Tuesday, 10 November 2009


Ok...so im not entirely sure what my questions going to be exactly, only that it will focus on the concept art of the game 'Prince of Perisa'....as well as how the artwork has been reproduced within the confines of the game world....and how effective it's portrayed (mostly through the use of Cel-Shading)....but not to sure where to go from there...so feedback is welcome....

Here's a few images on the material:


  1. Interim Online Review - Unit 2 : Space 10/11/09

    Hi Bob,

    Okay - again, some nice heartfelt analysis re. Alien, but, when you get a spare moment, go do a bit of work around Giger, Alien and the concept of the 'vagina dentata'... potent stuff! Also, I'm a bit confused why you're not writing about Alien for your assignment? There is doubtless more written about it than for Prince of Persia (though the fact that it's been turned into a film might make for an interesting point of comparison). Can I suggest you write about Alien - a film you know - but use the opportunity to think about nurturing your 'academic voice' - there are many articles/reviews about the 'meaning of the film' in relation to its design, which means you would be able to find some great references; also, it would be a useful exercise for you, because you would have to put away your own 'down the pub' enthusiasm for the movie, and concentrate on finding a formal way to discuss what excites you about the film. I'd like to see you use this assignment to understand the way to structure a coherent and formal document? What do you think?

    Regarding the three scenes, I have to say that I think you're failing to engage with the essential grandeur and theatricality of the Gormenghast world; that preparatory drawing of the Hall of Bright Carvings just seems so 'domestic' in scale - it could be anywhere; think more expressively and open up the scale a little bit; remember, one of the prime purposes of concept art is to create a pre-production 'wow' - it's used to illustrate big scenes or stand-out sets. When we watch The Cook, the Thief, the Wife and her Lover on tuesday, you'll see a much more theatrical approach to production design, and I hope it will inspire you. With that current drawing, I can't help feeling that you've focused on the least interesting corner of the castle - Ian Miller was onto something when he elaborated the Hall into something more richly realised... think big, Bob!

    See second comment for general advice re. written assignment.

  2. Written Assignment stuff…

    Some general structural advice regarding framing your essay in the more general context of ‘production design’ – by way of introduction to your specific case-study (i.e. the movie or game of choice), you’ll need to demonstrate your understanding of the purpose of production design/designers in enshrining certain ‘narrative values’ within the look of the production; you should discuss the general aims/objectives/definitions of production design – see below:

    “Before designing anything, the designer develops a "design concept," an overarching metaphor for the film's appearance that governs individual choices. This "concept" may or may not be established in conjunction with the director. Once settled upon, however, it structures all decisions made, helping the art staff to give an individual film visual distinction.”
    Read more: http://www.filmreference.com/encyclopedia/Independent-Film-Road-Movies/Production-Design.html#ixzz0WRjZ6wTX

    You’ll find alternative definitions that you may want to include, but your following analysis of your chosen exemplar should be an in-depth discussion of that ‘overarching metaphor’ that organizes all the various components of the production’s design; you need to be looking for recurring motifs, colour values, use of space, set-design etc. that, collectively, create ‘the look’ and be able to talk insightfully about the narrative contribution of ‘the look’ – i.e. – how does it assist in the audience’s understanding of the narrative or thematic framework.
    IMPORTANT; try and think of your written assignments as ‘complete worlds’ – i.e., that they must contain all information necessary for your reader to follow your discussion coherently. Never presume prior knowledge on the behalf of your reader; do not, for instance, presume that your reader understands or is familiar with ‘Production Design’ – you always need to define your terms WITHIN the essay; likewise with films and games; give their release date, their director etc. Use footnotes to give definitions or information that would otherwise interrupt flow of argument; for instance, if you don’t want to pause rhythm of sentence by giving reader additional information about a particular artist or designer, use a footnote to put this data into the ‘margins’ of the discussion. On Word, goto to Insert and then ‘Footnote’ to install footnote at bottom of page.

    AVOID DESCRIPTION – obviously, you will need to give some plot details to contextualise the scenes you want to discuss, but I don’t want a blow-by-blow account of the game/film; give a brief précis and get on with the ANALYSIS.

    Below is a list of useful websites; use them in addition to other sources of reference (books, docs, making ofs) to SUPPORT your observations; you need to gather EVIDENCE to corroborate with your analysis. GENERIC observations (i.e. ‘stating the bloody obvious’) are to be avoided at all costs. Tell me something I DON’T know!



    The gloves are coming off; the brief asks you to produce 1,500 words… and that’s what I want; shortfall assignments will be penalized accordingly – or failed.

    Good Luck! ☺

  3. Hi Bob,

    I think you might need to look back at some of your earlier research photos, and try to combine the baroque details with some epic spaces. I think of Gormenghast as an environment that is constantly shifting, tight narrow corners twist into vast lofty luminescent caverns.