Week 3 Reflection- Visual Novel Development and Fairy Research

05/10/20

GAM710

Today I had a meeting with my teammate to clarify a few details about the game we are creating. We discussed potential game names, firstly looking cat names, as it would make sense to name the game after this. This is because the main character of our game will be a cat, and with the theme of ‘Call and Response’, we wanted the cat’s name to be called a lot.

I used a website listing unique and cute cat names. (Bess, n.d.) We both came up with a few, such as:

Pumpkin – ginger cat, would fit the autumnal colour scheme/theme nicely

Milo – black cat

Mittens – almost like something a grandma would call a cat

Domino

Mr. Fluffypaws – definitely a grandma name

We discussed the possibility of the owner of the cat being a grandma and that the cat is on a quest to find her gifts. You can explore new places, and depending on what gift you give her, her happiness will vary at the end of the game.

We liked this new concept so much that we ended up changing our X-Statement and Extended Description. Previously, it was: “A 2nd person visual novel ‘chose your own adventure’ experience where you play as a cat who gets to decide: stay loyal to your owner or seek food elsewhere.”

Now, it is: “A 2nd person visual novel ‘choose your own adventure’ experience where you play as a cat who lives on a farm and is owned by a granny. You get to decide what gift you bring back from your adventure around the farm to cheer her up!”

I wrote the X-Statement, whereas Louis did the Extended Description. Below is a full version of this:

As well as this, we began brainstorming the story a bit more. Below is the result of our combined effort during this brainstorming.

After this call, I worked on creating mood boards for our game. To do this, I created a Pinterest board and also used icolorpalette.com again. I then organized them in Photoshops into categories and created these mood boards.

Cat mood board
Farm animals mood board
Mood board focusing on autumn colours
Granny mood board
Mirror mood board based on an idea I had that the cat could come across its own reflection and fight it.

GART702

Afterwards, before sleeping, I made sure to do some research for the GART702 module in preparation for the lessons tomorrow, as I felt I had not focused on it enough. I researched for 30 minutes before sleeping. I focused my research on fairies and flowers, as these were the two key aspects of my character I needed to research into the most.

Firstly, I took to wikipedia to see the common beliefs about fairies, and I came across a few interesting passages.

(Fairy, n.d.)
  • She could have gorse blossoms, which actually are gold! Incorporate into design somehow? Maybe she pays the other people with gorse blossoms, and they don’t believe its useful. Could be the item that is her link to the fairy world? Would fit the colour scheme nicely!
(Fairy, n.d.)
  • Could look into classical depictions of fairies and how my character could fit those?
  • Wings were added during the Victorian era -want to include this feature, as it is the easiest way to visually communicate a fairy. – insert images of fairies from wiki

Inspired by the information about gorse blossoms being used, I decided to then research more into flowers in relation to fairies.

I came across a really useful article which talked more in depth about this. (Flower fairies- origins and meaning, 2017)

One of the images on the site, a piece owned by The Estate of Cicely Mary Barker © 2020

Below, are some interesting sections from the website:

“During the last hundred years or so, fairies have become intimately associated with flowers.”, “one link in the chain connecting fairies to flora is literary.  Shakespeare perhaps initiated the trend with a the fairies in Midsummer Night’s Dream.  One is required to “hang a pearl in every cowslip’s ear” (II, 1).”, “Herrick imagined a fairy loaf of bread as “A moon-parch’t grain of wheat” washed down with “A pure seed-pearle of infant dew/ Brought and besweetened in a blew/ And pregnant violet” (Oberon’s feast).  Drayton likewise envisaged a fairy palace “The walls of spiders’ legs are made … The windows of the eyes of cats” (Nymphidia).”

  • I really liked this passage, as it had some really lovely quotes relating to how small fairies are, and the items they could hold. It made me think more about what items I could potentially equip my character with!

“There is the Old Lady of the Elder Tree whom I have mentioned in discussing my book  The Elder Queen; from the Outer Hebrides comes a story of a fairy maiden who inhabits a tree on a knoll, once a year appearing to dispense ‘the milk of wisdom’ to local women (L. Spence, British fairy origins pp.101 & 186);”

  • Interesting to see the role fairies have with women too, as my character is a woman, it was a passage of interest to me.

“Lewis Spence in chapter VI of British fairy origins examined the theory that fairies derived from ‘elementary spirits’ and summed up “all nature spirits are not the same as fairies; nor are all fairies nature spirits.”

  • Interesting to examine that although fairies have strong relations to nature, that sometimes there are other creatures that they are mistaken for, and vice versa. It would be interesting to research further into Fairy lore, and it would also help inform my character design.

