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Defining a world through visual styles
Posted: Posted March 11th, 2009 by Tharivious
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This is something that's been going through my mind for a while, figured it might be an interesting conversation point for others, too. The more responses, the better.

Most settings have something about them that stands out more than others when it comes to visuals. Whether its the architecture of signature cities, appearances of signature characters, backdrops and sweeping panoramic views, or distinct monsters that are the foundation of many other aspects. For some, it's a certain visual style that defines them (Sin City's signature black, white, and red, for example) or they're defined by a certain illustrator. It doesn't necessarily have to be a symbol or a logo, but just a visual that would stand out as iconic for that setting.

What defines your worlds, visually speaking? If you don't have a reference piece, that's not a problem, descriptive works can be just as helpful.

I'll explain what I've got in mind for Veghinix shortly, since I just got the materials that I think will let me do what I'm thinking on.

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Visually, most of melkrin is defined by black, brown, grey and white. Every natural thing in the world is limited one of these colors (except for light), because this was necessary to correct a mistake made during the creation of the world. Basically, the colors cause disruption in some "personal nanotechnology" with effects that can be disorienting, or destructive, depending on the conditions.

Another part would be the phallic imagery. I always liked the big wizard spires, and the signals they sent about the cloistered perverts that built them. Most of the towers in the setting i'd imagine as pretty visually stunning, but also incredibly infuriating to people in-world. That's especially true for The Happy Love, a big, black Tower of Babel dick that twists itself into Heaven, since it's meant by its builder to be both terrifying (it has its own weather system due to some of industrial wastes it seeds clouds with, and that makes it a lightning rod) as well a display of her perversions.

Posted March 12th, 2009 by Fetus Commander
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In the 'living' world, C has a kind of light and cartoony feel- fairly bright colours and some exaggerated detail (as if everything was hand carved). Everything has a kind of curved or spiral look where possible- very 'high fantasy' and smooth. Everything looks rather 'clean'.
In the 'dead' world, things are dark and less saturated, with sharper, angular edges. Everything is quite dirty. Things from there, due to differentiated graphical styles, are more 'creepy' and different.

That duality kind of makes things different, graphically.

Posted March 12th, 2009 by Blake
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Blake
 

Visually, most of melkrin is defined by black, brown, grey and white. Every natural thing in the world is limited one of these colors (except for light), because this was necessary to correct a mistake made during the creation of the world. Basically, the colors cause disruption in some "personal nanotechnology" with effects that can be disorienting, or destructive, depending on the conditions.

I can definitely see that for most of the Melkrin stuff that I've seen/heard about over the years. I never would have made the connection to the nanotech disruption, though.

Another part would be the phallic imagery. I always liked the big wizard spires, and the signals they sent about the cloistered perverts that built them. Most of the towers in the setting i'd imagine as pretty visually stunning, but also incredibly infuriating to people in-world. That's especially true for The Happy Love, a big, black Tower of Babel dick that twists itself into Heaven, since it's meant by its builder to be both terrifying (it has its own weather system due to some of industrial wastes it seeds clouds with, and that makes it a lightning rod) as well a display of her perversions.

That definitely does sound fittingly iconic.

In the 'living' world, C has a kind of light and cartoony feel- fairly bright colours and some exaggerated detail (as if everything was hand carved). Everything has a kind of curved or spiral look where possible- very 'high fantasy' and smooth. Everything looks rather 'clean'.
In the 'dead' world, things are dark and less saturated, with sharper, angular edges. Everything is quite dirty. Things from there, due to differentiated graphical styles, are more 'creepy' and different.

That duality kind of makes things different, graphically.

That sounds interesting. Comic book/RPG intended, I presume?

Posted March 13th, 2009 by Tharivious
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When I think of Orithuia, I think of scrubby gold-to-olive-brown coniferous-ish vegetation, a lot of yellow lichen-ish things clinging to rocks. Dark sky. Bog. Possibly some crumbling walls or pillars.

