Fate Saga is a fantastical, action/drama animated series about fate and free will, and follows Cain, a knight who can see the future. With only glimpses of prophecies to guide him, Cain interferes in natural disasters and war in hopes of stopping his tragic visions from happening.

However, in a world on the brink of an apocalypse, is knowing the final outcome enough to change it?

Fate Saga is an original animated action/drama series taking place in a fantastical world based on Medieval Europe.

31 December 2011

Happy New Year!

Hey everyone! I hope you are enjoying the holidays and looking forward to a prosperous New Year! I am eager and hopeful for some good things to come for Fate Saga.

There was an issue with the images popping up with the Navigation Bar on top of them, which is now fixed. Please send me a message or comment here if you're still having trouble with the images or any other part of the blog's functionality.

Currently, we are hard at work on the concepts (layouts, model sheets, character concepts). Only a fraction of it is on the blog right now, with much more to come in 2012! A great thanks to everyone who has been following the blog thus far, and I hope you will continue to enjoy the ride with us while we coast our way into the new year!


This was one of the test drawings for Rori and Cain's new outfits that didn't make it to the color stage. I like how some of it was coming out, but it really isn't the best test for Cain because Rori's covering most of him.

Rori is very short - 5'2, and Cain is a whopping 6'2. I imagine in this scenario, they might be trying to watch some kind of event, either behind a fence, gate or in a crowd of people. Rori can't see over everyone else, so she goes to perch on something higher. But climbing on things is very unlady-like, and Cain being the helpful gent he is, decides to spare Rori the strain of climbing and just hoists her up like a little kid so she can get a better look. But Rori doesn't like to be touched, and she especially doesn't like some guy taking it upon himself to pick her up.

This would probably be early enough in their relationship that Cain doesn't yet know better. Cain's asking her if she can see any better now, and Rori's about to tear his face off.

27 December 2011

Season's Greetings from Fate Saga

Seasons Greeting from Fate Saga!

Although Christmas was what I had in mind, I most tried to incorporate the essence of what the holidays are all about - celebrating with those closet to you.

23 December 2011

Lukas Rough Sketches


These were a batch of practice sketches I did for Lukas, Fate Saga's biochemist. Lukas is one of the newest Fate Saga cast members, and as a result he's had a design that's been ever changing. His mask itself is something that always looks a little different every time I drew it - so with these sketches I'm hoping to solidify Lukas' design. His body is very lithe and snake-like, while his tail is stiff and heavy. I was hoping that, by giving his tail a distinct shape, it would make his tail much easier to visualize and draw and also Lukas needs his tail to keep balance.

One major challenge was trying to make Lukas expressive with so much limitations on his face - the only thing I have to my disposal with him are his upper and lower eyelids, and even they are limited by the shape of the eye opening in the mask. I debated on different shapes for the eye opening - and even considered letting the eye opening take the shape of the eye for better expression. However, it wouldn't work - masks just don't do that, and it would require a more cartoony element than what Fate Saga currently has. Lukas, being a dinosaur-looking creature already, runs the risk of coming across as too cute. He has to be scary enough to be taken seriously as a villain.

Lukas body and frill design is based off of research of frilled lizards, dilophosaurus and dragons. His mask is based off of the plague doctor, and the lab coat is a simple lab coat similar in design to what Armand wears (except Lukas has to keep it open because it doesn't quite fit his body)
.

20 December 2011

So You're a Were Wolf, Huh?



This may not be exactly how Cain and Rori meet, but this encompasses pretty much their first impression of each other, as well as their chemistry at the beginning of the series.

Cain is a very serious knight and has trouble understanding sarcasm. Rori lives off of sarcasm. Cain is a bit prejudice against were-wolves. Rori is, too (despite being a were-wolf, herself), but she still thinks Cain is an idiot.

16 December 2011

Talk


And nearing the conclusion of the Main 4's interactions, we're at Larkspur and Rori.

Although Larkspur and Cain have similar values, both of their relationship with Rori is much different. Unlike Cain, Larkspur is much more understanding and flexible in her beliefs. Although she doesn't agree with a lot of what Rori does, she only brings up her disagreement if she feels that it's absolutely necessary - and still in a way that is respectful. As a result, Rori is much more inclined to listen to Larkspur. That doesn't necessarily mean Rori will change her viewpoint, but she'll listen to Larkspur's stance.