I decided to check out further articles on this website, I found one entitled ‘Peaseblossom and mustard seed’- fairy plants’ (2017) which discusses specific plants that have relation to fairies – this is useful for when I come to incorporate flowers into the design of my fairy character.

Included on this post, was this piece ‘Mother mushroom and her children’ by Edward Okun. I really like its illustrative quality and the incorporation of plants into a character design.

Below is an image of some extracts I took from the website, and annotations of my thoughts.

Notes on trees in relation to fairies.
Notes on flowers and mushrooms in relation to fairies

Finally, I looked into Cicely Mary Barker’s Flower Fairies, as mentioned earlier, more closely. I think these are really nice examples of incorporating the features of the flowers into the designs of clothing. I will keep these in mind as I develop my character more.

Here are some that I collected that I though were especially pretty:

The Estate of Cicely Mary Barker © 2020

As well as this, I worked a little on creating a character bio for my character, as inspired by Jenny Harder’s ‘Designing Characters with Personality and Expression’ Artstation Lesson, as I have mentioned in previous entries. In this, she provides a template for fleshing out a characters’ background. This is something she recommends doing before progressing onto concepting, and I believe this is particularly suitable for this project because I am developing this character from a visual novel perspective. Narrative is particularly important in this case, and also in my previously mentioned goals, I have stated that I want to get better at storytelling in my art; this is a good way of doing this.

In later posts, I will hopefully show my filled out version of this bio.

References:

Bess, E., n.d. 171 Cute Cat Names For 2019 With Popularity Rankings. [online] The Dog People by Rover.com. Available at: <https://www.rover.com/blog/cute-cat-names/> [Accessed 5 October 2020].

En.wikipedia.org. n.d. Fairy. [online] Available at: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fairy#Legends> [Accessed 5 October 2020].

En.wikipedia.org. n.d. Fairy. [online] Available at: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fairy#Descriptions> [Accessed 5 October 2020].

British Fairies, 2017. Flower fairies- origins and meaning. Available at: <https://britishfairies.wordpress.com/2017/09/01/flower-fairies-origins-meaning/> [Accessed 5 October 2020].

British Fairies, 2017. ‘Peaseblossom and mustard seed’- fairy plants. Available at: <https://britishfairies.wordpress.com/2017/04/24/peaseblossom-and-mustard-seed-fairy-plants/> [Accessed 5 October 2020].

Flower Fairies. n.d. Meet The Fairies – Flower Fairies. [online] Available at: <https://flowerfairies.com/meet-the-fairies/> [Accessed 5 October 2020].

Artstation Learning, 2020. Designing Characters With Personality And Expression. Available at: <https://www.artstation.com/learning/courses/pDK/designing-characters-with-personality-and-expression> [Accessed 8 May 2020].

06/10/20

GART702

This morning I had a GART702 lecture. Ady went into more detail about production pipelines which I found very useful. I feel like I am quite behind on my GART702 work so planning out what I need to do would definitely help me feel more reassured.

I started, by making a weekly plan, as I normally do.

After this lecture, Ady wanted to see the work we had done so far. Because I only managed to do a little bit of research last night, I felt like I had not done enough work. So during the hour break between lectures, I decided to quickly mock up an item that my fairy character could carry around with her. I thought about creating a little money pouch which she would carry around gorse blossoms in her human form, but once she transforms into a fairy this turns into money. This is based on the research I did yesterday, as mentioned earlier.

In order to quickly demonstrate this idea, I took photos of a pouch I owned filled with pom-poms. This is how it turned out.

References for images in reference section below

I showed this during the lecture, and the research I had done and it was well received. These are the key pieces of feedback I got from Ady:

  • Look into how Disney portrays characters eg Tangled. Compare concept art to that of the masters’ fairy pieces.
  • Look further into fairy lore.
  • Look further into media depictions of fairies and annotate
  • Think about how you can present your progress to the best of your ability at every stage.

From this advice, I created a research plan that I wanted to start progressing through as I develop my character.

Transcribed version:

  • Brainstorm fairy character -make mind-map, including sketches
  • Complete character writing doc sheet after this (the Jenny Harder one, shown in the previous day’s entry)
  • Research more into flowers
  • Research more into fairies – look at books
  • Research into key features of fairy kei
  • Could research into Black hairstyles
  • Could look into influence with pink and flowers hair. (this is referring to a person on my mood board who has done a lot of hairstyles that inspired me, I wanted to look into this further as she could have created tutorials discussing how she did this styles, and this would inform my art.)

