My second idea was inspired by my visit to Morocco, Marrkech to be more precise. Within the centre of the city is the Medina, a walled off part of the city where no cars are allowed. The Medina consists of small winding alleys and pathways, bustling with the daily traffic. All the buildings are painted a distinctive shade of orange. From the buildings emerge small artisan market stalls, selling a wide variety of products; colourful spices, hand-made toys, sparkling tea pots and barrels of fresh squeezed orange juice. My narrative unravels at one of the artisan stalls, hidden in the shade of hanging cloth and obscured by the smoke of incense, the shop could be easily missed, unless you were searching for it. The shop is owned by a character not to dissimilar from Jafar in Aladdin, selling objects and trinkets, he describes as being magical and mysterious when, in fact, they are just normal house hold items, with dust and rust to make them look more authentic.
This idea was inspired by some of the shop owners we met whilst away. They would wear these authentic blue robes and turbans and own shops tucked down the back alleys of the Medina. They would offer stories for the items they were selling to entice customers into their shop. I fell prey to one of these stories and ended up buying a teapot which he convinced me was an antique, when really you could walk up the street and purchase a brand new one for half the price.
My environment is inspired by the Medina of Marrakech and Essouira. A Medina is typically walled, with many narrow and maze-like streets, Because of the very narrow streets, medinas are generally free from car traffic, and in some cases even motorcycle and bicycle traffic. Some medinas were also used to confuse and slow down invaders because of how narrow and winding they are. They are also a good example of how forts have developed into a place for the public. Below are some images of the Medinas mentioned above, notice the the very distinctive colours between the two. Marrakech uses an orange brown within the city and all its buildings, this is from the clay that was orgionally used to build the city, nowadays they use more conventional forms of construction and just apply an orange paint. The colour orange is also mirrored in Marrakech’s notoriety for oranges and orange juice. Essouira on the other hand, a city next to the sea, is made up from two colours, white and blue, this is reflected by the colours of the blue sea and sky. The Blue is a colour Morocco is famous for , it is called Majorella Blue and can be seen throughout Morocco not just in Essouira.
Here are also a collection of photos from my travels that I feel best represent architecture and mood of my scenes. I noticed there is a big emphasis on the use of archways to connect different parts of the city together; canvas shades, across alleys and over market stalls, I will be incorporating this into my scene. Not only these, but also, because Morocca is a Muslim country, there are no paintings depicting animals and humans, instead there is a lot of use of repeated geometric patterns and Arabic calligraphy, I will be researching more into these later as I believe they will be a vital aesthetic in my environment.
I will be using Aladdin as my reference for an existing animation with a similar style and theme as my environment. Not only does is share similar environmental aspects but my main character will bare resemblance to Jafar, the evil Vizier from Aladdin. Certain aspects of his personality, such as his deviousness and evil nature , are similar traits to the character my scene is based off of. Here is an excerpt from the Disney Wiki detailing Jafar’s personality:
“Jafar was portrayed as an amoral psychopath who’ll not hesitate to destroy anyone he perceives as a threat to his own sinister designs. Like numerous clinically-diagnosed psychopaths, Jafar wears a metaphorical mask of normalcy throughout the film, establishing himself as a cool-headed schemer and gaining the trust of those around him, despite his rather untrustworthy physical appearance.”
The ‘metaphorical mask of normalcy” is a key part of of my characters personality, I plan for there to be an almost facade of this mystical magician, selling his magical wares, when really he is just a con man trying to sell broken and busted items for an inflated price.
Below are some concept art and screen shots from the film that best represent the Arab style and architecture, similar to what ill be trying to achieve in a 3D environment. The style of Aladdin’s architecture is a bit too stylized for me, so I will be reducing it down for when I make it, they are just good reference for the colour, scale and design. There is heavy use of domed buildings, archways, canvas sun shades, bustling market areas, small glassless windows, deep orange sunlight and crenelations on top of the buildings.
Here are my concept pieces for this environment , the first image depicts the the opening scene, shot outside of the shop, in a shadowy back alley. I chose an out door scene first to inform the viewer of the location, with a slow zoom up to the second shot. This shot is to look mysterious, only revealing a small portion of the room and flickering light.
Concept Two (Homework)
Here is my second attempt of concept work, this was aided by the tutorials given to us on concept art. The tutorial is for creating an image from and already existing photograph. in the tutorial he mentions using your own material as a source and the picture below is from my trip to Morocco. I first set out by putting in my perspectives lines as an aid to keep everything in proportion to the scene