We've worked together for the last six months, discussing ideas, how we wanted our virtual world to look, how we wanted it to sound, what poetry to include and how our Child Avatar would appear. Here are some images and poetry from the journey.
Earlier draft of the 'City Shelter' by Fion Gunn
Child avatar in the City by Terri Broughton
Poetry Canopy - text by Eliza Cooey
Eliza Cooey 2020
The gentle winding river laid out on her soft bed,
The crazed winds flowing in the sky,
Branches breaking from the tree falling at my feet,
Building a little home in my mind to shelter me.
The weather was warm and then harsh and wet,
I cried quietly and aloud watching family catching langoustine in fishing nets.....
My life was no longer sure,
My dreams were uncertain,
How would I continue.
What have I left?
There weren’t many thoughts besides that of my loved ones And what would I do now????
I'll begin my life....
But it can’t be that simple can it?
At the next interval I met the winners
I started art class
Started a karaoke sing career (not for public consumption)
In my boudoir!!!
Well, maybe not singing as such....
I started a modelling career (paper or plastic)
And I learned how to have my cake and eat it.
Bake it yourself!!
I realized that shelter is many things....
It's the warm of a friend’s smile, a biscuit and a cup of tea when you're Hungary, major break down with no questions when you feel your life is done.
It’s love that builds a home, its love that lays each brick, and It’s love that feeds us, it can sometimes almost take a tragedy to remind us the importance of life...
Being human we rely heavily on each other....
Let us wake up and realize this important lesson,
Let's not wait for the rivers to run dry and our lands be devoid of life,
Let us find our way back to freedom and make a prosperous future for all to flourish!!
One of the avatars keeping warm in the beehive hut shelter.
For a more international resemblance, creating a child with no gender or race seemed most appropriate therefore it wasn’t targeted to any particular groups, just the human race. This was agreed upon by all members, then integrating parts of the environment into the character was then decided. Our environment affects us in multiple ways especially when growing up, those who we interact with, the food we consume, sights we witness and experience. This all creates a mould for who we become, having the character absorb the environment around them, their skin/eyes/hair visualises this. A chameleon like skin which camouflages itself replicating the environment to form a protection against predators, creating its own shelter.
While Terri sculpted the head of the child giving them a friendly face and different coloured eyes, making the eyes reflective with pupils matching the environment, looking at earthy materials with a natural colour scheme would be most fitting. This is so that once the character is imported into the VR environment the elements will match harmoniously.
An avatar with the rain imprinted on them to reflect the raindrops in the umbrella shelter.
An avatar testing their balance.
When it came to animating the character, Terri looked at various references of children playing to remember what the key body movements are. Children have tons of fuel and don’t get tired out easily, they need to be entertained otherwise their focus can drift away. These aspects were vital to remember when it came to animating a smaller human that is bursting with energy. Creating a happy child was definitely a goal of mine as that can connect with the viewers inner child.