Tomorrow, I plan to research a lot more thoroughly, and also create a clear production plan that I hope will guide me clearly throughout the term.

References:

Gorse blossom image: Gorse Blossom Festival, n.d. [image] Available at: <https://www.gorseblossomfest.com/> [Accessed 6 October 2020].

Money image: Peach Grove Market/Ebay, 2020. 1000 GOLD COINS PIRATE TREASURE CHEST TOY PLAY MONEY BIRTHDAY PARTY FAVORS. [image] Available at: <https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1000-GOLD-COINS-PIRATE-TREASURE-CHEST-TOY-PLAY-MONEY-BIRTHDAY-PARTY-FAVORS-/271930015065> [Accessed 6 October 2020].

07/10/20

GART702

Today, I came up with more solid production plan after looking at Ady’s outline of the module. I adapted this to suit my project.

My transcribed rough plan:

  • Week 3: Research further, decide on body shape, work out hairstyle and clothes – blockouts.
  • Week 4: Face variants, further clothes and hairstyles.
  • Week 5: Look into working in colour.
  • Week 6: Reflect on designs so far.
  • Week 7: Poses and expressions.
  • Week 8: Iteration and feedback.
  • Week 9: Finalizing details and visual novel mock up.

I have noted that the rest will follow Ady’s GART702 Timeline, which is as follows.

  • Week 10: Presentation design, using grids, layout.
  • Week 11: Final presentation design.
  • Week 12: Clinic.

I also revisited the notes I took on Jenny Harder’s ‘Designing characters with personality and expression’ on Artstation Learning. (Artstation Learning, 2020) This helped to inform my workflow, and I will be taking a lot of inspiration from it.

I found that this advice and my production plan fed into each other quite a bit. Creating this plan has definitely helped me in feeling more confident and motivated about this project.

After completing this I went on walk to gather images of flowers to collect references I can incorporate into my designs. I want there to be a strong flower theme in both her human and fairy form, and I’m unsure how much I want to push the flower details in the supernatural form, but I am definitely interested in exploring this.

Preview of some of the photos I took!

After doing this, I expanded on my research list, and made a list of concepting I can do during this week in order to catch up for next Tuesday.

Researched further on library service for details about fairies:

I found an interesting excerpt from ‘The Hutchinson unabridged encyclopedia with atlas and weather guide’ (© RM, 2018. All rights reserved.)

Notes on the excerpt.

I briefly looked at this blog post “Urchins, ouphs and fairies, green and white”-fairy clothing’ to do some research on the beliefs on fairy clothing as this would inform my outfit creation for the fairy form of my character.

Particularly, ‘Tylwyth Teg’ is mentioned again. This is something I want to research into further, as I mentioned previously.

I found ‘British Goblins: Welsh Folk-lore, Fairy Mythology, Legends and Traditions (1880)’, and below I have highlighted areas of the description which interested me.

As mentioned at the end of the above image, I plan to take the saved images I have of the book and highlight them in Photoshop once I have more time.

While researching this book, I also came across this great image, which I really wanted to show as it amused me greatly.

Other websites, also had interesting information on Y Tylwyth Teg, such as Spookyisles.com

“The magical entities are said to resemble stunning fair humans with glassy blue eyes and blonde-white hair. Smaller fairies are normally more virtuous and kindly- the taller fairies more mischievous and dishonest.

“Usually they dress in green, but the courtiers of the Welsh Fairy King Gwyn ap Nudd are described as being adorned in blue/red silk.”

“They particularly approve of a well kept orderly home with a tidy clean hearth, plus the thoughtful touch of a vessel containing some water, so they can quench their thirsts or freshen up before making their return journey to fairyland.” (Jones, 2014)

This research informs me on the common beliefs about a fairy’s appearance. Of particular interest is ‘fair humans’. I am trying to subvert this with my character, so I am aware that I will have to pay extra attention to what makes a character read as a fairy immediately to ensure that she is recognizable as such.

As well as this, I also researched further into what deters fairies, as this will inform what I shouldn’t include in my concepts. (“From fairies … guard me!”- talismans against faery folk, 2017)

A particular section which mentioned what plants they do not like.

As well as this, I also researched a little more into the negative connotations of fairies.

(Holloway, 2017)

This particular blog post led me to the work of Richard Dadd, as mentioned in ‘A Short History of Fairy Art’, he was the first ‘to receive positive acclaim for his fairy paintings’. (A Short History of Fairy Art, 2016) However, it did not interest me much, as I couldn’t see how the artstyle would fit with the character I have envisioned. This art is very desaturated, and I am planning on creating a very bright character.

