Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Animation Dissection - Pt o2 [ Cultural References ]

Research into animation for Ley Lines has continued! Last time, animation styles and references were chosen for humans, the main boss, and the lesser Shellek. Because we have a lesser volume of characters and creatures within our game, that will lend more time into granting each character the attention and detail they will deserve. So, this week. This time around, my attention has wandered into examining cultural references to use as inspiration for the world of Miria.

Vala was raised by members of the Prisima tribe. During this design process, we have been drawing a chunk of our inspiration from indigenous people. In particular, we're honing in on the Sami people; this is partly due to the similarity of silhouettes between them and the fictitious people of the Moebius world and partly due to their vibrant clothing and patterns. The Sami also lives a semi-nomadic reindeer hearing lifestyle, though only a few modern Sami still practice this.

A big reason for honing in on details like this is to get more of a sense of Vala's identity and the life she led before the point where Ley Lines begins. A person's cultural identity has a big influence on them as a person, so it's definitely something to explore more.

I'm currently researching more about them to put more thought into Vala's potential past and the Prisima Tribe's way of doing things & their day-to-day life. As of now, the focus is their movements, way of dress, mythology, and any cultural practices. Though, my designs and animations get inspired even by listening to some of their music. The manner in which the Sami revere reindeer seems to parallel the way the Prisima would revere Miria and tell tales of her, as though she was a goddess-like being. These traits, among others - like the affinity with nature, close bonds, and strong desire to preserve their heritage - are traits present in many indigenous tribes we have been referencing.

Another indigenous people being referenced is the Ainu, particularly their dances. For an animation, I roughed out the movements to their "Dance of Black Hair" - which is performed with women with long black hair. Ainu are traditionally animists, which means that they believe everything in nature has a spirit within them. Many of their dances mimic the movements of animals, which is something I think the Prisima may mirror to express their gratefulness towards everything Miria has birthed or given them.

This is the animation the roughed out animation exploring this facet of Vala's identity.

What's coming up next? The nitty gritty of animation design!

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