The Conclusion of DayDream Project

DayDream is my one-year 3D animation project.It’s 3 minutes and 37 seconds long, and you can watch it here:

This animation includes three worlds, the real world, the surface layer dream world and the inner layer dream world. The Boy entered the surface layer dream worlds when he fell asleep. Something in the boy’s life becomes magical things in the first dream world. The boy’s pet turtle became a giant turtle island, and his fox toy became a lovely magic fox. The turtle helps the boy enter the inner layer of dream world  in search of the fox. In the second dream world, the boy turned into a line drawing. There are countless blue dots in the sky, which look like stars, but they are actually pieces of memory. In the second dream world, the boy sees the things belonging to the first dream world (mountains, trees, lakes, turtle island), which are also filled with blue dots —— The whole dream world is full of the boy’s memory. Finally, the boy found the fox in his inner dream — the fox toy that the boy had forgotten.

I try to add my understanding and imagination of dream and reality, consciousness and unconsciousness, and hidden magic into my stories. Maybe these ideas  are not clear enough in the animation, and I know that there are some problems in expression in my animation. However, I have thought a lot and learned a lot in this year’s project. I really appreciate the help from my two mentors Jeremy Baker and Gavrilo Gnatovich, and other teachers and classmates in MFA project. I hope my next project can be better.

The Difference of My characters in the dream world and the real world

My animation project  DayDream contains two dream worlds and one real world, and I try to make something different in these worlds.

First of all, My main character boy. The image of the boy in the real world is not very different from that in the dream world, but I have made some changes in the texture.

1. BOY

The boy in the real world looks more ordinary. I added some freckles on his face, hoping that he could look more ordinary and lovely. At the same time, his eye-lights are just natural reflection, which I hope can make the boy’s eyes look more real.

(This is just a preview, not a screenshot from the animation, but very close to the actual animation.)



For the image of the boy in the first dream world, I made a bold attempt in color.

I tried to add some purple and blue dots to the boy’s hair and skin, hoping that these special colors would add some sense of magic to this world.At the same time, I used a white circle to show the light in the boy’s eyes, which I hope is more cartoonish.




The second dream world is composed of dots and lines, which I will explain later.

But I was thinking that maybe I should make a bigger contrast of the boy’s image between real world and dream world, because I found that no one noticed the contrast between the images of boys in these two worlds.

2. FOX

The fox in the dream is actually a handmade fox toy in reality, so I chose floral cloth and brown buttons to make it, which are the material of a handmade toy in my memory.


The fox in the dream world is a lovely fox with big ears. I used blue and red to make it look unusual. It was a magical fox.



The real turtle is the boy’s pet turtle, I did not do very special design on it, just want it to look ordinary. But it had the same color and pattern as the turtle in dream world, and I kept his big eyes to show its loveliness.



The turtle in the dream carried a piece of ground and a big tree on his back. He usually slept in the water, which made him look like an island. I made some designs on the his head, which has stone scales and horns, a raised chin. And the shape of the head is a triangle, which makes it less like an ordinary turtle but has some dragon features. I re-mapped the tree on the back of the turtle and now it looks even older. I also added some plants to enrich the island.




I also added some yellow and blue dots on the distant mountains, hoping to add a sense of mystery to the dream world.



In the real world, I wanted to show more authenticity, so I added real wood texture, glass refraction, warm yellow light, tree shadows and other elements. But unfortunately the difference between the first dream world and real world is not great enough.


The first dream world is the surface layer of dream. I want to pursue the sense of painting, so all the maps in this world are painted.


The second dream world is the inner layer of dream, which is made up of lines and points and looks more abstract. I continue to use the blue color (which also appears many times in the first dream world), which I think is the color of magic and memory.




New version of the storyboard

I delete a character and a scene in the new version and I also delete a clip of the boy playing with the fox. But the fox guides the boy all the way to the unknown place is the point that I want to keep.

3D Animation Project

Now it is the end of the semester!