The Fairy Feller’s Master-Stroke 1855-64 Richard Dadd 1817-1886 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/T00598

However, I do find it interesting that in pieces such as ‘The Fairy Feller’s Master-Stroke’ the fairies are so blended into the environment they are in, its almost as if they become it.

From the same article mentioned above, there was also an interesting passage: ‘Victorian fairy painting experienced its ‘heyday’ during the 1840’s.  The earliest artists contributing to the fairy art genre actually predated the Romanticism Art Movement (1800-1920).’

I moved on and discovered the work John Anster Fitzgerald’s which interested me a lot more. It reminded me of the Flower Fairies, with young looking people and bright colours that are very nature inspired.

“John Anster Fitzgerald (1823-1906), also of Irish descent and a specialist in the genre, was referred to by friends as “fairy Fitzgerald” for his obsession with the subject. Visitors to the exhibition will find on view more works by this little-known artist than by any other hand, in fact. His works are characteristically small, detailed scenes, usually painted in bright colors and often depicting what might be called the “domestic life of the fairy.” Fitzgerald’s series of dream paintings, in which sleepers are plagued by hideous creatures from fairyland, is overtly reflective of drug-induced hallucinations.” (Victorian Fairy Painting, n.d.)

I was also led to discover Turner’s ‘Queen Mab’s Cave’.

Queen Mab’s Cave exhibited 1846 Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775-1851 Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/N00548

I think this piece has lovely colours, and a very warm and comforting feeling to it while also being very fantastical and whimsical. This is exactly the feeling I want my character to bring.

Additional to this, I also discovered the work of Katherine Cameron through discovering a few pages of ‘Victorian Painters by Christopher Wood, Fairies in Victorian Art By Christopher Wood’ on the Falmouth Library system. However, I was not able to find the full version of this for free online.

Katherine Cameron, On the Rooftop, Godmothers Tales circa 1912, Courtesy Chris Beetles Ltd., London. From Fairies in Victorian Art by Christopher Wood.]

Despite this, I looked into her work further and I found her illustration work for Undine by Friedrich de la Motte Fouquée, and I really loved how feminine it was, despite the Undine here being only a water spirit, and not a fairy. I enjoy the association with nature and the very pretty illustrations of the flowy fabric she wears.

I also came across the work of Sophie Gengembre Anderson, who created A Portrait Of A Fairy (1869).

The title of the painting is Take the Fair Face of Woman, and Gently Suspending, With Butterflies, Flowers, and Jewels Attending, Thus Your Fairy is Made of Most Beautiful Thing – purportedly from a poem by Charles Ede.

I think this piece is really beautiful, and I really like the inclusion of the butterfly crown. Because my character will have a lot of detail and decoration, this would be a really nice thing to include. I also like the bag she holds, as it reminds me of the pouch I concepted earlier in the week.

Further reading into Anderson actually revealed to me that she was buried in Falmouth, which is the area I study in now!

I thought this was crazy because of how local it is. She is also cited as “Cornwall’s first million-pound female artist.” I did consider visiting her grave at some point this term, to pay my respects. If I do this, it will be privately and I won’t detail it here.

I also found additional pieces by Luis Ricardo Falero which I thought were particularly beautiful.

Finally, here are three other pieces by various artist which I found but did not really follow up.

Oberon, Titania and Puck with Fairies Dancing circa 1786 William Blake 1757-1827 Presented by Alfred A. de Pass in memory of his wife Ethel 1910 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/N02686
Prince Arthur and the Fairy Queen, circa 1788, Henri Fuseli.
Fairy, by C.E. Brock. Late 19th or early 20th century.

At the end of the day, I made a list of stuff I should do to start working from this research.

I took this image a little later on, which is why some things are ticked off already!

References:

Artstation Learning, 2020. Designing Characters With Personality And Expression. Available at: <https://www.artstation.com/learning/courses/pDK/designing-characters-with-personality-and-expression> [Accessed 8 May 2020].

fairy. (2018). In Helicon (Ed.), The Hutchinson unabridged encyclopedia with atlas and weather guide. [Online]. Abington: Helicon. Available from: https://search-credoreference-com.ezproxy.falmouth.ac.uk/content/entry/heliconhe/fairy/0 [Accessed 7 October 2020]

British Fairies, 2016. “Urchins, ouphs and fairies, green and white”-fairy clothing. Available at: <https://britishfairies.wordpress.com/2016/12/16/urchins-ouphs-and-fairies-green-and-white-fairy-clothing/> [Accessed 7 October 2020].

