Hedgehog Times: A 2D animation on 
Anxiety Disorder 

People with anxiety disorders often experience intense, excessive, and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations. The purpose of this animation is to provide the audience with a basic understanding of the nature of anxiety and convey the message that it is okay to be anxious.

This animation is created using tools of comic art, visual narratives, and visual metaphors to reflect the experience of living with anxiety and panic attacks and overcoming them. 

Audience      

People with anxiety disorder, and the general public 

Client

Prof. Shelley Wall

Format

Frame by frame animation

Date

On going 

Media

Adobe After Effects

Procreate

Process work 

Story Concept 

The idea of using animals as visual metaphors for mental health has become quite common in comics and TV shows. They act as symbols to externalize moods and thoughts that are difficult to communicate. Inspired by I had a black dog, his name was depression and In Between, I created a character named Spike, who is a visual metaphor for anxiety. 

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The main character, Emi, is a storyboard artist who just graduated from university. As the day of her first project pitch at her new job approaches, she becomes anxious and experiences episodes of a panic attacks. 

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Spike grows larger and larger as Emi's anxiety level increases. She realizes that she is no longer in control of Spike and decides to see a therapist. 

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The therapist helps Emi to discover the cause of her anxiety and Spike eventually returns back to his original size. 

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At the end of the story, Emi comes to the realization that everyone experiences a little anxiety sometimes, and it is okay. 

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Storyboards

Rough storyboards are first created to plan out the scene. The storyboards are then rendered for color testing. 

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Production

I decided to do a frame-by-frame animation so the overall style is more like a comic and the movements of the characters are more natural. 

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