Pre-production: Art Direction and Influence Maps

As mentioned our animation is based on Thai Mythology and specifically focusing on the mythical creatures of the Himmapan Forest, a legendary forest which surrounds the base of Mount Meru in Hindu mythology. It is said it's located beneath the buddhist heavens on the top of he Himalayan Mountains. 

In terms of style, our animation will derive from traditional Thai Art which is primarily composed of Buddhist art. Thai Art is rich in colour, full of interesting shapes and patterns and pays extreme attention to detail. This detail can be seen in Paintings, Murals, Architecture, Sculpture, Clothing, Jewellery and even modern interpretations like Tattoo designs. It will be interesting to see what this distinctive art direction will turn into in combination with Modern CG software.

The is also a number of colours that appear to be dominant on Murals and paintings with gold standing out in almost every painting, sculpture or temple. Every colour is deeply connected with the Buddhist religion and beliefs. There is also an image representing the colour of Thai Art on the map, an outcome from the website The Color Of.
Our animation aims for two characters, both living in the Forest who will build a special relationship together. Our first character is the famous Kinnaree, a half human half bird creature which will perform a solo dance. It is meant to be a young woman of sublime beauty wearing an angel- like costume. Her wings on her lower body part enable her to travel between the human and mythical worlds. A lot of Artists tried to visualise the creature in their own way and came up with beautiful paintings and sculptures of it.
Our second character is a quadruped creature called Hemaraj- or Hem for short. It's a hybrid mix between a Hem (a sort of reptile creature) with a lion. A Hem is also represented as a Hong, meaning a swan. It will be exciting to mix all these animals together and create a humorous, clumsy character which will interact with the opposite serious and graceful looking Kinnaree.

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