At the same time, Rori is a feminist, while Larkspur has a much more traditional mindset. Rori believes that Larkspur's potential is held back because of her traditional values and everyone else's expectations of her, and at times tries to encourage Larkspur's assertive side.

Their mutual respect for each other sometimes leads to long conversations, with topics usually deeper than Rori is at times comfortable with. So usually it's Larkspur doing the talking - with just a little bit of input from Rori.

10 December 2011

We've Got This

Guile and Rori meet before the series begins, so they're already friends when they're introduced to Cain (and, consequently, introduced to the viewer, since we meet Guile and Rori vicariously through Cain).

Guile and Rori have an odd relationship. Rori's much older than Guile, and is in fact the eldest of the main four - nearly pushing thirty while Guile's half her age. However, Rori is cursed with lycanthropy - all she wants is a cure, but has a hard time gathering any information or even talking to people without being chased with pitchforks. So in return for taking care of Guile, he in turn talks to people and looks for information for her.

She uses him from the start, and makes that clear from the beginning of their relationship. Rori doesn't believe in love or friendship, having been burned so badly by loved ones before even meeting Guile that she cut herself off from any relationships. Rori feels that, in the end, everyone is merely out for themselves and any form of affection or loyalty is only out of convenience.

However, Guile somehow manages to reserve a soft spot in Rori's callous heart. While Rori's not about to jump to Guile's defense during a skirmish, if he's ever in real danger - she'll get involved. And any enemy who invokes Rori's wrath is one who will soon wish s/he hadn't.

Guile, on the other hand, is loyal and trusting to a fault. He sees Rori as both a motherly figure and his best friend, and often cracks jokes with her even if she never humors him. Unfortunately, Guile is mostly incompetent and often causes more problems than he's able to help with, which at times puts Rori in a bind.

Here, they're being surrounded by chimeras and things are looking mighty grim - not that Rori's about to go down without a fight they'll remember. But that's not about to stop Guile from cracking a few jokes.

28 November 2011

Guile Test Dialogue Animation


Guile's voice by Casey Mongillo. Animation by Dana Corrigan

Today, I had a demonstration for how to rough animate in Photoshop. I used Guile as my example since he has a pretty set design that hasn't yet been animated, and because I had some awesome lines of dialogue from Casey Mongillo to work with. After the demo, I cleaned up the animation for here.

Photoshop's animation tools have improved significantly since I first started using it (back at Photoshop 7! I'm such a dinosaur.), but for Fate Saga I plan to stick with Flash. Flash has a bit more versatility, and the vectors make it easy to scale the animation without worrying about pixelation.

26 November 2011

Rori Color Options


I'm in the midst of character redesigns, and for most I have a general concept of what their colors will look like. However, with Rori's color scheme Yesenia Carrero and Tracy MacLauchlan made a good point that black and white colors are very modern and might feel out of place in a medieval world. I was also asked to reconsider Rori's two-toned hair and possibly just keeping it a solid color.

For her general color scheme, I was still in the middle of figuring out her final design so the outfit above is a little different than the one she ended up with. I referenced the color schemes of real wolves, avoiding very light or white wolves because I always pictured Rori to be a primarily dark wolf.

For the bottom color scheme, it's from an illustration that will be uploaded onto here in the near future. For here, I experimented with three of the more popular hair color combinations to see how they would look in a full color drawing.


25 November 2011

Happy Thanksgiving from Fate Saga!


I wanted to do some test sketches for the characters' new designs and figured I'd group them all together here!

For the top image, Cyrus is cooking the turkey (although it was drawn in the spirit of Thanksgiving, such a holiday does not exist in Fate Saga because it's based off of historical events that just don't occur in that world). Cyrus doesn't know how to work cooking utensils so he is using his elemental fire magic to cook with. Cyrus has some talents, but cooking is not one of them (unless you count being able to flambe any food or drink a talent). Seiron is watching...and trying to recall if turkey is supposed to be that blackened when it's done.

The second image is also sort of in the spirit of Thanksgiving, but more the message than the traditions. Cain and Larkspur both have something to be thankful for.

