Animation by Bill Chen and Erin Wu

First of all, I should thank Erin for her hard work. The idea of the animation came from Erin and she made the later 20 seconds. She made a scene that three small cartoon characters, which we called “puppet whites”, shaking hands on the earth. That reminded us that we could make an animation goes with the song “we are the world”.

The most two famous editions of we are the world should be the one sang by MJ and the one sang by many famous singers. We didn’t use those two because we thought they couldn’t match our puppet whites’ cute style. Erin soon found out another song sang by a child, and it is the song we use now. We cut 50 seconds in the middle. The problem was we didn’t know what should we made next. I only had some rough ideas about my 30 seconds at first. I wanted to make two scenes. I was going to show lots of pictures about the global problems, including poverty, wars, resources, environment and other topics in the first scene. The second would be some puppet whites standing on a world map and shaking their hands.

The transition between the two scenes were a hard to make. I watched the movie Interstellar by Christopher Nolan. A transition impressed me a lot and that was my favorite few seconds in that movie. Cooper is driving to the NASA station, the picture shows his sadness because he doesn’t say good bye to his daughter. The background sound is the counting before craft takes off. So as Cooper drives to the station, the space craft is taking off at the same time. That transition was super smart because no one is willing to watch how the actor drives and how the craft takes off. I don’t know if any other director used similar transitions before, but anyway, I really like this transition. That made me want to put together two different scenes at the same time, this idea turns out to be my first transition at about the 20th seconds. I was satisfied to the result. In the later change I used a similar method to make a transition, to take place a transition made by Erin.

Another change I made in the later edit was the shadow. The first scene was already made in 3D so that I just add a light and shadows on the picture layers.1 

The original picture of world map had its shadow, which made it difficult to add shadows to the puppet whites. So I made a new world map without its shadow and created a new shadow for it in After Effects. I changed every layers in the animation into 3D layers and create shadows for them.

Bill(Zhenyu) Chen

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