This term we are doing the Context of Practice 3 module which involves a combination of research and theoretical writing in an extended essay and a practical artefact that relates to our writing. We were to spend the summer deliberating over possible ideas and come back and present to the class what our chosen subject will be.
Originally, as I was going through a phase of playing a lot of The Elder Scrolls games, I thought of using that as a potential subject - specifically the mythology and religion of the in-game cultures and how they relate to real-world mythologies.
Here's some of the slides from my presentation giving a rough overview of areas of interest:
Although I went into some depth whilst researching the topic I have actually reached a point where I want to completely change the direction of my subject. It should be relevant to our professional area of interest (which for me is probably character design / concept art / illustration, even though I still want to experiment with other things). So I'm probably going to abandon the whole mythology/religion context and think of the extended essay as more of a case study exploring the sorts of practical techniques I'm interested in.
I've decided to look at stylisation in character design. I'm not 100% sure on a specific area to explore here: I have so far thought of narrative-based character design (where a character's appearance relates to their story rather than simply categorising them as an archetype); narrative-based design in fantasy RPGs, for example The Elder Scrolls cultures; types of stylisation, different ways of pushing designs and how they create a specific 'feel' for a film; character design specifically in relation to animated films; studying the entire visual development process, including storyboarding, design, animation tests, etc.
For the practical side I would probably create a series of design artefacts including concept art and turnarounds, expressions, storyboards and possibly hand-drawn animation tests for a character or a range of characters. The only problem here is writing the character - I'd probably have to write their backstory/personality/etc. myself which would leave less time to focus on the visual aspects (this is what severely effected my Responsive project last year).
At the minute everything is a little bit up in the air, although I'm feeling more inclined to explore design for animated films rather than games. Animated films tend to be extremely stylised and vibrant, often in unique ways. A recent film I particularly liked was Paranorman, so I'm considering looking into that as some sort of case study, and perhaps comparing it to another film with a different stylistic aim (maybe Cloudy With a Chance Of Meatballs? And/or Tangled.....)
I'll write more about three practitioners/resources relevant to my topic in subsequent blog posts.