1st place Untamed: When Animals Ruled the World – Keyframe Design Winner: Hue Teo

Today we’re continuing our Untamed: When Animals Ruled the World interview series with Keyframe Design winners Hue Teo, QiYin Ma, and Louise Meijer-Åström. Join us for a deep dive into the Challenge submissions and experiences of these three talented artists!

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2nd place Untamed: When Animals Ruled the World – Keyframe Design Winner: QiYin Ma

The Challenge Theme Was Key for Keyframes

Keyframe Design participants were asked to create four keyframes showing key narrative events in an animal society. Our three winners found this prompt to be a critical starting point for their submissions:

Hue: The theme was something that gave me enough space to play in. I love animals and the possibilities were endless.

QiYin: The Challenge was a good chance to challenge myself to do some creature-design-driven keyframes since I don’t have a lot of creature/animal designs in my portfolio.

Louise: The theme was appealing; I’m one of those artists that prefer having restrictions to get creative and animals are a favourite topic.

3rd place Untamed: When Animals Ruled the World – Keyframe Design Winner: Louise Meijer-Åström

Creating Stories From Another World

Hue, QiYin, and Louise shared with us the inspirations behind their memorable submissions:

Hue: The story I aimed for was something that connects with people and prayer; remembering why we are here was something I aimed for. The choice behind cats (as the subject) was because I think they have history. From ancient Egypt to the modern days, they have accompanied us through hard times.

QiYin: I’ve always enjoyed animal documentaries like Walking with Dinosaurs…I wanted to do some paintings with the same perspective, which meant realistic creature designs but without mankind.

Louise: I knew from the start that I wanted to tell a story of parenthood, specifically motherhood and the things a mother will sacrifice for their kin. I lost my mother to cancer ten years ago but she was always my biggest fan, biggest cheerleader of pursuing art as a career, and she put me first no matter what, so I had that emotion as a starting point for my story. 

1st place Untamed: When Animals Ruled the World – Keyframe Design Winner: Hue Teo

Learning on the Fly

ArtStation Challenges are an opportunity to test old skills, and to pick up new ones. The Keyframe Design winners found themselves learning on the go throughout the Challenge:

Hue: It was challenging to create humanoid animals and bring them to a quality where they would become useful for an animation. Consistency and storytelling were something that I also struggled with a bit in the beginning, so there were some changes made here and there to hit the mark.

QiYin: Firstly, something I learned from participating in the Challenge was balancing detail-improvement and time. Secondly, I tried to use a full 2D-painting workflow without 3D-based rendering. This gave me some “happy accidents,” and more control over the color and painting details.

Louise: I learned how hard stylized art is. I personally prefer working closer to realism, and it was a fun challenge doing something different. I learned to trust my gut. If the workflow isn’t fun or the story feels too complicated, even if you’re far into the Challenge, change it. You’re gonna spend so many hours, so don’t waste time being afraid of throwing things out to find something that makes you really excited working on. 

2nd place Untamed: When Animals Ruled the World – Keyframe Design Winner: QiYin Ma

Advice for Future Challengers

If you’re looking to jump into the next ArtStation Challenge, be sure to take the advice of the Keyframe Design winners into consideration:

Hue: Look forward, chase your future self! Because everything you do is to recreate yourself and become better over time. Challenges are there to provide that!

QiYin: Please yourself first and then the audience.

Louise: Set your personal Challenge goals, something to learn or try, so the Challenge results don’t matter as much, and make sure you have fun with it! 

3rd place Untamed: When Animals Ruled the World – Keyframe Design Winner: Louise Meijer-Åström

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