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Eulogy For 'Aqua'

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Here is its eulogy, a collection of the kind words written about it while still among the living. They shall live on forever in its place.

02-11-12 – 06-12-12

Author Comments

A cat wakes up surrounded by water and must learn to survive.

Watch it in HD! Link in my profile!

My name is Gints Zilbalodis, I am 17 years old and this has been my passion project for the last year an a half. It started as vague ideas of a cat, ocean and overcoming fear. Then through numerous battles with the script it shaped up to something similar you can see now. After seven drafts I felt that it was ready to start storyboarding, but the film kept evolving all the way until the sound mix was done. I kept learning about filmmaking everyday, going through all of the different processes.
I chose the cat as the main character mainly to save time with exposition, because people know that generally cats are afraid of water. So I could just jump right into action. Plus cat is a fairly small creature and the ocean seems even bigger to him. And of course cats are much easier to draw than humans.
The film's music is by my friend Bertrams Pauls Purviskis who helped a great deal to tell the story the way it was intended. Music had a lot of to convey in very little time and it came out much better than I could have ever expected.
I have been delaying the release for quite some time, because as I learned by making it, a lot of mistakes made earlier when I did not have the experience had to be remade from scratch. I am glad it is finally done and I can show it to the world.
Software: Photoshop, Toon Boom Animate Pro, After Effects, Logic Pro, Final Cut Pro, Brushes app
Hardware: iMac, Macbook Pro, Wacom Intuos 4, iPod touch
Other: Also made a clay model of the cat and miniatures of the boat and the tree



Rated 5 / 5 stars

Watch this in HD!

An amazing movie, really beautiful, tells an amazing story. I'm a bit at a loss for words, but your style of graphics and animation is really beautiful, and the music that was put to this was also really well-made, fits the scenes perfectly.

Love it!


Rated 5 / 5 stars

this really needs the front page,it has a deep meaning and is top notch work!GREAT JOB MY FRIEND GREAT JOB INDEED


Rated 4.5 / 5 stars

pretty sweet, already saw this on vimeo, cool animation, nice stylr. Can't believe your 17 the same as me and have created such a good film, wish I had the time to focus on animation. The cat jinda looks like MewTwo


Rated 5 / 5 stars

bravo sir!


Rated 5 / 5 stars

Just beautiful. All your hard work paid off. It seemed more like art in motion than anything else, and the music adds just the right feel. Well done!


Rated 5 / 5 stars

I'm sure you're going to get far.
Good luck!


Rated 4.5 / 5 stars

Really, really stunning work. You a good job of characterization without dialogue and it's just an overall fun movie to watch. It lets the kid in you come out and sit back awe struck. At first I thought the simple drawing of the cat against the complicated backgrounds was a little off putting, but by the end I cared enough about the cat as a character that I didn't mind and it made sense. The only thing off is that a few of the cuts were a little jarring. Especially at the end when the cat is sitting on land and the next cut it's in the tree. Likewise it was the same near the end when the water is begins receding, then the next cut the cat is standing on land. Maybe it was intentional, but the suddenness was a "wait, what?" moment that took me out of the animation for a moment

Other wise I loved it.


Rated 5 / 5 stars

An absolutely beautiful piece of work. It's not that often that something this moving comes through the portal; this gave me chills. The music was wonderfully composed and fit each scene perfectly, adding to and helping shape the feeling of the piece. From the first scene, the art brings you into the story alongside the cat so that you share the journey with him/her. Without words, you told a riveting and touching story of struggle, overcoming the largest obstacles, and survival. Most submission will make you chuckle, cringe, or laugh; this one makes you feel, and feel as though you were experiencing the struggle as well. This is not an average piece- this is powerful.

I can give nothing but praise for this, and hope that you make more like it in the future.


Rated 4.5 / 5 stars

this was wonderful, it's too bad that the audio quality took a hit when it uploaded onto Newgrounds, (using the Vimeo post as reference)


Rated 4.5 / 5 stars

And i finally watch it! Really really nice, the main standout has to be your art style. The colors you use and the way your draw the cat is all quite unique for an animation on NG, and the amount of beautiful effects and filters you have is astonishing. Everything feels quite natural and flowing thanks to the blurring you use frequently and the overall piece looks great. The plot however, i was less of a fan off. So we have the fish out of water scenario (forgive the pun) and a cat overcoming his fears. But the pacing and the fact it's hard to read the characters face (it's hard to tell what that cat thinks!) means these elements don't really have much emotional resonance. It all felt a bit too dreamy for me to get gripped, i never *hear* the cat, he seems like a distant observer to the scenarios he's in. I think the pacing too was in part to blame for this, at times it felt a little "piecey", we have the cat fishing, the cat waiting, the cat being saved by the bird etc. but they all feel like seperate pieces that fail to combine. You need some slower scenes, it was all a little fast, and despite being quite a long piece it didn't have many pauses for reflection. Of course this is just me being critical, and overall it was still one of the best animations i've seen this year. Wonderful animation and a wonderful art style. Great work!


