vrijdag 27 februari 2015

woensdag 25 februari 2015


One of my biggest inspirations is Thatgamecompany's Journey. In this game you play a little character without a face and without the ability to speak. He or she has to undertake a Journey to reach a mountain in the distance. While travelling you visit the most wonderfull places and meet magnificent creatures. The art direction in this game is simpy stunning. I spent ages looking at the game's artbook.

This game basicly tells a story with images and locations. While travelling you learn about your past and about your people, still without spoken word or text. You can collect pieces of cloth that can be used to fly, that's about the only game mechanic in this game. Flying for brief periods of time.

You can interact with another player though. You are automaticly being connected with a random person playing the game at the same time. You don't see his name only his character walking about! So now you have a travelling buddy. But still, without spoken word.

It's magnificent to see how you can share your journey with someone you've never met before. This works best playing it for the first time though. But it's a great experience every time I play it. I believe I finished this game 7 times now.

So this game tells it's story only through the use of visuals and music, without music and text. To achieve this you need to have a very strong mood and a strong understandable shape language. Players also need to have a clear path to follow. In this case the mountain is almost always visible throughout the game so the players know where to go to.

This game is very interesting. Thatgamecompany manages to tell a story only using visuals and music and one or two very simple game mechanics. I probably won't be creating a 3D game but this is defenitely a big inspiration for me.

Drawing and writing meet in the middle.

Scott McCloud talks about images and writing. In Comics they both play a big part. Images often support the text storytelling-wise. But I think they should support eachother. How can you bring text and images closer together

McCloud says this about bringing story and image closer together:

So text can be made more bold and direct to make them easier to read and make them look almost like images. And images can be more abstracted so they they take a little bit more time to read, making them look a lot like text. So text and images meet eachother in the middle to form some kind of harmonious thing.

Perhaps this is something I can use for my project. As storytelling and images play a big part in it.

What do we want to tell?

Or even better, what do I want to tell with my graduation project. I've made it clear that I will use a lot of images in my project. It's safe to say that that's my strongest asset, so I might as well put it to good use. The thing that I like to do most is telling stories with images. But what story do I want to tell? A generic sci-fi story or something that has a deeper meaning. Images could be use to tell different stories, ranging from war propaganda to cartoons that we read in the paper. Two old masters that told stories with their images were Albert Bierstadt and Caravaggio. Two painters with very distinct styles and very different angles.

Albert Bierstadt was a German-American painter known for his fantastic landscapes. He painted scenes with incredible amount of detail and romantic glowing light. His painting style is called Luminism.

Bierstadt wanted to give Europeans an impression of America. That's the story that he was telling with his paintings.

Carravagio on the other hand was an Italian master known for his bible themed paintings. He wanted to bring the bible to illiterate people by painting beautifull images.

Both artists have a very distinctive painting style and tell their own story. Bierstadt used landscapes to tell his story and Carravagio used figures to tell his story.

The question is. What is the story that I want to tell? 


One of the most interesting things that Scott McCloud writes in Understanding comics is a chapter about Closure.
Closure is our ability to fill in the things we don't see. We use all of the information we already have to fill in the things we can't directly see or hear or smell. For example if you see a picture of a person's torso, you assume that the person also has legs and a head. Or that the house across the street has an interior and not somekind of swimming pool filled with vanilla-pudding.

Baby children have not developed that kind of perception yet. That's why peek-a-boo (kiekeboe in dutch) works so well. Children think their mother is gone when she hides her face behind her hands. When she removes them a child starts to smile because mommy is back. When a kid grows up he or she finds out that mommy doesn't dissapear at all when she plays peek-a-boo

Closure also applies to the empty spaces between panels in comics.
We automaticly fill in the space between images with our imagination. So the creators of the comic give us some information and the rest is up to us! That's interaction in a way. Take the image below for example, the comic doesn't give us the details but we all know what is going to happen to the guy being chased. The authors give us information and we give our own imagination back to the comic to create the story. That's a very interesting theory to use for my graduation project.

We all know what happens here.

How can I give the players just enough information to let them make their own story? And create some kind of interaction between images and players?

maandag 23 februari 2015

Narrative and art

I was making a concept painting to explore shapes, form and lighting a bit and I decided to write a very tiny story describing the image. I'm looking for a way to bring my stories to an audience. How can I make people believe my story. That's the question I'm struggling with right now.

First try!

My first three quick attempts at adding a stop motion animation to a painting. This was under 30 minutes work! Those things could use a lot of changes and improvements but for a test it turned out okay!

More to follow.