2D animation / Cultural / Sound design

Batik Tiga Negeri


2D animation, 3D animation, cel animation, sound design

Software used

After effects, autodesk maya, cinema 4D, audition, adobe photoshop

Project duration

June - December 2019

Batik is not merely a form of decorative cloth. In olden days central Java, it was considered the highest form of art, an expressive medium for spiritual needs and a cloth imbued by mythical powers. On the other hand the art experienced an exchanging swirl of inspiration and took upon a commercial nature in coastal Java. As the patterns took form by the batik artists in a long and rigorous process, each often holds meanings and philosophies. This 2D animation follows a young Javanese man, whose mother on her passing left behind an unfinished Tiga Negeri cloth, as he went on a journey of discovery in the pursuit of uncovering his mother's message.

Batik is an intricately patterned cloth made using the resist-dyeing method. The process involves the repeated steps of waxing and dyeing.

The problem

As with other cultural heritage, continuous preservation and innovation should be done to ensure its livelihood and development. Batik is still loved and widely worn at special occasions and at school, but the number of batik makers is declining. Not many as well, knew of the rich stories and meanings that batik hold. I'd like to build more exposure, awareness and appreciation towards the medium. This project also serves as an innovation to the art itself, like breathing life to static drawings on the cloth and into a moving storytelling medium.

Research and Brainstorming

The result of my research and brainstorming led me to this narrative centered on Batik Tiga Negeri, a type of batik involving the collaboration of three different batik making regions where each lend upon their specialties. A Batik Tiga Negeri cloth may first be waxed and dyed red in Lasem, then blue in Pekalongan and soga brown in surakarta.

The narrative

We travelled back in time to olden days Java, where a young man just lost his mother. His mother was a batik worker, who in her passing left a behind an unfinished tiga negeri cloth. The man, dying to know what his mother is trying to say through the cloth, ventured across three different batik making regions to complete it.

Art Direction

My art direction here is heavily inspired by batik designs, with the unique style, in order to give an impression of the cloth coming alive.


I use a combination of after effects animation, 3D and cel animation to achieve whatever desired effect that I had planned during the storyboarding. All the cloth animation are done using the cloth simulation tag in cinema 4D. The butterfly as well, is quickly modeled, textured, rigged and animated in cinema 4D which is then exported as png sequence to be used in after effects. The sketch and toon render that cinema 4D has greatly help me with the art direction, giving it this 2D effect even though it's done in 3D.

I mostly do straight ahead for the cel animation, which is done in photoshop with the plugin animdessin. Parts where there's a lot of distortion, complex shapes and movements, or perspective involved is cel animated.

Lastly after effects is used to tie everything together, it's also my main animation software. I find myself playing around a lot with path animation and camera movements.



My Name is Beth Lavie