Don't Touch Me
What does it mean to be asexual? Ft. Soofiya Andry

Project Brief
Create a 40 second sequence that expands on the themes touched on by an interview or speech.

~3 weeks

Solo project

Created with C4D, AfterEffects, Premiere

In this condensed version of a 22-minute long interview episode between Soofiya Andry and Zing Tseng, host of the My First Time podcast on Vice/Broadly that presents diverse queer identities, Andry details her own growing pains, joys, and coming to terms with identifying as asexual. This short 3D animatic expands on used metaphors to visually represent those experiences, and ties together universally shared experiences among asexual folks.

~10 weeks

Jessie Huynh, Ashten Alexander

What does it mean to be asexual?

Asexuality is simply a lack of sexual attraction to others. As opposed to Allosexuality or Zsexuality in which sexual attraction is experienced, asexuals experience little to no sexual attraction and/or lack a desire to have sex. Asexuality is an umbrella that covers asexuals, aromantics, demisexuals, greysexuals, and many more combinations of orientations. About 2% of the general populous is Ace.

Asexuality is not celibacy or a hormone imbalance/low libido or an anxiety/phobia or mainly caused by trauma. Not to be mistaken with sex - negativity or sex - positivity;

Sex - favorable asexuals don't mind having sex and can even enjoy it.
Sex - indifferent asexuals are apathetic to sex.
Sex - repulsed asexuals are averted to having sex and usually don't want it at all.

Yes. You can be asexual if you:
have romantic feelings/relationships (with allosexuals as well), have sex, masturbate, consume pornography, have a libido/get aroused, and even experience sexual attraction under some circumstances. Asexuality is an umbrella. Asexuals belong in the LGBTQIA+ community.

Within the Ace community, we like dragons, card suites, cake, gingerbread, wearing black rings on our right middle fingers, and the color purple.

Project Brief

PROMPT: Design a title sequence expanding on social equity themes touched upon by an interview.

DURATION: 2 weeks


1. Research

    What's important to you?
2. Storyboard
    Create a linear timeline of scenes
3. World Building
    Set those scene(s) with assets
4. Animation
    Beat Sheets and key-framing
5. Post Processing
    Put it all together

1. Research
What's important to you?

Arguably the most important decision when starting any project is what the project should be about. For me, that was asexuality, a topic that's personal but not too personal, and one I can feasibly do my fair share in advocating for without stepping on anyone's toes. There weren't very many audio clips in mainstream media about asexuality, which made me all the more determined to expose them. I reached out to the host and interviewee from Broadly and Vice's My First Time podcast for permission to use their audio and was granted it! As an ace myself, it felt difficult to reduce a long interview down to a 1 minute time frame without reducing the message as well. But a background of knowing what's important to the Ace community gave me confidence in my knowledge and the green light to continue this route.

2. Storyboarding
Telling a story

The ace community has many motifs to promote community and visibility. However, none were used in this film since the entirety of the audience and client are not ace. Nonetheless, lots of hidden themes and visual metaphors were integrated to express the feelings behind the words spoken. Each frame or scene correlates to some part in the interview so no time is wasted. Here are some early sketches and visualizations of potential scenes.

3. World Building
Setting the Scene

Because the forest is made up of trees, assets were used in setting the scene rather than individually modeling each object. To make a cohesive exposition, only assets of similar weights, colors, and materials were used to give a tight unity of color across the scenes. A colorful palette was used to match the optimistic tone of message, despite a serious but not somber topic. Live action was also included.

Assets used from: CGtrader, Turbosquid, Free3d, Sketchfab

Early ambitious attempt at modeling asset in Blender2.8

Playing with balloon animals to imagine their contextual placement.

4. Animation
Beat sheets and Key-framing

Using rigs and deformations in Cinema4D to breathe life into objects, the animation process followed a tight beat sheet (a detailed list of sequential actions within different scenes). Camera movement and minimal softbody animation was attempted. Rendering took place in Cinema4D, taking up about just as much time as it took to model and animate.

5. Post Processing
Putting it all together

Using Adobe Premiere/ AfterEffects/ Photoshop, all music, sound effects, render sequences, and audio were carefully and lovingly combined into one film.

Other work