An Animated Short Film by

Moze Maaike Mertens

december 2021

© Moze Maaike Mertens, 2023

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2021, Canada, 1:40 min
Vancouver Film School

Story, design, animation: Moze Mertens
Music: Moze Mertens
Editing: Rob Wood and Moze Mertens
ound: Matthew Thomas
‘Alledoags’ is a word that orginates from a dialect in the north of the Netherlands, Groningen. It is Gronings dialect for ‘ordinary’ or ‘mundane’ like a routine. It’s a lonesome word.

‘Alledoags’ is about dealing with trauma’s. How trauma’s and PTSD will stay with you throughout your life, how you learn to cope with these experiences and learn from it. But it is also about accepting that these trauma’s can still trigger you no matter your age or how many years have past.

For the Classical Animation program at the Vancouver Film School. We work on and create or own animated short to graduate with. I came up with my own story, art direction, music and of course all the animation. For a full year we worked  in ToonBoom Harmony with all our animations and for my final film I animated most of my scenes on paper.


My film is based on a small village in the north of the Netherlands where I lived with my family. ‘Usquert’ is a small village where a few hundred people live, including my mother’s family.

It is the village where my grandfather, mother and my brother were born, where my grandfather died and my grandmother still lives.

Landscape exploration

The first scene of my picture is the most elaborated one. The background for this scene took me three months to finalize and I made many attempts to capture the feeling of landscape. It had to be colourfull but not too cute and cozy. It should express the emptiness but not the negative lonesome message. 

This should be updated to the finalized BG from VFS campus computer

The combination between the flat and empty meadows and also the red houses and wide view finally created this beautiful scape of the north of the Netherlands for me.
Reference pictures from Usquert.

Storyboard sketches.

Storyboard overview sketches

Colour exploration

While figuring out the background of the village landscape - I started exploring with ideas for the colours for the rest of the movie. I really enjoyed focussing on the colour script and the composition of the whole picture.

In this colour script, it was still my idea to work in black and white when the main character has her episode under water. While making this overview I already noticed I found it a shame that because of the B/W-scene there was less colour and the choice for B/W didn’t feel like the right fit yet. Though I kept it until a week before starting working on my animation.

final colour script - composited stills

Color script with final stills from ‘Alledoags

Character color exploration

For  my characters and objects in my movie - I spend a lot of time looking for the right combinations.  I wanted a signature colour/element per character. For my main character Maaike that is her red shoes. But also her clothing had to be a combination between faded and  bright so it should pop enough from the background.

The challenge with Maaike her clothing was to make sure it was not fading in to the background of the landscape above and under water. Because the scenery is so different under water. But it kept that in mind while making both the background and the character design.

The Fisherman has his yellow coat that really differs from all the other colours in the scenes which he is in.

Designing and colouring the boat was something I really appreciated doing because I could add a personality in a static object. The colour red had to be in there so that it would be connected to Maaike’s shoes and the red roofs of the houses.  Both my line art for my backgrounds as the boat and bench were drawn and designed on paper. After scanning them in, I colored it in photoshop. 

Character Design

Facial expressions Maaike

Character line up

Manta Ray front and back exploration

Final Style guide for  the Manta Ray

Windmill ‘Eva’ - Usquert, Groningen




Process video of the animation of scene 01








Painted animation with black ink on paper