British Goblins: Welsh folk-lore, fairy mythology, legends and traditions, by Wirt Sikes; 1880; London: Sampson and Low. Available at: <https://publicdomainreview.org/collection/british-goblins-welsh-folk-lore-fairy-mythology-legends-and-traditions-1880> [Accessed 7 October 2020]

Jones, N., 2014. Y TYLWYTH TEG: DO YOU BELIEVE IN WELSH FAERIES?. [Blog] The Spooky Isles, Available at: <https://www.spookyisles.com/tylwyth-teg/> [Accessed 7 October 2020].

British Fairies, 2017. “From fairies … guard me!”- talismans against faery folk. Available at: <https://britishfairies.wordpress.com/2017/02/06/from-fairies-guard-me-talismans-against-faery-folk/> [Accessed 7 October 2020].

Holloway, V., 2017. FAIRY FOLKLORE: COME AWAY, O HUMAN CHILD. [Blog] Folklore Thursday, Available at: <https://folklorethursday.com/legends/come-away-o-human-child/> [Accessed 7 October 2020].

montmarte.net, 2016. A Short History of Fairy Art. Available at: <https://www.montmarte.net/creativeconnection/articles/show/a-short-history-of-fairy-art> [Accessed 7 October 2020].

Dadd, R., 1855-1864. ‘The Fairy Feller’s Master-Stroke.’ [Oil Painting]. Available at: <http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/T00598> [Accessed 7 October 2020].

‘Faries In A Bird’s Nest’ By John Anster Fitzgerald – http://fairyroom.com/2012/06/fairy-fitzgerald-and-titanias-changeling/maa84823_v1/, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=46315765

‘Fairy Passage’ By John Anster Fitzgerald (1823-1906) – previous source; alternative source here., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=15076860

‘Sea Sprites in Flight’ By John Anster Fitzgerald – http://petrascupboard.weebly.com/john-anster-fitzgerald.html, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=46315523

‘The Fairy’s Barque’ By John Anster Fitzgerald – http://petrascupboard.weebly.com/john-anster-fitzgerald.html, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=46315311

‘The Fairies’ Banquet’ By John Anster Fitzgerald – http://www.artmagick.com/pictures/picture.aspx?id=5189&amp;name=the-fairies-banquet, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6048817

‘The Fairy Bower’ By John Anster Fitzgerald – http://art-magique.blogspot.com/ 2004-10-24, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=20746145

Web.archive.org. n.d. Victorian Fairy Painting. [online] Available at: <https://web.archive.org/web/20070204103315/http:/www.antiquesandthearts.com/archive/fairy.htm> [Accessed 7 October 2020].

NUNN, PAMELA GERRISH. 2009. ‘VICTORIAN PAINTERS BY CHRISTOPHER WOOD, FAIRIES IN VICTORIAN ART BY CHRISTOPHER WOOD’. The Art Book 16(3), 53–4. [Accessed 7 October 2020]

2006. The Project Gutenberg Ebook Of Undine. Friedrich de la Motte Fouquée. Available at: <https://www.gutenberg.org/files/18752/18752-h/18752-h.htm> [Accessed 7 October 2020]

En.wikipedia.org. n.d. Sophie Gengembre Anderson. [online] Available at: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sophie_Gengembre_Anderson> [Accessed 7 October 2020].

Ricardo Falero, L., 1888. The Lily Fairy. [Oil on canvas]. Available at: <https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Falero_Luis_Ricardo_Lily_Fairy_1888.jpg>[Accessed 7 October 2020].

Ricardo Falero, L., 1888. The Poppy Fairy. [Oil on canvas]. Available at: <https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/86/Femme_Papillon%2C_by_Luis_Ricardo_Falero.jpg> [Accessed 7 October 2020].

William Blake, circa 1786. Oberon, Titania and Puck with Fairies Dancing [Watercolour painting]. Available at: <http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/N02686> [Accessed 7 October 2020].

C.E. Brock, Late 19th or early 20th century, Fairy. Available at: <https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Brock_Fairy.jpg> [Accessed 7 October 2020].

Henri Fuseli, circa 1788, Prince Arthur and the Fairy Queen. [Oil on canvas]. Available at: <https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Johann_Heinrich_F%C3%BCssli_058.jpg>[Accessed 7 October 2020].

08/10/20

GAM701

The morning before the lecture I released the one of the tasks we were given for today called ‘Reverse Engineer’ involved creating a prototype of the mechanic we chose to investigate.

Louis and I decided to look into branching path narratives, as this is one of the key features of the the text-driven game we are creating. He researched further into ‘The Walking Dead’s use of brancing narrative previously in the week, whilst I focused more on my art module.

