Rising 2023 Archive
👷‍♀️👷‍♀️👷‍♀️ This is an archive of the 2023 RISING festival website 👷‍♀️👷‍♀️👷‍♀️

Shadow Spirit in focus : Art Director/Lead Animator, Tunpitcha Ladapornvitaya

Mon 24 July

Through a series written responses, Shadow Spirit collaborators take us deep into the exhibition's ideas and the expertise that helped bring these works together.

Zugubal: The Winds and the Tides Set the Pace by Brian Robinson is a large-scale vinyl-cut work that tells a Torres Strait Island celestial story and shows how star and spirit ecologies of country share thousands of generations of knowledge. Brian worked with the team at S1T2 to adapt the print into a room-sized animation that lights up like the night sky. In this short essay S1T2 Art Director/Lead Animator Tunpitcha Ladapornvitaya tells us how they helped bring the print to life.


As an animator and art director, it's always been my dream to transport audiences into perspectives different from their own. And, in working with Brian Robinson to create Zugubal: The Winds and Tides Set the Pace, I had the chance to do just that.

In this article, I’ll take you behind the scenes to look at how we transformed Brian’s stunning linocuts into an immersive projection artwork.

Getting to know the project


Whenever I’m working with someone else’s art, my first step is to break it apart. Because by breaking an artwork down to its individual elements we can begin to imagine how the art might transform in a new medium. We start to see how things could be layered or be relocated to create a sense of flow.

Brian’s artworks are full of juicy details that we could unpack.


Once I knew what we were physically working with, Brian and I began to map out the lore and backstory of each element. This helped me understand the purpose of key visuals, and helped Brian develop the direction to take advantage of the new medium.

These spreadsheets might not look pretty, but they were endlessly helpful.


With the puzzle pieces of the artwork established, and the lore to back them up, it was time to think about assembling them into a compelling narrative arc. Mapping the journey like this helps guide the audience through, so they’re not too overwhelmed upon arrival or too disoriented when they leave.

You’ll notice that we’ve gone with a classic three act structure.


Working with a heritage-listed building, Flinders Street Station, the project had a set amount of space and an anticipated level of foot traffic. Acknowledging these limitations was an important part of the creative process. It even inspired us to incorporate some architectural elements into the user experience and animation.

From messy diagrams to unexpected results!

Mapping the animations

Believe it or not, a lot of the work involved in animation comes in developing the storyboards. Over the years I’ve found that if you invest in this step, everything that comes after is much easier.


Storyboarding isn’t just about capturing the beats of an experience; it’s about imagining how they will connect. Having worked so closely with Brian, I knew that contrast would be key. Through the storyboard I was able to map the build from calm anticipation through to big visual payoff—an approach that would create the right mood and would be satisfying to watch.


While I was breaking down Brian’s work, I noticed there were a lot of hidden Star Trek and Star Wars references scattered throughout his art. As a secret nerd, I wanted to leverage that in the animation. So throughout storyboarding, I looked to incorporate camera angles and transitions that would hint towards Brian’s sci-fi references.

Drawing our POV from a scene with the Millennium Falcon.


Drawing inspiration from movements that would feel natural and familiar to our audience would help them feel welcome in the space. It would also allow us to lead them to different areas of the space, really taking advantage of the immersion of projection mapping as a medium.

Bringing the work to life


With all the pre-production done, the actual animation process was, dare I say it, almost the smoothest animation process I’ve ever been involved with. When we got onsite there was some final tweaking, repositioning, and grading to do but with solid plans in place, it really took no time at all to perfect the final piece.

Some of the individual animations I created based on Brian’s vision.

Visit the Shadow Spirit stories page for more deep dives on how the exhibition came to be.

Read Brian Robinson's guide to the Torres Strait Seasonal Calender and his key to the characters depicted in Zugubal: The Winds and the Tides set the Pace.

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