lim jia sheng,

.Illustration & Visual Narrative


project[2]: Decisive Moment

// tw: sewer slide


Create a minimalistic poster of a plot changing scene from a popular piece of media.


I started out looking for things to inspire me. Media with acts that change drastically is kind of rare, but one that sticks out in my mind is definitely Doki Doki Literature Club. The transition between Act 1 & Act 2 is super drastic but done with tons of foreshadowing, with a scene that shakes every person experiencing it.

The scene that kick starts Act 2, n.d

Figure 1.1.1, The scene that kick starts Act 2, n.d

With a theme going on, I then proceeded to look at some minimalistic movie posters that I think fit the style or generally piqued my interest.

Figure 1.1.7, Various cool minimalistic movie posters, n.d

The main aspects of these posters I enjoyed is the creative uses of colour & silhouettes. They're able to express their meanings without being explicitly rendered.


Here, I started out by just trying out composition styles, landing on this one I particularly liked. It featured Sayori front & centre as she was the main """attraction""", with Monika in the background serving as the foreshadow in the actual scene.

ddlc sketch

Figure 1.2.1, ddlc sketch

I really liked that sketch, but I really wasn't sure where to build from there. I wanted to integrate more of the scene's elements while keeping the majority of the composition """clean""".

Rough sketch 2, 9/5/2021

Figure 1.2.2, Rough sketch 2, 9/5/2021

After making this sketch & looking at it, it's definitely both an improvement & regression. I needed to find a way to combine the "drama" of the first attempt with the composition of this. I knew from prior experience that the angle of the camera affects the impact of the composition in very significant ways, thus I went ahead to play around with that.

  • ddlc perspective sketch
  • ddlc perspective sketch 2.1
  • ddlc sketch 2.2

Figure 1.2.6, Perspective sketches, 10/5/2021

The last one is technically not a new sketch, but I feel like the altered perspective adds a lot more """life""" to the image. So with that, I went ahead & started the final.

I first started out with the figure itself, based on the sketch I made. The proportions were still a little off as they were distorted by the perspective adjustments, but they were incrementally fixed.

First go, 14/5/2021

Figure 1.2.7, First go, 14/5/2021

After that, I started working on the background. Note how the colours are a lot different than the soft warm tones I ended up with, as I didn't want to pay it much mind while just spamming the pen tool.

More progress, 14/5/2021

Figure 1.2.8, More progress, 14/5/2021

With the biggest chunks done, I went on to play with the colours, picking raw from the scene itself.

Colour update v1, 14/5/2021

Figure 1.2.9, Colour update v1, 14/5/2021

Then, a little more tweaking to the colours, and a godray, lead me to the final image.

What the project ended up looking like, 15/4/2021

Figure 1.2.10, What the project ended up looking like, 15/4/2021

Onto the animation. I wanted to mirror the scene itself & use some of the visual cues they had.

Glitch effect experimentation, 15/4/2021

Figure 1.2.11, Glitch effect experimentation, 15/4/2021

First draft version, 15/4/2021

Figure 1.2.12, First draft version, 15/4/2021

The colours do change slightly between iterations due to various blending modes & even gif/webp compression artefacts, but overall I was pretty satisfied with the product. The differences of the final version are numerous, but slight, with the removal of the noise which bunged up the colours slightly, adjustment of the composition when zoomed, a more atmospheric light ray, adjustment to the janky bird animations, implementation of the initial glitch experiment, & door physics.

Final draft poster, 15/4/2021

Figure 1.2.13, Final draft poster, 15/4/2021

Final draft animation, 15/4/2021

Figure 1.2.14, Final draft animation, 15/4/2021


  • 28/5/2021
    • The contrast between the character & the background can be higher.
    • More shadows can be added onto the character to make it more dramatic.


Final poster, 28/5/2021

Figure 1.3.1, Final poster, 28/5/2021

Final animation, 28/5/2021

Figure 1.3.2, Final animation, 28/5/2021


This project was, interesting. I actually found myself having more fun illustrating than animating for, the first time in a while. After Effects just isn't optimized for large shape layers, & creating a proper framework/environment to work in there would've cost way too much time along with further hurdles. All in all though, I feel like I've still learned a lot, especially when it comes to using perspective in illustration. The composition part was the most satisfying, and I'm still chuffed that I got to learn about this type of minimalist framing. I'm confident I'll be able to apply most of these in my further endeavours.