However, today I realised that we also must create a prototype. I decided to use Ren’Py to quickly mock-up a branching narrative that could exist in our game. I wrote out the script and programmed it using Python. This was a skill I learnt a year ago during Summer and practiced more seriously during the 2020 Global Game Jam where I programmed for my team.

After I entered the coding and corrected any faults, I ran the game a few times to check for any quick improvements I could make. The game had an issue where the choice idle button made the text not visible until hovered over. This would be a big issue for the player as they would not be able to see the choices until they moved the mouse over them, and for players who are unfamiliar with this, they would not know how to progress straight away. To remedy this, I went into photoshop and changed the colour of the button. In addition to this, I also changed the colours of the menu screen, as the colour did not suit the UI colouring that I had chosen to use when setting up the game.

The final result of this quick demo can be downloaded and played here.

A screenshot of the quick demo I put together, featuring my own writing.

During the lecture we had 20 minutes to put together another mural board about our game, here is the result:

Showed off our idea, was suggested by Matt to think about how animals can perceive things differently from humans, how we view their consciousness and morality.

At the end of the lecture we were informed of our next task which is to make a document, shown in the picture below.

Louis and I decided to discuss this tomorrow.

GART702

For the rest of the evening, I continued my research for GART702. I began gathering references from the various books I own. I separated them into 3 categories: concept art books, fashion books, and flower and fairy imagery books. I went through them and took photographs of the pages that interested me.

Here is a list of the books and pages I took photographs of:

I also noted down the initial inspirations I got from the books. I will reference these books in the reference section below.

I got through a large amount, but I was unable to go through all the books I wanted to by the time the day ended. Here is a link to the photographs of the books I took.

09/10/20

GART702

After not being able to finish going through all the books I had planned to, I realised that this research workflow was too slow. At this rate, I have little chance of developing enough varied silhouettes for next Tuesday. So, instead of continuing to go through my books after waking up, I instead noted down the key factors that will affect my character’s silhouette.

I discussed this with a flatmate, and it was really useful to get feedback and brainstorm with another person!

Transcribed version:

  • Key features – clothes, hair and wings. Need to factor these all into a visual novel context too. Outfit could overpower wings etc.
  • What kind of wings? Bird wings/feathers are usually used for angels so shouldn’t use those – miscommunication. Butterfly is traditionally used for fairies.
  • Dragonfly – long and elegant, could be too long to fit on screen? Could be a cool feature, big and empowering!
  • Bee wings – small, friendly shape. Could be hidden behind character though – she is only seen from the front so this would be an issue
  • Butterfly – recognizable as a fairy – can get creative with patterns, but is it inventive enough? silhouette would work well – medium size
  • Should look further into insect wings.
  • Wing styles could reflect body shape eg dragonfly = tall and lanky, bee wings = round and petite.
  • Should look into black owned hairstyling salons and look books.
  • Colour scheme of character should be the same in both forms so she is recognizable.
  • Expressions should reflect game I am making eg with Phoenix Wright there are breakdowns because of interrogation.

Realising that I am behind has panicked me a bit, and in the past I have been stubborn and not adapted my workflow to a tighter schedule, however with these notes I believe I have identified the areas I need to more urgently work on. This means that I can now work towards my goals next week with a much clearer idea of what to focus on.

Moving forward, today I will search for a body template I can design on top of, and as well as this I will work on drawing on top of the flower images I have taken so I can inspect the key shapes and put these on top of the silhouettes I will create. The idea of identifying shapes that I like came from Jenny Harder’s ‘Designing characters with personality and expression’ on Artstation Learning.

(Artstation Learning, 2020)

I want to revisit this tutorial a lot to inspect her early workflow and look at how she decides on a body template. I plan, as mentioned in my notes on Wednesday, to draw over the mood boards I have already created. This will help break down the shapes and give me a much better idea of the fundamental features I want in my character’s design.

I will also start really defining what I want my character to be in terms of personality and how this is reflected in her appearance. Additionally, I need to establish the mood of the game she will inhabit, as this will also decide the kind of sprites I create. For example, a feature that is unique to the Phoenix Wright games is the breakdown animation. This is a sequence where the person being interrogated at the witness stand finally breaks down and it is usually a big exaggeration on their initial design and concept.

A good example of this would be Frank Sahwit’s breakdown right at the beginning of the game. (Breakdown, n.d.)

This feature works perfectly for the game as it fits the theme.