This semester I finish my storyboard (Thank you God), and most of my character model. Though I change the story which I write in the beginning, but also love this new version.

Still, my character is a boy, a fox, a turtle, a peach fairy… I like my characters

You can find my storyboard in the link below:

and also my model:

If you want to hear my long-winded description of this story, you can read the following words.

My new 3D animation project this year (2018) is a story about a boy’s adventure in his dream world. The story happened on a boring afternoon, a boy got bored with his homework and began to wander off. He drew a picture on the turtle tank and imagined his pet turtle bear a big tree. To his surprise, he entered the dream world. The boy woke up on a strange island, leaning against a big tree, which was his turtle’s shell. Then the boy saw a beautiful fox, the boy was attracted by fox and chased it all the way. The adventure journey started.


The story contains two layers of dreams, and I used some fantasy elements in it. When the boy woke up from the island, he came to the first dream. This world was like a fairyland in a fairy tale: beautiful nature, soft sunshine, fantasy creatures…… In the first dream, the boy saw the huge turtle which looked like an island (The boy was woke up on this island). And in the same time, his subconscious told him it was his pet turtle though they looked so different. Familiar thing made the boy feel at ease. Then the boy saw a beautiful white fox. The fox was actually a fox doll made by his mother, but the boy did not realize it in his dream. However, he was still attracted by the fox, and decided to pursue it. In the boy’s subconscious, the fox doll is the treasure in his childhood, and in the dream, it became the target of the boy’s adventure journey. In the process of chasing the fox, the boy got help from the peach fairy. In reality, it was a peach tree in front of the boy’s window. The boy looked at it every day, and it accompanied the boy grew up. The boy followed the fox into a mountain, then he came to the second dream. This dream world was different from the first one. It was dark and endless. This space had some lights flashed like stars, which made the space looked like universe. This beautiful and mysterious space excited the boy, especially when the boy found himself can float in the air. The boy did not forget to look for the fox, he floated and passed many places which seemed like the first world, and then came to a very dark place. When the boy felt lonely and confused, he saw his fox shining in a distance, and he became shining, too, which liked two stars in a dark universe. When the boy woke up from his dream, he found his fox doll appeared beside him at some time, he just thought that he had a good dream, without knowing that it was the magic of the things around him that brought him into this wonderful dream.

The synopsis of the story

The little boy woke up on a boat and he found that it was not his home. He was very flustered and wanted to go back.

A white little fox wants to use the boat to jump to the other side of the river, but he was caught by the boy.

The little boy found out that this was a fox who could speak, so the little boy begged to the fox to tell his my home.

The  fox clicked on the boy’s forehead with his claws and read the boy’s memory, saying that he did not know how to go back. The little boy was very sad. The fox continued to say that maybe the boy can follow him. he was going to ask the smartest peach fairy in the forest. (The peach fairy is the smartest person the fox regards, because the fox lives in this area. )

The boy and the fox went to the peach forest to ask the peach fairy. Peach fairy was a beautiful lady , she came out from the biggest peach tree in this area. The fox and the boy could not wait to ask their questions. The fox asked a question about his lost tail. The little boy was puzzled because the fox had a tail behind him. Then the fox turned a circle and showed his other seven tails. The fox said that he should have had nine tails, but he woke up with a tail missing. And nine tails meant he becoming an adult fox.

The peach fairy did not know where the little fox’s tail is, nor how to go back to the boy’s home. But the peach fairy said that maybe they can ask the water god in the lake, he knows more. The peach fairy felt that the depth of the forest was dangerous, and she sent a peach petal to protect them.

On the way to the lake, the boy squeezed a fox mud and show it to the fox. The little fox felt it was ugly, and he used a piece of wood to sculpt a beautiful fox to the boy. The boy liked the fox woodcarving and hung it around his neck with a tree vine.

