Lullaby Theories: Cereal Fluid
Motion Graphics
After Effects
After completing episode two of Lullaby Theories, we started to brainstorm on what theories we could research next. We had recently tackled, 'sleep training' with our kids. It took us a while. But with this experience readily at hand, we set out to create episode three all about the benefits and importance of sleep.
At the start of the project, we teamed up with our good friend Rachel Farrell to help write the script. She brought a lot of her own fun experiences from raising two beautiful children with her husband, Ryan. Fun fact, Jonathan, Rachel and Ryan went to High School together in Oak Park, IL. Rachel and Ryan also recently went out on their own to create For Collective. Check them out! The statement, "Pee-yooh stinko stink" comes from their daughter, which is pretty darn adorable.
Once we had our script, we brought on a team of friends: Friedrich (Fred) Detering, Joash Berkeley, and Mara Smalley created styleframes and early storyboards, with Mara fully designing the video once Fred and Joash had to move on to other projects. Here are some early sketches.
In one section of the video, we discuss how during sleep, our memories are packaged up and organized to help us better retain and remember them. Fred initially created a mosaic-style visual where blocks of colors were slowly refined and organized. It was a fun approach! We refined a bit and added more dots, lines, and shapes in a more wavy composition to help the visuals feel more organic overall.

We talked to Fred about his experience and he said,"I remember it was a little challenging. The goal was to somehow depict stored memories, how they are able to evolve over time and how we're able to gather new ones. We drew inspiration from abstract 2D data visualizations, but wanted to somehow keep it organic since we're not talking about digital data storage. After some exploration I proposed a view of several floating "data streams", representing different/separate memory levels, built from individual parts growing, blinking, changing shape. To add an organic feeling to it, they would bulge and move in a wave-like pattern as we moved across them."
Simultaneously, Joash worked on visualizing a way for us to travel through the brain while we sleep. He created spiraling geometry, and later, added depth through texture and shading.
Mara used painterly textures and color treatments to create waves crashing against an abstract beach. This represented our brain's ability to wash away waste while we sleep.
This section would ultimately reveal a silhouette of one of our daughters. Mara built a few transition frames as well:
Mara and the team created so many great storyboards. Each one could be framed and hung for inspiration! Here are some of our favorites:
To help with overall pace and timing, Jonathan edited a board-o-matic for the team to use during animation and composing:
Once we were ready for animation, we reached out to some of our favorite animators, Jorge R. Canedo E. & Victor Silva, who now run Ordinary Folk (check out their work!). They used a bunch of fun textures in their animation, some of which are here:
Jorge & Victor really outdid themselves with the animation. There were truly minimal refinements needed as the animation was amazing the first time we saw it. Here's the first portion of animation we received:
Here you can see in one precomp with quite a lot of moving parts.
Make sure you visit our Behind The Shield page to check out all the project files!
For music and sound design, we reached out to Ambrose Yu who create evocative sounds to pair with our visuals. Have a listen to the music by itself:
And you can listen to the sound design isolated here:
Creative by Coat of Arms
Produced & Directed by Clara Lehmann & Jonathan Lacocque
Written by Rachel Farrell & Clara Lehmann
Voices: Lucy Lacocque, Sophia Lacocque, & Clara Lehmann
Edited by Jonathan Lacocque
Design & Illustration by Mara Smalley
Additional Design by Friederich Detering & Joash Berkeley
Animation by Jorge R. Canedo E. & Victor Silva
Lower Third Animation by Ricardo Nilsson
Music & Sound Design by Ambrose Yu
Scientific Consultant: Chris Bojrab, MD, psychiatrist, President, Indiana Health Group
Special Thanks: Amy Brown
The Science & Entertainment Exchange
National Academy of Sciences

Visit lullabytheories.com for all episodes
And see more of our work at coatofarmspost.com
Lullaby Theories: Cereal Fluid
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