This is a short animation about language as representation that I did for my motion graphics three class. It was inspired by a collage series I did a few years ago in which I compared language to an ecosystem. Below I have shared my creative process from the initial storyboard to the final piece.

Word from Natasha Lewandrowski on Vimeo.

In Progress

This is the first 30 seconds or so of my piece. The ending is not complete yet. I am looking to add more ambient action by adding some birds and animals for the scene. I’m also thinking of changing the transition between the first and second scenes., but I’m not quite sure how yet.

Rough Cut

This is a rough cut of the first 2o seconds of the piece. I am working on getting all the major blocks of movement in, figuring out the transitions, and syncing the movement to the voiceover. The motion is not smoothed out yet.

Style Frames

After creating my first storyboard I made a set a style frames. I quickly realized that there were too many competing visual styles. I was the most interested in the first look so I reworked my storyboard to express my concept using only animated text and cut paper. I also added a voiceover text. Finally I created a a motion test to visualize the final look and feel of the space.

First set of style frames

Revised Storyboard

Voiceover Text

“When you write a word, a thought is planted. That thought grows and connects to other thoughts until it becomes an idea. Our ideas combine together into a complex system of meaning. This system has a life of its own, which is beyond any individual’s power to control. When we see this we may wonder if our words were ever really ours at all. Yet even small ideas can alter the course of public dialog. Over time they can reshape the system of which they are part. Our words construct our shared reality and give us perspective within it. What will you say?”

Motion test


This is a storyboard for a motion graphics project tentatively called “tree.” The goal of the piece is to question the relationship of representation to the actual object, but to do so in a way that is visual and poetic rather than didactic. I had initially thought of adding a voiceover, but it seemed to heavy handed so I took it out.

A single word “tree” fades in onto a white background. The word begins to grow, forming a line which then starts evolving into a branch. The camera pans out until we see an entire landscape made of text.


The tree unfolds into 2.5D space. The words are replaced with colored paper cut outs that make the scene look a bit like a diorama. These textures are them replaced by photographic textures. All the while the tree is slowly blowing in the breeze. A pair of paper cranes fly through in the background transforming into more realistic birds as the cross the screen.

The tree morphs again into a photorealistic version of itself. Dotted circles appear around details of it. The camera zooms in on a detail of the branch and we see a text definition. The camera pans back out to see a rotating 3D model of the tree surrounded by measurements and scientific text. The skin color of the tree changes, slowly at first and then more and more rapidly. The background starts flickering too. The flickering is spliced with photos, diagrams, and artistic interpretations of trees. The word tree starts to flicker through. It stops suddenly and the screen goes to white with the text “tree?” The screen fades to white.IMG_0296


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