Posted March 29th, 2009 by lryda mbazha
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Finally got something done in the style that I was working on when I started the thread.

New style sample.

Basically, the idea as described on DA, is that I'm aiming for a "signature color" for individual characters, and using a scale of that color where appropriate. Somewhat of a minimalist approach, but also designed to make the characters really stand out (when I start doing more with backgrounds, but until I get a decent sized scanner, I'm gonna stay fairly lazy on that one).

Posted April 24th, 2009 by Tharivious
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Well, I've heard of at least the following two:
(1) A world where almost everything artificial that can be six-sided is in fact six-sided; and there for damn sure aren't any pentagrams.
(2) A world where almost everything artificial that can be curved instead of straight is in fact curved; and there for damn sure aren't any right angles.

Other possibilities exist as well. Maybe no floor of any building has fewer than five sides -- maybe they're all octagonal or something? Maybe buildings' exteriors don't include any vertical lines -- that is, as buildings rise the floors get smaller and so the highest lines aren't quite perpendicular to the "ground" -- so the buildings are ziggurrattish? Maybe all the road-intersections are "champfered" so largish horse-drawn vehicles can turn corners in two 45-degree steps instead of having to make one right-angled turn? Maybe every building has a garden or a lawn or an orchard planted on top of it?

Posted April 24th, 2009 by chiarizio
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Architecture is the main thing for me; for humans they have squares and rectangles, archways, columns, you know - along the lines of Roman/Greek architecture.
In the Relledra this architecture starts to blend with simpler styles, starts adapting to the new environment and to the small islands, where the building materials are harder to find.
In Anaftêa, everything is based on triangles, three and four sided pyramids, and a few step pyramids. There are only a few dozen cities, but their buildings are big, and built to last.

Apart from that, the human nations have certain colours they identify with; the Triarch Union likes red and orange, Dellerein blue and green, the Clans white and gold.

And then there's the style of weapons, armour, ships and clothes. I'm still in the planning stage for those, but I know they're going to be at least slightly different.

Posted April 25th, 2009 by Avjunza
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Avjunza
 

Currently, since I'm focusing on the Therigan realms, I will give a bit of a visual overview of each.


When I think of the realm of air I think of an extremely vivid grassy landscape with an alien-looking sky filled with other sky islands, crystal shards, and an overbearing glowing sun-like crystal at a perpetual high noon.

The native species, psions, prefer to create large towers and complex cities all carved into the same stone, where the distinctions between buildings become blurry and the entire city appears a fortress. Psions also have a bit of a 'blue' color theme, they have blue skin and prefer the color blue to most others. Ancestral mind gems high aloft monasteries are a bright glowing blue, and psionic energy emits blue light. However, the architecture tends to become more stony and also uses beige stones when possible.


When I think of the realm of earth, I think of a vast underground cavern with no edge, incomprehensibly tall pillars dotting the surface of the barren cave, trailing into the clouds masking the cavern ceiling. A very dark setting, however lit by glowing fungi and constant thunderstorms, as well as thunderballs levitating through the sky, providing a constant light source as if a perpetual full moon.

Dwarves have a darker style, they build deep inside the ground, creating underground fortresses and mountainhomes. A dwarven mountainhome could be likened to a massive hotel, with criss-crossing passageways leading from one district to another, it is very easy to get lost if you don't have a dwarf's beard to help guide you.


The other two realms are still under construction, but the other races I can describe.

Elven cities are tall wooden buildings, similar to human towns, but larger and with many more living plants and gardens, some of the wood woven into the city is in fact still growing. The drow cities are more industrious, forming large encampments using their environs to the greatest potential, leaving barren land in their wake. Elves tend more towards green colors, and drow towards red, brown, and a sooty dark gray.

Lastly, orc cities are always large fortresses, with the commoners making tents outside the castle walls They form communist governments, and have a very simplistic, raw architectural style. Orcs are mostly colorblind, but they do trend towards darker reds.

Posted July 1st, 2012 by Magibabble
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