For the game I have in mind, I want it to be very fun and happy for the most part. However, I know this will change as I develop the story further and add conflict. The concept for my game, if I have not mentioned earlier, revolves around a group of supernatural beings posing as humans and owning human businesses. Initially, I planned to concept 5 expressions – happy, sad, angry, thinking and blushing/embarrassed. However, after reconsidering how Phoenix Wright uses sprites, I am tempted to exaggerate these sprites a lot more and revolve them around context and narrative a lot more. I could potentially come up with hypothetical scenarios and then design the sprites based on these. For example, my fairy character is employed as a florist, so she could hold various flowers in her sprites, perhaps switching them out for ones that symbolise the mood she is in?

To remain scoped, I will use the same pose base and expression for each sprite, and just change out the clothing from the human form to the fairy form for each one. This will also ensure that players are able to recognize her in each form so that there is no confusion over them being two completely separate characters.

Similar to how Jenny Harder suggests, I will sketch shapes the shapes of the clothing, work out the body of my character, and then block in outfits on top, finally putting the silhouette over this to understand how it reads. So rather than working into a silhouette, I will do the blocked in outfits first and adjust how needed.

Inspired by my previous research, I decided to look into Disney’s ‘Fairies’ franchise closer, as it was a big influence to my growing up. I actually bought a Tinkerbell art print while visiting Disneyland Paris a few years ago.

I really like the painting style used for the flowers, and it reminds me a bit of old masters’ paintings.

Additionally, I found a tumblr blog that shows the concept art and vis dev for the films! I need to look into it more closely, but I did see one piece which I liked a lot.

I also had a thought that I should look more into the iconic Sailor Moon transformation and analyze what changes between her normal form and magical girl form. I may do this later on in the term.

GAM701

Today I also worked with my teammate to fill in and finish the document mentioned in yesterday’s entry. I worked on detailing the influences, story and visual assets in this document. Because of our combined effort we were able to fill out this document quickly. Here is a link to it: https://falmouthac-my.sharepoint.com/:w:/g/personal/ar202356_falmouth_ac_uk/Efy6BqMNr4xNqsUVV7vxq4ABbUYwwZ_0oQh4EXt0O6EsIg?e=ZmTBcy

In this document I mentioned a new influence for the artstyle of the game, Paul Cezanne’s ‘The Flowered Vase’

Chrysanthemums, 1898 - Paul Cezanne
Chrysanthemums, Paul Cezanne, 1898

I discovered this piece yesterday when going through the ‘Flower’ book, (Fisher, 2012) and thought it was a perfect way to interpret the blurriness that cats see into an abstracted art style through thick paint strokes.

GART702

After finishing the document, I worked towards coming up with a pose I can use to then create my silhouettes from. I gathered some reference and also watched a few YouTube videos to see how other creators’ begin to develop their poses.

Drawing Figures and Poses QUICK TIP #1 by Ahmed Aldoori – short and easy to comprehend, a good introduction/reminder of the technique of primitive shapes.
Some Figure Drawing Tips by Sycra – really informative video, encouraged me to be a
lot more rounded with my shapes.
HOW TO DRAW BODIES | Drawing Tutorial by Natalia Madej – really good for standing poses

Did a few warm up sketches using the techniques talked about in these videos before trying to block in a silhouette. I noticed each of these videos had something in common and that was that they blocked out their pose with either the stick skeleton or with primitives. I made sure to employ this technique when creating my silhouette.

Additionally, I also looked back on old references I have used too, such as this one created by Phoebe, a Falmouth Game Art lecturer, a few years back. This inspired me to also look at Loomis for female proportion guides. I also took a photograph of myself in the standing pose I wanted to then build a silhouette from, as I needed a specific pose referencing.

Video of my process:

I created a body shape that I was really fond of! I want this fairy character to be very feminine and cheery, so I used rounded shapes to express her kind nature, as these are friendly shapes. Additionally, I also made her shorter as I believe this made her seem a lot cuter, and it also reflects the fact that fairies are often represented as very short humanoid creatures. Making her a little shorter than Loomis’ female proportions is a subtle nod to this.

After creating this silhouette, I already felt very inspired to start creating on top of it! I will next be drawing over the flower images I have collected and also looking further into hairstyles and wings as these will influence the silhouette of my character the most.

References:

Shoten, T., 2002. The Art Of: The Cat Returns. Japan: Studio Ghibli, pp.12, 16, 19, 23, 27, 31, 59, 76, 106-107, 110-111.

Hayashi, M. and Paulsen, A., 2008. Okami: Complete Official Works. Richmond Hill, Ont.: Udon Entertainment, pp.20-23, 28, 44, 51, 56, 62-63, 65-66, 68, 106-107, 114-116, 120, 133, 144-145, 152, 156.