Rated 5 / 5 stars

wow that just ... wow

plz make more?


Rated 5 / 5 stars

Oh God... That's beautiful. I really, really, really enjoyed watching that, throughout the whole video.
The whole animation was just very touching and in a way, also very inspiring. You can see how much effort went into this, watching this, makes me want to achieve something with my animations.
The only actual flaw was the coding, at the ending, the video's started replaying automatically, maybe you should add a 'Replay'-button at the end, instead of repeating automatically.
Anyways, great job, if this won't reach the front page, by tomorrow, there's something really wrong with Newgrounds, as it is today.


Rated 5 / 5 stars

It's so... unique and interesting! Your hard work payed off!


Rated 4.5 / 5 stars

Everything is great but you have 3 little flaws
1. You used frame by frame animation, too few or no tweens at all, which makes it choppy.

2. The music, sometimes, gets out of sync you could try syncing it in flash which by the way I wonder why you didn't use in the process or you could get help from a musician, alot would like to contribute in such a great movie :)

3. Like the guy below said you need to add some script like a screen with a play button, your Youtube or Facebook link and a replay button at the end maybe even a medal for watching the video once or twice :)


Rated 5 / 5 stars

Very close awards today even tho you got daily second 10 minutes after the award went out your movie actually had the highest score. Very close... lots of good moives today.
I liked this movie the best out of all others sdubmited today because the ideas in it are more interesting. Quality of the animation varies throughout but overall the simple neon style is pleasing to the eyes and compensates for the simplistic sketches in some parts. I also enjoyed all playing with light that is going on the backgrounds look nice. Still, once again, my favorite thing about the movie is the story conveyed through famebyframey action. Nice job, hope you continue pursuing your creative side with passion.


Rated 5 / 5 stars

That's a very good story and your art is amazing!
This is truly worthing 10.7mb of my internet ^^.
I hope you will make more like that.


Rated 5 / 5 stars

plus I really like animations that you can't find anywhere,this is one of them.Nice job you really deserve 5 stars :)


Rated 5 / 5 stars

This was truly beautiful... it seems I will be giving less five stars from now on since I'll begin comparing the to such videos as yours, this kind of videos? These are the best, it was so beautiful. This one is the only, or one of few, videos that deserve a true 5 stars, it's beautifully created, full of passion, ambition and vision, this I call artism and you are and artist, my good sir.
But there were few things I think weren't the best they could be, but it might be just your vision and I simply, such amateur, didn't understood the point you were trying to convey, but I'm going to list these points nevertheless;
1.The jump, when the cat saw the boat it appeared to me that you were building tension, that the cat was doubting in its abilities, if the cat waited for the boat to come closer and jump as soon as it would be close enough, it would make sense imho, but the boat was beginning to move away creating this feeling of time scarcity and requiem to make a quick decision from the cat, from my personal view it would be better if you; made the jump slow motion to raise the tension and force the audience to wonder whether it will make it; made the jump and have the cat clech to the site of the boat with its claws and then as it climbs shift camera from OTS, BCU and MCU as it would struggle to climb onto the boat, to prolong the tension before the relief, here it felt too sudden and too early to cut the tension; or show the jump several times from different angles to give audience the perception of the jump, but the again, that might have been a reason, to create a false sense of tension to show that the character is different than usual characters and doesn't fully comprehend the seriousness of situation, to make the audience know it is an animal, after all.
2. The swimming, when the cat swam, it appeared to me unnatural that it didn't bob, it's very minor and maybe I just don't know how cats swim, but I expected the cat's head to bob a little to give the impression of swimming instead of floating.
3. The dive, when the cat dived for the first time,the situation felt similar to that of a the jump, there was a tension and audience's knowledge how much the cat was afraid of water combined with recent trauma of nearly drowning, yet we know that it's starving and is desperate to acquire food, this part only asked if the cat will make it, it didn't reflect on the cat's struggles, in here I would recommend showing how the cat struggled to fight panic and fear in order to desperately acquire food, instead the situation felt as if it was natural for a cat to dive, unlike what the audience has been told before, and after that it could have been useful to show the cat's exhaustion, yet profound sense of achievement, because, let's face it, for this cat pulling it's guts and performing such a stunt is a grand achievement. Mind you, I might be just ranting here and completely missing the purpose of such measures you have decided to take, the reason why I'm writing this is so that maybe you will find something interesting and help you reflect on your work and ultimately help you improve in the future.

The music was perfect, you clearly knew that when it's not playing it's going to be calm but whenever you heard the score beginning to play, something was about to happen.

The camera work? It was beautiful under every aspect, you have done not only something fascinating but also something completely fresh! It clearly portrayed you passion, ambitions and love to this short, you are amazing and you should feel amazing.

The story, well, the story was nothing short but perfect, it was beautifully thought out.

Animation was a bit choppy, but this will improve with time, mind you though, animation was great, but I just mean that it can and will improve with time.

