Bus Stop

Initial Idea

Originally, I was going to do a full on animation, however something like that is extremely demanding. From the writing, to the backgrounds and actual animation and colouring process deemed too much for me and for my own motivation and health, so I opted for something more simple.

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bus stop – LiFei Liu-Calver


Instead of animating, I did an animatic. This is similar to animation, however it is a sequence of images instead, and is less demanding than an animation. In my own personal experience, I have done animatics to outline a full animation, but here, I did it for the project. There are over 50 separate images within this 3 and a half minute short.

Plot Idea

At first, I had no idea what I was going to do, but then realized something personal in my life, and an important life lesson I had been taught, where it is okay to not forgive someone who hurts you and how important it is to stand your ground. I had a scenario running through my head since a bad incident that happened last year on how I would talk to the person if they so chose to apologize to me. I may never get to have this opportunity, so instead, I put it in the script so I would also give myself the chance to potentially help myself heal from what happened, and also show others that if people have done harm to you, you are completely within your right to cut them off and reject their apology.


The process of this project involved script writing, sound design, voice acting, character planning, drawing the frames and editing everything together. At first I wrote the script, and gave it to two different people to check it over, for fluidity and if it made sense.

While this was going on, I did some character designs and practiced their designs. By this stage, I was still trying to decide the colour sceme.

Character Designs and Concept Art (2023)

Afterwards, I recorded the lines. I did multiple tries for each line because one may work better for the tone to make the conversations sound more casual than monotone. It is voice acting, so it needs to sound as if it was a real conversation. I voiced both characters, and played around with some pitch settings until they sounded different enough that I could edit both together. After that, I went to BBC Sound Effects Archive to get my sound effects. I did try to record my own but the audio quality was not the best.

I edited both the voice acting and the sound effects together, and that was my audio for my project.

Screenshot of audio timeline

After all this I began the actual drawing process. I used Clip Studio Paint for this and separated the audio into three parts so I was not working on one massive file, which would later result in lag. After this was finished, I put all the parts into Premiere Pro and edited them together and finalized it, checked for bugs, and then exported it.

Screenshot of final editing (2024)

Sound Effects: bbc.co.uk – © copyright 2024 BBC


This is the first project I had done everything by myself and had actually completed it. I was originally going to do a full 6-8 minute animation but realized, not only is that incredibly time consuming, I did not have the full motivation for something like that.  It was incredibly challenging to compose my own music which instead I opted for sound effects, which I had retrieved off of BBC and their free sound library.

I wanted to play around with shapes this time. Typically artists have this «same face syndrome» where all their characters look exactly the same, but I wanted to make something a little different. The characters instead have different shapes to them. One had a more fluffy approach and the other had a more lanky and thin style. I also practiced drawing them a bit, as well as an expression sheet. I also had a blue-gray coloured theme approach to the whole short, with the limited colour, mostly in the character eyes.

I originally had another story in mind, but realized something personal I had in my own life was always circling around in my head and I would always have conversations with myself on the situation. So I transformed what I had into a script and recorded lines.

What I had learned was organizing and making time for everything. I sometimes felt I did not have enough time because I kept changing my mind on what I wanted to do, and what would also help me actually finish this project, considering as well that doing something this big on my own, and doing everything is draining. Perhaps in the future I would not be doing something this demanding. I feel I may not have given my absolute best. For an animation, it turned animatic. I kept everything simple so people know it was the interior of a bus, and keeping colours simple yet consistent.

In addition, I am not entirely pleased with the result as doing something like this is extremely demanding. For possibly next time I will have to consider what I am able to do and continue. When I make little projects they are usually spontaneous and I have interest right away. Here I sometimes dreaded having to work on it.