Applying Research to Design

For my specialisation this tri i’ve decided to create some 3d assets that will be lowpoly and designed for the fairytale, Hansel and Gretel. The idea is that although the characters will be low-poly they will be textured with bright, detailed textures which will make them appear more detailed than they are. For the start of the project, I needed to decide on a specific style/theme i would be going with from the beginning so that all my concepts would match said theme. I decided that, considering it was originally a german tale and was released in the 1800s, I would influence the design of the characters and scene from real fashion and architecture from the period.

The Assets being made:

For this project i’ll be making 3 characters and one environment scene. One of the 3 characters will have two different versions as well.

The Characters:

The children for the project were quite simple to design. I roughly based them on fashion of children in the 1800s, however most fashion recorded from the time was of upper class, so I had to simplify aspects of the fashion in their designs so it was apparent that the children were poor.


The witch’s outfits were the biggest part of my research however. I knew I wanted two different outfits for her but i wanted them both to be distinctly different from each other. For the first one I looked at for ideas of different dresses I could draw inspiration from. At first I looked at this dress very closely, as I liked its shape of design and thought it could potentially be a basis for both dresses.

However after a few more sketches, I decided to influence some of this dress as well as another for a more final design of the witch’s first dress. I used the lower collar from the second dress however kept the frills down the middle like the first dress. I also kept larger tops of the sleeves like the original dress. And unlike the draft dress I sketched in the image above, I decided to add influences of german desserts rather than any old candy or dessert like things I could add.


I also added small touches of cream or cherries and included golden dessert like colours so she matches the inviting appearance of the house.

For the second dress, at first I was going to keep it very similar just with sharper shapes in the dress, however after looking into some of the other styles of fashion for the 1800s, i believed it would be more interesting to change it up more. The dresses I particularly referenced were the Empire style dresses with high waists and large backs which made it easier for the wearer of the dress to walk. 

My favourite of the images was the court dress (pictured directly above), as the shape of the court dress over the high waisted dress gives the woman in the image a stronger more bolder silhouette and almost seems more powerful. For my final design of the second dress I decided to closely be inspired by this dress to try execute that same powerful imagery in the witch.

I also made sure that this dress for the witch was much different to the first– I wanted the contrast to be blindingly obvious so the witch’s intentions would be very clear as opposed to the first dress. I also added an eye like centrepiece to the front of the dress. I nearly thought about adding skeletal or organ like features to her second dress to embrace her urge to eat the children however I decided, using just the eye was subtle enough along with the colours.


After the designs were completed, to get a better idea of the feeling for the two different dresses and their final shape i sketched them both on a fullbody shot of the witch.

capture4 capture5 capture

The House:

After completing the characters, I had a specific direction I would be going in for the final scene. And I already knew that for the dessert/food themed parts of the design I would be using german desserts rather than any western dessert. However the dessert part of the house was one of the easier parts of the design. The harder part was finding german buildings that would fit what I wanted to create. At first I considered making a castle, however, considering the context in the story, I felt I definitely needed a kind of building that was much less gaudy and more homely? cottage-like? I looked for cottages at first, however the references I found were far from the final image I had envisioned. So, after researching some of the houses that were around in the 1800s, I decided to design the house around “Low German Houses”. These houses were used for things like farming and living. To design the house I found a few images of these houses and designed according to traits I found were similar throughout all the examples. I then coloured and decorated it according to the desserts I was referencing.

800px-Wilsede_003_2 800px-Wöhler_Dusche_Hof Hallenhaus_Wohnhaus


So using all the research I found, I was able to create characters and a house that suit the narrative accordingly!


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