Twin Sparks

Twin Sparks is a 3D animated short film directed by Ollie Yao and Heather Yun, produced at the School of Visual Arts in the 3D Animation and Visual Effects program and completed in May 2023.

festival selections:

behind the scenes!



A child living in a forest must reconcile with a fiery new part of themselves that’s difficult to accept, before their world is left in flames. 


Sam, a child living in the forest, has a fire spirit inside of them. They feel safe letting out that fire spirit in the safety of their cave. Suddenly, the fire spirit breaks free, and becomes a mirror version of themselves.

Sam must chase down the fire spirit before it sets the forest on fire, and manages to finally corner them on the edge of a lake. Dismayed by the hostility Sam is directing at it, the fire spirit offers to jump in the lake, if it would make Sam happier. Sam tacitly agrees, until they realize that letting the fire spirit die would mean an important part of themselves died with them.

Sam grabs the fire spirit before they can jump in the water, and they reunite and become one again.


This story is about radical self acceptance— discovering a new part about yourself that you may not like and working to understand and accept it. I initially drew the story from my own experience as a trans man, and the denial and uncertainty I felt when I first realized I was different.

My hope is that this story is one that can be universally understood. We all have had things we’ve discovered about ourselves that seemed too ugly and vulnerable to love, but had to learn to appreciate and become stronger for it.

Even if things feel out of control, it is never too late to decide to love yourself.

about the directors:

Ollie Yao - Co-director, Technical Director

Ollie is a CG Texturing, Lighting, and FX artist based in NYC. He loves stylized 3D art, and is excited to bring his vision to life with this film!

Heather Yun - Co-director, Animation Director

Heather is a CG character animator based in NYC. She takes a lot of inspiration from 2D animation and translating the style into 3D.

color script:

concept art:

Early environment concept art by Zyssna Kim
Early environment concept art by Heather Yun
Early environment concept art by Ollie Yao
Early environment concept art by Ollie Yao
Initial character explorations by Izzy Delore
Character sketches by Ollie Yao
Character sketches by Ollie Yao
Character sketches by Ollie Yao
Character sketches by Ollie Yao