Unfiltered: Challenge Conquered


By June 28, 2018Unfiltered

(5 min read)

A few months ago we had collaborated with Sidelick and Pet assist to promote and adoption day event that was hosted by Animals Lebanon. We wanted to create an animation that would help raise support for that particular event.

We then decided to reach out to the local community  and host a competition called the Caustik Animation Challenge . In it we asked them to showcase their skills in animation with the winner receiving both a cash prize and an internship with caustik

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And the winner is: Melinda Mouzannar

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Melinda Mouzannar

Congratulations on the win Melinda! Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I’m 22 and I’ve always been drawn to anything artistic. I got admitted to ALBA in 2013 and had no clue what I wanted to major in but knew I definitely wanted something related to Arts. During my second year we had the chance to pick 4 majors we were interested in so that we could try them out and finally stick to one that we’d eventually get specialized in. Animation was one of the majors I had picked and it was by far my favourite class, even though all we did in the beginning was making up stories and storyboards, creating characters and environments. When the time came for our final project which was doing an animatic for the story we had created, I knew I would want to pick Animation as my specialty next year. The thought of one of my creations coming to life even in the most basic forms ignited a sense of excitement in me and I could imagine the worlds I could get to create from scratch in the future. My final year is when I really fell in love with what I was studying even though it was exhausting. I got to express thoughts through my animations that I never had the courage to before. I got to explore my imagination and push it to its limits, by tackling concepts and opinions in surreal situations.

What are the things you like and don’t like about this profession?

I like that you can go crazy at some point and create things that would be hard, expensive or even impossible to express in live action filming. I also like that it involves a lot of creative thinking and imagination at times. What I don’t like on the other hand is that sometimes the work gets too technical especially when it doesn’t involve concept creation.

What is your favorite style and technique of animation and why?

I’d have to say I’ve always been fascinated by frame by frame animation since it requires a fair amount of time and effort as well as meticulous work. I also feel the animator always leaves his/her personal touch in the graphic style of the animation and that adds a special feel to it. I also admire 3D animation when it involves carefully designed and sculpted characters where you can really appreciate the details and the work that went into creating a personalized character.

Some of Melinda’s work

Can you tell us a little bit about the the process you went through to create this animation ?

First of all I tried to think of visuals that would touch people and would push them to adopt. That’s when I came up with the storyline and the message I wanted to get through. I then drew a simple storyboard and assigned an estimated time for each scene. I then tried a few sketches to pick the style and colour palette I wanted to go with. I proceeded with the animation, finished the outline version, coloured the frames and added the music and sound.

What are the main challenges you faced during this process?

The main challenge was animating the puppy trying to lick the face of the person holding it since I had no similar reference for it and had to imagine what it would be like through a process of trial and error.

What did you think of this type of challenge and do you think more of these should be done?

I think the challenge was fun. A nice aspect of it was that it was done for a good cause which was pet adoption and it felt good contributing to that. I think more of these challenges would push animators, or people trying to learn animation, to show their skills and compete against others, making the animation scene in Lebanon a bit bigger.

How big?

A post shared by Melinda Mouzannar (@melindamouzannar) on

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Thank you Melinda for the interview, please be sure to follow her on Instagram to see more of her fantastic work.

We will be hosting more challenges in the near future so keep an eye out for them as we continue to try and challenge you and test your skills, be sure to like our Facebook page and follow us on twitter and Instagram.

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