The third image's theme is "motherly." Rori is not motherly - not intentionally, anyway. However, she is the oldest (being nearly 30, followed by Cain who's about 24-25, Larkspur who is about 21-22 and Guile who's about 14-15) and, with the possible exception of Cain, the one with the most life experience. Rori has been betrothed, she's been betrayed, she's loved and lost and learned to live independent in a hostile world. Because she meets Guile at a young age, he does manage to awaken what little motherly instinct she has. Larkspur has a more equal, sisterly relationship with her, but Larkspur still looks up to Rori to some degree. Rori can give advice (in fact, she's notorious for nagging), and she can be very physically protective when the time calls for it. However, when it comes to the more nurturing motherly attributes - such as consoling, comforting, cuddling or dealing with growing pains - that's when Rori checks out. She can barely deal with her own problems much less anyone else's, and she's not about to pretend she can, either. In this image, she's annoyed that Guile and Larkspur are leaning on her, but just can't be bothered to get up.

22 November 2011

Mechanima Contest: You Can't Have Her


I saw the Mechanima contest going on over at Megan's journal and decided to give it a go! The prizes are pretty awesome - including a plushie made by her! (And she makes some bangin' plushies!) And really, any excuse to draw Alex and Rafe is a good one!

Anyway, her contest allowed for two options - a winter theme and a battle against a bounty hunter theme. I chose the latter, since I'm not the best with thinking up seasonal material and I loves me some action. I knew I had some rockin' contestants to compete with, so I really wanted to try and make this action sequence dynamic.

Our villain here is Fate Saga's own Vektor - who is not a robot but he is the closest character I could find to Mechanima's style (and I really didn't have time to design a brand new character. According to the contest rules, original characters were allowed so huzzah!)

Sorry for the godmoding! I wanted Rafe and Al to look like they were having a hard time. If they were trouncing Vektor, it wouldn't be nearly as fun.

Wish me luck!

Mechanima belongs to Megan Miller and Fate Saga belongs to Dana Corrigan. All rights reserved.

20 November 2011

Map of Duero by Monty Bess


Duero layout concept by Monty Bess

Behind the scenes, we're chugging along in the concept stages for Fate Saga's first season and first episode. Most of the first season takes place in a single town, Duero. As a result, it's very important to figure out the look and layout of the town even if only a fraction of it is going to be seen during the first episode.

Monty has done an excellent job figuring out the layout of the town, based off of references, landmarks and the needs of upcoming episodes. He has been an absolute joy to work with, and is providing some fantastic concept art. For more samples of his work, feel free to visit his portfolio website.

18 November 2011

Songbird


I wanted to test out what the new character designs looked like next to each other in colored illustrations, as well as use this as an opportunity to show how the characters interact with each other/give a preview to their relationship. After drawing out Cain and Rori (chosen first because they both had radically different design changes), I went with Cain and Larkspur next because Larkspur is the first main character other than Cain who is introduced.

Larkspur is a flighty, awkward but sweet girl who works as a cleric at the Monastery, and a second job as a waitress at the Crystalin. She is an extrovert with social anxiety, so she often finds herself sticking her foot in her mouth when trying to interact with people - with Cain being no exception. However, Larkspur is a musician, and feels most comfortable when singing or playing music.

Cain is an introvert, who can also be shy around strangers - though his upbringing in chivalry makes him polite and far better with talking to people than Larkspur is. However, he can be awkward as well, and is especially so around women he likes. He becomes very fond of Larkspur's singing early on, and enjoys listening to her play music.

The background is Duero, the town where most of the first season takes place. I drew the background in this picture, but Duero's design and layout is thanks to Monty Bess, with early concepts by Adrian Gonzalez, Robyn Hailey and Sam Keiser.

Time: About two days.
Tools: Photoshop and Illustrator (Cain and Larkspur's lines were vectorized in Illustrator, and then the flat colors were live-painted before moving back into Photoshop).

08 November 2011

Argument

I wanted to test Cain and Rori's most popular outfits from the previous concept sketches, and put them together in a test color illustration. So what do Cain and Rori do when they're together? Argue.

Despite being on the same side, Cain and Rori have conflicting values and opinions - and neither of them are the type to back down. Cain sees himself as a chivalrous knight, and women as damsels who need protection. Rori is distrusting of everyone - especially men - and is a strong, aggressive fighter. Cain is altruistic, Rori is out for her own selfish gain. Ultimately, Cain sees Rori as a rude, venomous little woman who is heading down the path of darkness, and Rori sees Cain as a dirty, chauvinistic pig who thinks he can sit on his moral high horse and judge everyone else, when he himself is just as flawed.

