My next idea is set in a land before time, back when woolly mammoths and Neanderthals roamed the planet. Our story will be set in the cave or ‘home’ of one of these Neanderthals, but it is no ordinary Neanderthal, he’s not even a Neanderthal at all, he’s an impostor, posing as a cave man. He has been sent back in time, set with the task of helping mankind flourish and prosper, through the subtle introduction of basic technologies, such as fire, the wheel and traps. It all must be achieved before a certain date, judgement day, before it is too late for the mindless Neanderthals to survive the impending ice age. The environment will consist of the façade of the impostors cave, animal pelts draped over rocks, scattered bones and a make shift sun shade with a smoldering fire beneath. Within the cave is a similar story, rudimentary paintings on the wall, discarded bits of clothing and a pile of fur for bed. The deeper you go into the cave, the story changes, objects you wouldn’t expect to see; books, pens and paper; a calendar on the wall with a date circled. From the far end of the cave a muffled whirring can heard and a faint blue light seeping from behind a thick fur curtain. The time machine.
During my research I have discovered that there is more than one species of humanoid developing around the same time as modern Humans. They are put into three groups Humans, Neanderthals and Archaic Humans within these three groups are separate sub species.
The human group is divided by Homo Sapiens Sapiens and Homo Sapiens Idaltu, Homo Sapiens Sapiens being the species that still exists today. They can be traced back to about 110,000 years ago but the more refined and developed H.S. Sapiens or ‘Modern Humans’ is dated to about 10,000 years ago, which coincides with the end of the last ice age. At this point the human population of the world switched from a culture of big game hunting to smaller game and later, an initially tiny proportion, began to exploit wild grains and starchy plants which could be stored. This led to increased sedentism, increased local population density, and eventually, by at least 8,000 years ago, to the domestication of plants, as well as livestock species of animals, and then to mixed intensive agriculture. With higher population densities, better tools and fewer demands for brute strength, people all over the world became less robust, resulting in the comparatively more gracile population of today. Thus, anatomically modern humans can roughly be divided into two groups, the early (robust) and post-glacial (gracile) populations. The process leading to the development of smaller and more fine-boned humans seems to have begun at least 50,000 – 30,000 years ago.
Characteristics Of the ‘Modern Human’
Widely accepted traits of what defines a ‘modern human’
- figurative art(cave paintings, petroglyphs, figurines)
- systematic use of pigment (such as ochre) and jewelry for decoration or self-ornamentation
- Using bone material for tools
- Transport of resources over long distances
- Blade technology
- Diversity, standardization, and regionally distinct artifacts
- Composite tools
These are the characteristics I am going to try an incorporate into my scene as objects and ideas that the time traveling is going to impose onto the existing Human populations.
My environment is going to be set in the cross over stage of a new ice age. Below are some images to help me understand how a cave environment looks in a wintery setting. the use of colour in these images is important, the all use blueish tones to represent a feeling of coldness with a sharp contrast with white and back for the snow and rocks. In the third image the snow is on the floor with the rocks poking out the top, this leads me to believe that the snow has been there for a while, whereas in my scene I will have the snow just covering the tops of mountains to suggest that it has just freshly fallen and it is too warm for it to fall lower down the valleys.
These first two images below are a good indication of the scale of my scene, I want the walls and ceiling to be quite low, to give it a more homely feel, when compared to the last two images and their vast caverns. These two, a scene from ‘The Croods’ and ‘Ice Age’ concept art, better represent the characteristics of a cave that I want to include in my environment.
I am going use ‘The Croods’ as a reference for my environment, this was the obvious choice for me because it is an existing animation set in the same time period as mine. I also like the cartoon, soft style, as opposed to a more realistic style, which would be more tricky.
Here I have taken screenshots from the film that best capture the environment. I’ll take reference from the style of rocks and from their home, the way it consists of a single rock slab roof. I also note the style of the art on the wall, lots of hand prints and basic creatures, all done in a brown-red colour. This can be seen better below.
Other than the Environment, ‘The Croods’ has good examples of fire and how the light interacts with the rest of the scene. I will be having fire, both inside of the cave and outside of the cave, so these three scenes below will be a good reference point for the effect I am trying to achieve.
Here are some concept pieces for my idea, I have a created these with the intention of giving a rough outline for the setting of each scene, plus representing the mood through the use of colour.
I have used a technique similar to the story boards from ‘The Incredibles’ which I came across in my book ‘The Art of Pixar’. I have used this style because my drawing skills are not fantastic and this is a quick and effective way of outlining my story.