Design was simply fantastic, I'm not sure whether you intended for living being to stand out compared to the background, but it was brilliant regardless of that.

Overall I would say that this is one of the best shorts I have seen, simply superb! Kudos to you, my dear friends!


Rated 5 / 5 stars

Labais! Å¡itais mani paÅtÄ"ma riktÄ«gi. PatÄ«k tÄs kameras kustÄ«bas un vispÄr sižets labi plust un savienojas ar mÅ«ziku.


Rated 5 / 5 stars

Very good work.


Rated 5 / 5 stars

Well this is a beautifull and VERY GOOD syncronized piece of art. I love the contrast of the simplistics characters with a HD background and objects, and the music was very good for the moments and the tempo was perfect. And you have 17!!!(blame myself for be a talentless in all form of arts in newground)....This piece of word have a lot of love in it. Really you deserve the frontpage.


Rated 4.5 / 5 stars

I've never felt so much for a cat before. I love the flow, art, atmosphere, and music of this short. They just blended really well together. But the cliffhanger really kills me inside. SEQUEL! Or somethin'.


Rated 5 / 5 stars

o,o Amazing!
this is the first time I see this kind of animation.. very unique!
it was very entertaining :P
Good job man! ^^


Rated 5 / 5 stars

I loved this piece! You have done a magnificent job. Your voice of music well complimented the film. Keep up the good work! Try to keep developing at all costs!


Rated 5 / 5 stars

Best animation I've seen all year. Seriously great work.


Rated 5 / 5 stars


looking forward to more work from you!


Rated 5 / 5 stars



Rated 5 / 5 stars

I was surprised when i first read that this took you a year and a half to complete. However once the movie started i immediately knew why.

I love the art form of this movie, I feel like you poured your heart into while you were drawing it. The music is simply amazing as well. It gave the movie so much character without any speaking what so ever. This was definately something im glad you took your time with, and im glad it turned out how you first invisioned it.

The story is simple yet touching, and the messages it portrays are age-old and very well showed. I am definately going to be waiting for more from you.


Rated 5 / 5 stars

Truly amazing! i kept expecting to see a large fish on the day where the cat found no fish.


Rated 5 / 5 stars

The time you took truly shows. This is far from the normal found here on newgrounds, but always a welcome inspiration. Thank you for your hard work!


Rated 5 / 5 stars

Beautiful. i love this.


Rated 5 / 5 stars

Holy $%! a 17 year old managed to create a work of art like that. Retrosamurai is totally jelous of Glints awsome artistic abilities.


Rated 5 / 5 stars

Extremely beautiful ... just my thoughts but its amazing to stare fear face to face, the cat realized it was ready. Since you made it silent anyone can find a jewel that speaks to them when viewing this work of art. Inspire on, you seem to be on the right path.


Rated 5 / 5 stars

Every year there's always at least one submission that completely blows my mind with how much thought and effort must have gone into it. Seeing these almost otherworldly projects that don't even feel like they're a part of the same world as I am. And yet here it is, one of the last flashes I was going to watch judging only by the thumbnail and It'll probably be one of the best I'll see all year.

Amazing job, I'm glad you followed your project through to the end because it really paid off in the end. The music and the story fit really well, The dark and stressful scene where the cat is drowning underwater, the learning to survive and live out of your element that followed, and the surreal view of the landscape emerging from the water and running from the huge Tidal wave.

Anyway, thanks you've given us a real treat. I hope we see more movies of this caliber sometime through the year given yours came so early.


Rated 5 / 5 stars

This is an amazing short. It really stands out, thank you.


Rated 5 / 5 stars

wow amazing you did amazing work


Rated 4 / 5 stars

How on earth? simply beautiful and a great story.


Rated 5 / 5 stars

buetiful love the art
best thing ive ever seen
i almost cried


Rated 5 / 5 stars

Oh... my good god. God bless your soul.

This made me cry so hard, and inspired me so deeply... it's... I don't even really know what to say. The story was absolutely amazing, your art style is epic (I love how you drew the cat!! <3), and the music really made it all come together. I love this so much, I can't stop watching it. I've watched it about, ooohh... 7 times now, on my 8th? And I still cry at the part where the cat's drowning, and especially when he's running from the wave.



Rated 5 / 5 stars

Absolutely heart moving.


Rated 5 / 5 stars

The most beautiful animation i've ever seen


Rated 5 / 5 stars

Its Amazing! One of the most beatiful animation! Must see this in HD. 5/5


Rated 5 / 5 stars

This is so beautiful.


Rated 4 / 5 stars

this is so beautiful, I remember seeing the trailer and thinking "this looks good" and boy. was I right. :D although the ending looked a bit unfinished, maybe one more shot would have made the difference. love it though.


Rated 5 / 5 stars

yes yes and yes

certainly had me entranced both with the music and the story. the animation was not as good but upon reading the authors comments i totally dont have a problem with it althoughi imagine it does look much better in HD but i never checked that out. you did an amazing job must be good to know that your passion project was loved by so many


Stats, Info & More

4.40 / 5.00