Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Minor/Major Project: Wendigo Orthographs

Body orthograph.

Face orthograph.

Red lines showing extra wrinkle details that will be added with textures.

Height comparison.

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Minor/Major Project: Bukavac Development - Faces - Feedback Please!

I want the bukavac to have both lizard and fish-like qualities, with a fearsome face to match its personality. Any comments suggesting combinations, other things to add, or people's chosen favourites from the above would be greatly appreciated!

Monday, 27 November 2017

Minor/Major Project: Bukavac - Sound Inspiration

For the bukavac, I've chosen to look at 3 animals for inspiration: the Australian raven, alligators and geese. 

The Australian raven has a sound similar to that of a human baby crying, something the bukavac could use to entice its victims. However, I would also like to test out how the raven sounds with a deeper tone.

The guttural noises alligators make would fit the bukavac perfectly. I can imagine the low rumble echoing throughout its roar, and being heard across the lakes and streams it lives in.

I'm curious how combining the sound of the geese with the raven's would work. I think geese make a very unpleasant noise that can be further manipulated into becoming somewhat fear inducing.

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-chĂș.
Paris, France - Gargoyles.
The Danube River, Srem District, 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.
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
Mandeville, Jamaica - Rolling Calf.
White River, Ocho Rio, Jamaica - River Mumma.
Northwestern Congolian lowland forest - J'ba Fofi.
Eastern Madagascar - Man-Eating Trees.

Minor/Major Project: Man-eating Tree - Initial Sketches - Feedback Welcome!

Man-eating tree influence map.
Initial sketches and ideas for the tree.
Some quick concepts.

Minor/Major Project: Bukavac - Movement on Six Legs

Finding references for animals with 6 legs will usually bring up pictures of insects, which move in a way that I feel don't fit a creature like the bukavac. Luckily, many people have drawn run cycles of animals with 6 legs, that may help me with the bukavac's design and eventual animation.

The above gifs are the closest to how I imagine the bukavac to move, with the middle legs hitting the floor while the front and hind legs are raised. The middle legs resemble the front  legs in shape, but are often slightly longer and would allow the beast to move faster.

Because the bukavac strangles its victims, the front legs would need to have long fingers to wrap around the throats of the unfortunate beings it takes for food. The feet on the middle and back of the body may have webbed feet to aid swimming, unless they lie against the body (like a crocodile) as the bukavac moves through the water, meaning it would need a tail shaped for swimming.

Related image

Saturday, 25 November 2017

Minor/Major Project: Bukavac - Further Development

If the bukavac's front limbs are for choking and strangling victims, it seems right that it's middle 2 legs should specifically be for running on land while it's back legs have webbed feet for moving through water. I will sketch up more body design later.

The bukavac is described as having "gnarled horns", so I sketched a few possible horn shapes. Any feedback on these would be helpful!

Interim Crit 24/11/17 - Reflective Statement

In many ways, I was worried about how this crit would go, as I still had several creatures left in need of designs that I hadn't drawn anything for yet. However, the crit went quite well and I received positive feedback that I can use to spur me further into the project. 

I was advised to focus on the creatures that I will be modelling as it is more important to get those finished and begin building them in 3D as soon as possible. The designs for the other creatures will be quicker and can be done in my free time over Christmas, as I can get feedback on them via my blog. I can also use this time to write Adelaide's journal entries and begin planning the book.

Some things I need to consider:

  • Whether or not I should have coloured designs for my creatures, even though they will appear in black and white/sepia in the book (I was planning on Adelaide using watercolours for more elaborately coloured creatures, e.g. the river mumma).
  • Whether the animations should show the creatures in enclosures built for them by Adelaide and her team, or just an empty space.
  • If creating enclosures, how much interaction the creatures should have with things within it (e.g. the man-eating tree seedling eating a mouse, the bukavac emerging from a pool, etc.).
  • Characters Adelaide will meet on her travels.
  • Researching travel times and methods of travel in different parts of the world during the late 1800s/early 1900s.
Overall I'm excited to dive further into this project, and produce a successful outcome. 

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.