tried to change that into a sturdy arm-chair then it would've looked like a children's one with how low it would've been to the floor.


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