Tree Combo Concept

After drawing my storyboard I was inspired to create a quick concept by reusing Dom's concepts. 


I made this storyboard by chopping up and adding to Dom's concept.

Tree Sketching 1

Here are few sketches for our trees. They are focusing a bit more to the up-close detail. I will use the first one for a quick preview sculpt in zbrush.

The second one is just a bit taller variation of the same thing.

Influence Map: More Harpy Stuff

After a discussion on Dom's latest concept we decided to make a few alterations. I felt that the face looked too overtly evil. We decided that the face should look artificial and inexpressive as its more of a disguise than a real face. I also suggested that we look at shells to give the cornette design a more organic look.

Tree Concept 2 + Nest Influence Map

With this concept I attempted to incorporate the harpy nest into the design.  


Harpy Head Design

When we started making our Harpy concepts we haven't been thinking enough about the transformation from beauty to horror. We tried to make some sort of "in between" character that becomes gradually more grotesque as we show different parts of it.

After conversation with Justin we realised that we really needed to work a lot harder on the transformation to make it more interesting. We decided to use white cornette symbolising innocence and transform it into beak.

Tree Concept

This is our first concept painting for the trees. I have depicted the tree as if it were made of multiple people.  I attempted to make the forms more unrecognizable nearer the roots. This is to suggest that the soul trapped in the tree become more and more mutilated over time. 

Extremely Rough Storyboard and Notes

This may be completely unreadable, however it is necessary for us .We have basically been trying to figure out exactly what shots are important for the animatic.

Tree Sketches

These tree sketches are intended to reflect what we are doing with the character. We want to have it appear normal at first then reveal itself to be horrible.   

More Harpy Sketches

Over the past few weeks I have drawn a number of sketches for the harpy character. They mainly focused of the idea of transformation from something beautiful into something horrible.

Influence Map: Theatrical Costumes

We decided that our harpy design could take on a more theatrical quality. This influence map shows various costumes and masks that we could somehow incorporate into our design. 

Harpy Concept 3 (Part I)

This is work in progress. After last conversation with Alan we were asked to tweak some things in the overall structure of the creature.

Soundtrack Examples 5

This track is similar to the last except that it is slightly shorter and the violin sounds have been removed.

Soundtrack Examples 4

This is a shortened version of the last track. We asked George to add shrieking sounds that would help us to break up shots in the animation. However the sounds that he used are a bit too reminiscent of the psycho theme. This is probably because we gave him examples that were too literal. We are happy with the length of the track and think that the removal of the violin sounds from the final part will allow him to go into production. Our idea has changed slightly witch means that the hard cutting sounds are not needed.

Harpy Concept 2

This time I tried hard to make our Harpy as grotesque as possible. I made the head more beak-like, but at the same time since I didn't wanted to keep it in a very generic shape added some abstract shapes. Similar patterns are repeating throughout the whole body to keep it consistant. If this concept works I still have some ideas where I could push it further.

Disguised Harpy Sketch

I have been experimenting with the idea that the Harpy is concealed in a guise of furtive beauty at first sight. However once it opens its wings its true grotesqueness is exposed.   

Soundtrack Examples 3 (Tweaked End)

This time George Tweaked the ending. It is better, but maybe adding some more high pitch sounds could make it even more tense.

Soundtrack Examples 3

This time we were very precise about the changes that we wanted George to make and result is really satisfying. After discussing it with everyone else we will be able to let him start the actual production.

Harpy Concept

This concept was inspired by Gustav Klimt's paintings. I tried to combine Sam's sketches with something more stylised. Just like in Klimt's paintings I've been thinking to leave completely flat textures in some areas. It would help to integrate our charackters into highly stylised environment. This work still feels a bit unfinished, but it should be enough to explain what I have in my head.

Harpy Sketches

These sketches are based on the idea that harpies represent some sort of corruption of motherhood. The fact that harpies are exclusively female and possess a maternal quality seems to hint at 'the monstrous feminine'.  I took inspiration from Louise Bourgeois’s giant spider sculpture.  A combination of elements from storks, bats and spiders were used to create these creatures.


Soundtrack Examples 2

As we suggested, George used more dissonant/atonal sounds and made it more grim. He improved the third piece and made another track to compare.  These are still just examples and he will take some time to finish the final piece after last feedback.

Soundtrack Examples

Recently we contacted a starting music composer George Grinling recommended by Phil. His past experience includes BBC Radio 1 Airplay, and performances at numerous festivals including South by South West (SXSW) in Austin Texas. He made few possible soundtrack examples and he will improve them when we will give him some feedback. It would be useful to hear everyone's opinions before we move forward. I embedded his tracks below:

Harpie Doodles

Here are two quick harpie sketches. As soon as I will get some feedback, I wll be able to make a proper concept.

Harpy Nests (Part I)

I took one of the developed thumbnails and started adding some more detail connected to the text, but still kept everything very loose and suggestive. I might continue on this piece tomorrow.

Tree Sketches & Silhouettes

In order to create more distinctive shapes I used Silhouettes. I have used many different shapes derived from human anatomy, animal life, sea life, insects, etc. These silhouettes can be used as brushes and stamps in Dom’s landscape experiments.  

Thumbnail Developement (Part II)

At this point some paintings are starting to look more like a forest. I'm not too concerned about detail until I'll be done with the compositions of each painting. First and second thumbnails seems to be finished compared to the others and they are ready to go to the next stage.

Thumbnail Developement (Part I)

After last conversation with Phil we decided to make as many rough thumbnails as possible to help us out. In these thumbnails I started throwing random ideas that could visualise the forest from the 13th Canto. It is a mix of my own painting and random pictures from the internet. This should help us to decided on color scheme and will create further designs as happy accidents, because there is a minimal amount of description of what we want to show. Later on I will try to push these forward and see how it works.

Influence Map: Trees & Thorns

Trees are a key feature in Canto XIII. Dante mentions that they have leaves and thorns but there is not a lot of description beyond this.  It could even be said that the trees are not in fact trees at all. Trees could merely be how Date interpreted what he saw.  I have been looking at twisted and bizarre trees that have a vague anatomical and twisted look to them.


During the last days I've been working on Blog template, logo and indent. I tried to make it very illustrative and graphic since we are still trying to discover our style completely based on early Renaissance art.

I sketched out everything in my sketchbook with pencil and red ink just to keep it more natural, because work made from scratch in photoshop eventually becomes too clean at least for me.

In order to keep our indent as natural as our logo I decided to do it in a classical way, by drawing every frame on paper over light box with ink and pencils too.