“My Brother,” a meditation on migrant workers

“My Brother” is a powerful visual essay about migrant workers directed by Audrey Yeo for her SCAD Senior BFA Project.

The concept

A foreigner herself — born and raised in Singapore and currently residing in the USA — Audrey shows appreciation for the presence of migrant workers in our communities, their goals and struggles, and invites us to rethink our relationship with them:

“My Brother” is thus a metaphor for the thousands of under-appreciated migrant workers we come across during our daily commute. I believe that bridges are built on bricks of commonalities and so the focus of this project is on the spaces of our shared humanity – school, families and personal dreams.

It’s really not hard to notice the significance of this sensitive subject in today’s society.

The design

Sometimes fluid, sometimes mirrored to show contrast, the designs are very textured, delicate and bold at the same time — very much like the subject Audrey is dealing with.


Design frame for “My Brother”

There’s also an interesting use of extreme perspective and unique viewpoints.

Still from “My Brother”. I particularly like the suggestion of the baby’s point of view in this shot

Stills from "My Brother". Heavy use of perspective.

Still from “My Brother”. Heavy use of perspective

The animation

The techniques involved in its execution may seem obvious on first viewing, but there’s a risk of overlooking important nuances.

Many of the shots required for me to work with a combination of different softwares in order to be as efficient as possible. While traditional frame-by-frame animation often seemed the way to go, it was important, given the time constraints and desire to keep my weekends relatively free, to pick the fastest way to achieve the kind of animation I had in mind.

Make sure to hit the project’s Behance page to discover more about Audrey’s animation process.

The book was animated in After Effects and the pages were textured and animated in Cinema 4D.

The book was animated in After Effects and the pages were textured and animated in Cinema 4D.

Sitting back and rewatching the video may bring up a better understanding of what makes this a sound piece: a great deal of attention was clearly put into transitions, smooth camera movements and on a deliberate use of simple cuts.

Clip from “My Brother”. Strong use of transitions

The combination of a compelling subject (approached from a passionate point of view), good design and well-executed animation is the combo that makes “My Brother” a very special student piece indeed.


Directed by Audrey Yeo
Written by Andrew Yeo
Illustrated and animated by Audrey Yeo

Professor: Steven Mark Day

Additional design: Jigyu Yoon, Yeojin Shin
Additional cel animation: Eleena Bakrie, Gabrielle Dolbey, Khoo Siew May
3D support: Roy Kang
Sound design: Redhorse Studio
Music: Paul Suite
Voice: Audrey Yeo, Manish Dongardive
Voice editing: Daniel Wiedenmann