Himekawa, A., Aonuma, E. and Miyamoto, S., 2013. The Legend Of Zelda: Hyrule Historia. Milwauke: Dark Horse Books, pp.10-13, 34, 47-48, 78, 83, 96, 131, 170, 183, 187, 190-191, 230-231.

Kurtti, J., Howard, B., Greno, N. and Lasseter, J., 2010. The Art Of Tangled. San Francisco, Calif.: Chronicle Books LLC, pp.5, 10, 35, 37-39, 60-61, 63-64, 145, 156-158.

Fisher, C., 2012. Flower: Paintings by 40 Great Artists. London (England): Frances Lincoln Ltd., pp. 2, 9, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 26, 28, 30, 32, 34, 36, 54-55, 60, 62, 74, 84, 90.

Impelluso, L., 2008. Myths: Tales Of The Greek And Roman Gods. New York, NY: Abrams, pp. 261, 297, 303, 317, 381, 429, 431, 433, 465.

Willingham, B., 2012. Fables. [Vol. 1], Legends In Exile. New York: DC Comics, p.87.

Anderson, R., 2009. Knife. London: Orchard Books. Cover illustration by Brian Froud, 2009.

Anderson, R., 2010. Rebel. London: Orchard Books. Cover illustration by Brian Froud, 2010.

Anderson, R., 2011. Arrow. London: Orchard Books.

Anderson, R., 2012. Swift. London: Orchard Books. Cover illustration by Rory Kurtz.

Okazaki, M. and Johnson, G., 2013. Kawaii!: Japan’s Culture Of Cute. London: Prestel Publishing Ltd, pp.17, 23, 31, 33-35, 124, 126, 128, 131, 133, 140-142, 146, 153-155, 200-203.

Artstation Learning, 2020. Designing Characters With Personality And Expression. Available at: <https://www.artstation.com/learning/courses/pDK/designing-characters-with-personality-and-expression> [Accessed 8 May 2020].

Ace Attorney Wiki. n.d. Breakdown. [online] Available at: <https://aceattorney.fandom.com/wiki/Breakdown> [Accessed 9 October 2020].

Artofdisneyfairies.tumblr.com. 2020. The Art Of Disney Fairies. [online] Available at: <https://artofdisneyfairies.tumblr.com/> [Accessed 9 October 2020].

Cezanne, P., 1898. Chrysanthemums. [Oil on Canvas]. Available at: <https://www.wikiart.org/en/paul-cezanne/chrysanthemums-1898> [Accessed 9 October 2020]

Fisher, C., 2012. Flower. London (England): Frances Lincoln Ltd., pp.54-55. [Accessed 8 October 2020]

Aldoori, A., 2015. Drawing Figures And Poses QUICK TIP #1. Available at: <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-uFQ25_LOPQ> [Accessed 9 October 2020].

Sycra, 2015. Some Figure Drawing Tips. Available at: <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5kK71t-I-2w> [Accessed 9 October 2020].

Madej, N., 2019. HOW TO DRAW BODIES | Drawing Tutorial. Available at: <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DO_SMymzSmg> [Accessed 9 October 2020].

Herring, P, 2018. Volume Painting To Lineart In Photoshop: Real Time Workflow. Available at: <https://youtu.be/nDy1jWAwyTc> [Accessed 9 October 2020].

10-11/10/20

Personal Work

Over the weekend I worked on personal work. I wouldn’t usually mention anything not related to the course, but over the weekend I created a 12 panel comic for my partner and I’s 1 year dating anniversary. I won’t show it, as it is personal, but this was a very large amount of work. I felt really motivated by creating the figure yesterday, and this propelled me on.

I usually struggle with making completely artwork regularly, but I managed to complete it! Creating art to a strict deadline helped me be less precious with it and use productive and smart workflows. To create the comic I used Procreate, for the initial sketch, Photoshop for backgrounds and colouring, and Clip Studio Paint for line art and effects. Using so many different software in unison was also a good experience!

Although I wasn’t really able to rest om the weekend, I still am very proud of what I have been able to achieve and I hope this propels me forward for the upcoming week, and that I can make sure not to burn out!

Posts so far:

Week 1 Reflection

Week 2 Reflection

Week 3 Reflection

Week 4 Reflection

Week 5 Reflection

Week 6 Reflection

Week 7 Reflection

Week 8 Reflection

Week 9 Reflection

Week 10 Reflection

Week 11 Reflection

Week 12 Reflection

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