The boy and the fox found the lake, and a huge turtle showed its head from the lake. The turtle  was the water god. He is like a wise old man. He speaks slowly and his eyes seem to be able to see through everything. He said that the boy was not belong to this world, and the little fox can’t find its tail. He also said that there is only one wise man who knows everything in this forest can answer their questions. He lives in the depths of the forest, but the depths of the forest are very dangerous.

The boy still wanted to find his way home. The little fox said that the tail of the 9th was very important to him. The growth of the 9th tail symbolizes adulthood, and he waited 100 years before he grew the 9th tail.

The water god offered a help for the boy and the fox to cross the lake quickly.


There are two versions of the following story, I have not yet decide which version to use.


Version 1

The road in the depths of the forest was difficult to walk. The boy was smashed by the tree vine and hit a hard object. The boy looked back and saw the eyes of a monster open behind him. The monster woke up and rushed to the boy and the fox. The fox held the boy’s collar and saved him. The Peach petals sent by the peach fairy became a wall that temporarily blocked the monster. The monster was not blocked for a long time, and it quickly rushed over to the boy.

At this time there was a gust of wind blew in the forest, a long whistle sounded, and the sky cast a huge shadow. The monster ran away. The little boy and the little fox looked up and saw a creature falling in front of them.

Version 2

The road in the depths of the forest was difficult to walk. The temperature was getting colder and the light was getting darker. Boy and fox slowed down the walking speed. They heard some strange sound and felt there were many eyes watching them in the darkness. 

At this time, a gust of wind blew, a big shadow appeared in the distance. It moved very fast, and soon the boy and the fox found it was a huge monster. Its head liked a goat, but its body liked a tiger, it looked terrible.

The monster rushed to the boy and the fox. The fox held the boy’s collar and saved him. The peach petals sent by the peach fairy became a wall that temporarily blocked the monster. The monster was not blocked for a long time, and it quickly rushed over to the boy.

The fox and the  boy closed their eyes in fear,they felt a wind blowing over the cheeks, but nothing happened. 

When boy and fox opened eyes and find a small goat stand in front of them, with a teasing smile. The goat said that many children liked to come here to disturb his dream, so he always acted as a monsters to scare people. But he knew the boy and fox had questions to ask.


This small creature was the wise man in the forest. He knew everything in now, past and future. Boy and fox were shocked by the size of him. They thought the wise man would be as huge as mountain. 

The wise man told the boy and the fox what happened before: the boy made a wish in his dream, the fox took this wish in dream, so the boy came here, and the fox lost a tail. The little boy remembered that he was watching an adventure story before going to bed and hoped that he could also take an adventurous journey.

The boy and the fox were sad for not finding a solution, and the wise said they needed a flower that can made a wish. The boy and the fox saw a very beautiful flower in the cave ahead in the direction of the wise man. The little boy and the little fox ran with joy, but there was only one flower, only one wish, and both of them hesitated. The little boy preemptively said [my wish is that the tail of the fox can come back]. In the surprised expression of the fox, a flash of light flashed, and the fox became a fox with nine tails.

The little fox was very moved. The little boy explained that because the fox saved his life and realized his own wishes, he also had a good friend.

The little fox also said that he was very happy to know the boy and told the boy that he had a nine tail now and could make a wish, so the boy could go home.

The boy’s body began to glow, and he floated away and moved further and further away from the ground. He saw the fox’s tail suddenly grow longer and wrapped the fox inside. Then The fox grew bigger and looked like a beautiful adult fox, with nine tails. 

The little boy woke up in bed, thinking that it was just a dream, but when he sat up and looked down, he found a fox wood carving on his neck. The little boy knew that this was not a dream, and he really participated in a wonderful adventure.

About Characters Design

Here is my character design. I have 6 characters now, and 2 of them are the main characters.

But there are not the final decision, I may make some change later. And I am still thinking about whether the wise man and the monster should be the same role.

boyImage001foxpeachfairyturtul2 21 2

Some Pictures


These pictures show some of the story scene, and many of them are not yet drawn in my storyboard yet. I painted these to make the colors and structure clearer in my mind.

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