Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Minor/Major Project: Wendigo - Movement

In order to better design the wendigo, I feel I need to understand how the creature would move. In order to do this I've looked at various horror films and games that feature humanoid creatures with similarities to the wendigo.

Javier Botet - An actor with Marfan Syndrome whose hypermobility, thin build, and towering height has earned him roles in several horror films (e.g. Mama (2013) and It (2017)).
Javier in  [•REC] (2007)

Mama (2013) movement tests.

Moving on All Fours:
People attempting to run on all fours.
Humans are not built to walk around on all fours, the way we are built does not allow us to comfortably so without some practice. The wendigo in my story, however, has morphed in such a way that allows it to. Looking at this gif from the film Mama, we see the monster using its feet and knees to move, its head moved forward in a way that would be uncomfortable for a person. Below that, in a gif from Legion, the monster moves on its feet and hands, its forearms and shins having taken on a more vigorous elongation than the rest of its body. 

Mama (2013).
The Ice Cream Man from Legion (2010).
The Ice Cream Man doesn't crouch down as far as far as Mama does, moving more like a gorilla instead. The video below, showing a part of the game Until Dawn in which multiple wendigos attack the protagonists, they crouch down as low as Mama, but don't use their knees. The wendigos in this tend to walk upright, but go down on all fours to move faster.

Wendigo's in Until Dawn (2015)

They also have very spider-like movements, moving across large gaps quickly and scaling walls. Their arms still appear to be shorter than their legs, so they would need to have some hypermobility that allows them to crawl so low to the ground and have their heads facing completely forward. The wendigos in my story I want to make more deformed, though would have some similarities to the ones in Until Dawn

Monday, 20 November 2017

Minor/Major Project: A Slight Change in Direction

After talking with Phil today about my goals for this project, an issue came about the possibility of my project becoming disconnected. The journal, animation and poster seemed to be three separate pieces that people would have to jump between, rather than a whole, complete piece of work. 

Phil suggested presenting my work as an interactive book, which (though I wouldn't be able to create a fully realised interactive book) would take my project from being made up of multiple parts to being one, easy to understand video. The video would show how the book would work if made into something people could view on computers or iPads.

Images in the book could be tapped/clicked to zoom in, and sections of text can be clicked in order to hear them read out by a voice actor whilst the viewer interacts with the rest of the page. Some images will open as videos, showing 3D animations of the creature they are currently reading about.

The end result would be a fully written book (created digitally) with a video showing a select few pages and how they would work when interacted with.

Related image
Example of an Alice in Wonderland interactive book.

Examples of interactive apps for poetry and books:

Minor/Major Project: Wendigo Body Studies and Mouth Sketches

The wendigo is often described and depicted as having the body of a malnourished human being, with elongated limbs. To add to the animalistic quality, I looked at kyphosis (when the upper back curves forward abnormally), so the wendigo may also crawl on all fours when hunting, and eat easily from the ground.

The wendigo's mouth I picture as a mess of teeth, with new, sharper teeth that have grown in to aid the tearing of flesh. The human teeth have become jagged and broken from gnawing on bones, as well as being pushed by the new teeth.
Alternatively, as seen in sketch 4, I like the idea of the skull taking on a dramatic transformation, with the bones around the jaw and teeth elongating until they jut out past the lips, creating a longer mouth to more easily bite at victims.

Minor/Major Project: The Yeti - Studies and Initial Sketches

Yeti influence map.
Yetis are usually portrayed as vicious creatures or large, friendly primates with human faces. The real life animal I consider to be closest to the yeti is the gorilla - incredibly strong, with something human in its face. The way gorillas move is also something I will study when drawing the yeti.

I imagine the yeti to have the long arms of a gorilla that it uses to sprint on all fours when hunting, but will otherwise spend most of its time walking upright. Walking on all fours also makes climbing mountains and moving through snow easier.

I am unsure yet if I want the yeti to appear to be a kindly creature (e.g. sketch 2) or a creature with an aggressive, threatening appearance that is, in reality, peaceful and only attacks when provoked (sketch4). I like sketches 3 and 4 out of these, and may sketch something that combines the two.

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Minor/Major Project: The Explorers - Feedback welcome!

Influence map for Kamal, Grete and Friedrich. Map for Adelaide.

Short desciptions:
Adelaide: British cryptozoologist of Jamaican descent, in charge of the expedition. 
Kamal: Indian cryptozoologist who has lived with and studied under Adelaide's parents for three years. He planned the expedition with Adelaide.
Grete and Friedrich: Twins from Germany who run a pest control business that mostly works with cryptids.

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Minor/Major Project: The Manticore - Initial Sketches and Studies

Influence with various artistic renditions of manticores.
Something I found when looking at images of manticores, is that older artworks often have too far too literal human faces, while more recent versions often forget the human face altogether, and sometimes give them wings. I want the manticore Adelaide encounters to have a recognisably human face with lion-like qualities (something akin to the middle and bottom right images above).

Initial sketches.
In these sketches I feel number 5 may lean to close towards lion than man, whilst 1 may be a little too human.

Studies of lion legs and paws.
I wanted the front part of the manticore to still possess some human qualities, so I looked at images of arm muscles in humans and leg muscles in lions to try and mix them together in a way that would still make sense. I also did some small studies of lion paws, as I may give them a more human twist too.

For the tail, I'm unsure if a mostly lion tail with a scorpion's sting on the end would be better, or a lion tail that gradually becomes a scorpion tail as it reaches the end. In these sketches I like both, but lean towards the more scorpion based tail.

Friday, 17 November 2017

Minor/Major Project: River Mumma - Influence and Initial Sketches

River Mumma influence map.
Colourful fish found in Jamaica. 
I've always pictured the River Mumma to have a similar appearance to a human female on land, but take on a fish-like appearance underwater. Seeing as they'd usually be spotted from the distance, the River Mumma would appear with dark brown skin and be combing her hair (sometimes using seaweed to imitate hair, if needed), then would descend into the water to entice her victim. Underwater, the River Mumma would change colour to match the colourful tropical fish found in the Caribbean, though her victim wouldn't notice until it was too late.

Rough ideas of how the River Mumma's bodies would look. Number 3 is based on a tiger shark, while the others are more mermaid-like or simply human bodies with webbed hands and feet. I imagine the fins would lay flat to the body on land, and raise from the skin in water to aid swimming. Any feedback on these sketches would be helpful!

Minor/Major Project: List of Creatures (Final) and Direction of Travel

Locations to be visited and creatures found there:

London, England - Spring-Heeled Jack.
Suffolk, England - Black Shuck.
Loch Ness, Scotland - The Beast of Loch Ness.
Galway, Ireland - Fae.
Connemara, Ireland - Dobhar-chú.
Paris, France - Gargoyles.
Rogacica, Serbia - Bukavac.
Masovia, Poland - Leshy.
Tehran, Persia (Iran) - Manticore.
Vittala Temple, Hampi, Karnataka, India - Yali.
Nepal, Himalayas - Yeti.
Yichang, Hubei, China - Dragons.
Luzon, Philippines - Tikbalang.
Eastern Madagascar - Man-Eating Trees.
 Northwestern Congolian lowland forest - J'ba Fofi.
Mandeville, Jamaica - Rolling Calf.
White River, Ocho Rio, Jamaica - River Mumma.
Wind River Indian Reservation, Wyoming, USA - Jackalope.
Northern Maine (nr. St John River), USA - Wendigo.
Pineland Ghost Town (name unknown), New Jersey, USA - Jersey Devil