"NIDUS" is a short animation project talking about depression and liberation with a magic realism narrative.

Interview Shih-Chien Hsu


I’m HSU, SHIH-CHIEN, like cartoons, brunch and fuzzy animals. “NIDUS” is my graduation project. I am extremely interested in motion graphic, character animation, and game art. There are many skills that I have to learn and practice, and I expect to learn and develop more and more possibilities in the future. Filmography Director: HSU, SHIE-CHIEN Film (first film): NIDUS

“Nidus describes that a man who freezes his emotion can no longer suppress it, thereafter a series of weird and absurd things happened in a row”: Is this the real meaning of the word or is it  a meaning you made up for the sake of the narrative

“NIDUS” is a magical story talking about the exploration and the depression of indigestible personal emotion, which could be faced by anybody in some steps of their life process. In the first place, I came up with the idea that “What if a man can’t express his strong emotion but by another way to deal with it, like solidify it into an egg?” Then, the whole story was slowly constructed step by step following the main concept.


Is the technique used in your film called motion graphic? 

 I created this work with 3D animation software, MAYA, Zbrbush, Substance Painter … and video editing software, After Effects and Premiere. (I think it’s not called “Motion Graphic”.)



Could you expand a bit about it?

Briefly, this is all about liberation. It reveals the potential mental problem that humans may face when a sudden depression happens, which is called “Experiential Avoidance”, namely “Frozen Emotion”. In the story, a tiny disorder in Barney’s inside kept growing up after mother’s funeral. Barney didn’t know how to get alone with this feeling, so he kept avoiding and hiding it, until the “thing” totally lost control.

However, I would say that it’s not entirely a sad or negative story for me (or for Barney). The end of the work is more like that this man eventually got a way to survive, to embrace the feelings, turning to a brand new self, with his strong feelings, which had become some of his part.

Thank my friends and my professor for giving me lots of great advice.



The sound design is awesome and just perfect for a non-verbal film, Have you designed it as well?

Thanks! Almostly, all of the sound effects and audio material are free downloaded or legally purchased, and I made all the audio editing and composition on my own.