Friday, January 19, 2018

Thesis_Part 3_An update and current challenges

A portion of research material
 Previously on HDM Thesis:
·         First draft
·         75% (ball park estimate) of research
·         60% of a beginning conceptual idea
·         Costume plot
·         Starting rough sketches (yay!)
·         Revising my paper
·         Clarifying characters/worlds/visual story
·         The existential stress of the amount of work I have yet to accomplish before the deadline in 3.25 months
·         Too much

Current Challenges of the Trade


The Mythical Perfect Reference Image


One of the most time consuming and what I find to be the most difficult process in all this is the amount of time it takes to find the right visual references. Whether they’re references for visual representations and concepts or the perfect pose for your character I always have a specifically amorphous cloud in my mind’s eye that I can’t seem to find on the internet or elsewhere.  Some images are almost perfect but a detail or two throws it off.  A few subjectively quick remedies exist (1.) Photoshop what you need or (2.) Talk through specifics with whomever you are presenting this concept.  Despite discussions of visual worlds, it also helps a great deal if the people in this meeting communicate on the same level as yourself to decrease misunderstanding and disparate mental images.

Finding the perfect pose reference is the bane of my existence.  Not only do I have to find an individual (real or made up) that visually reads as the character I am drawing, I would like the pose to be interesting while also showcasing important details of the costume.  Most times, I tend to use multiple references and Frankenstein them together.  But again, there are only so many reference images you can find that can go together and frankly, I am not yet a skilled enough artist to freehand the missing parts I need.  In addition to the technical, consideration should be made to “casting” choices.  Choices in race, gender, size, and various other physical attributes can say a lot about who these characters are and also who you are as a designer. What kind of story are you trying to tell? What is the impact you want to make to the audience watching this? (Notice the mention of costumes or visual aspects has yet to be introduced)



One of the more specific challenges to this piece is the sheer amount of worlds both literal and figurative.  In Lyra’s World, she travels and interacts with people from many “worlds” such as the witches, Gyprians, scholars from Jordan College, and armored bears. All these characters are defined by what they wear and what they wear is inter-defined with where they live.  Visually, all these “worlds” have to be separate from one another while still remaining in the literal world of Lyra’s World. To add another layer to this, Lyra then travels outside of her World to many others altogether (eg. Cittàgazze, Will’s World, The Land of the Dead).  All these have to also be visually separated.  I was so muddled trying to balance and get a clear picture of these settings that it kept me from moving on with my work.  There were so many factors to consider, I just froze.  Eventually, after I calmed down and took a few breathers, I realized that I need to get these sketches down to visually see my concepts before going back in to clarify what was missing.  In other words, I should really trust myself more seeing as I know this story backwards and forwards. 

On the Plus Side…
·         My academic course load has lessened considerably so I can now focus more time on this project. 
·         I have tentative plans moving ahead. (Look! I even made a checklist for my characters!)
Daunting no?
In conclusion, I need to shut up, endure, and get to work.


*please pardon my grammar mistakes

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