Rori and Cain bring out the worst in each other.

On a side note - Rori's hair puffs up when she's angry. Also, simple backgrounds are simple. This was more to test Cain and Rori's designs and colors in an environment that has a color scheme somewhere in the ballpark of Fate Saga's color scheme.

31 October 2011

Rori Wolf Design

Although I spent awhile re-designing Rori's human form, you don't actually see it in the series for awhile - because Rori is trapped in her wolf form. So after solidifying her human illusion, I wanted to put some of her features into the wolf to better connect the two designs. The color palette is the same, also Rori's wolf form is a little smaller now (but still thick). I also tried to make her eyes somewhere in between a real wolf's and her human form's.

For her wolf form, it's important to find the right balance between realism and cartoonish - I want Rori's wolf form to be expressive since that's the form you regularly will see her in. However, she isn't Scooby Doo. She has to keep close enough to a real wolf's proportions that she can be taken seriously.

When she speaks, her mouth doesn't move. I imagine it to be kind of Wolf's Rain-ish in that their expressions match the tone of their voice. If Rori's angry, her voice will sound angry and the wolf will be showing her teeth.

Finally, some of her wolf drawings have the collar and some don't. That's not a mistake. Rori doesn't start off with the collar in the series - she gets it later. How? Well, you'll just have to find out when the time comes.

28 October 2011

Main Four ReDesign Line-up


And here are the main four, with their most current designs, lined up side-by-side to see how their heights, postures, personalities and silhouettes compare. As a point of reference, Larkspur is 5'8, Rori is 5'2, Guile is 5'6 and Cain is 6'2.

25 October 2011

Guile Design Sketches

Although I didn't redesign Guile because, of the main four, Guile had the most updated design, I decided to do a sketch sheet of him anyway, just to compare how easy he is to draw and how his shapes compare to the others.

I wanted to make Guile look young in comparison to the rest of the cast - as he's about 14-15 while the others are in their twenties (Cain's about 24, Larkspur's about 22 and Rori's nearly 30). So he's the 'kid', but he's not necessarily a young child.

Guile is a rambunctious, friendly, limber thief. He's not very strong but he's agile and has a lot of energy.

22 October 2011

Cain ReDesign

And here we have Cain! The only difference in Cain's newer design is his hair has been simplified to make it easier for animation (by far the biggest request I had for Cain from my animators) and he's now bigger/bulkier. I wanted Cain's silhouette to be a big, stiff, chivalrous wall. There are also some minor design changes with his sword hilt, which now hangs under his belt (as opposed to being attached directly to it, which is unrealistic).

Guile's design isn't going to change because his was the most updated out of everyone's up until now. But I will do a page of sketches for him, and put him next to the others to show their new silhouettes. Ideally, once everything's done, everyone's silhouettes should stand out starkly from each other.

Some of the villains will be going through the updates, too, though it's mostly fixing their proportions.

19 October 2011

Larkspur ReDesign


And here is my first attempt at updating Larkspur's design! It's nowhere near as drastic of a change as Rori's - the only major differences are that I simplified her face and hair, shortened her hair, made small adjustments to her outfit and thinned out her body.

One thing I wanted to emphasize with her new design is the balance between gracefulness and awkwardness. Larkspur is a singer, and she can be very graceful...at the right moments. However, the rest of the time she is incredibly awkward and flighty. Her tall, thin frame will hopefully contrast with Rori's newer, small, thick frame and make the two stand out well against each other, and against the other characters.

Cain Voice Audition by Craig Helfer


Cain's voice audition by Craig Helfer.

16 October 2011

Rori Scandinavian ReDesign

This set of Rori sketches are a bit different than the ones I recently posted. I've been playing around with Rori's ethnicity. Even though Fate Saga takes place in an original world, it is loosely based off of Europe during the middle ages. Cain and Guile are meant to be English-esque, Larkspur is French-esque but Rori never really had a set ethnicity in mind. After some world history and etymology research, I've decided that Rori is Scandinavian.

It works well because the Vikings are known to be warriors, and Rori was raised by a tribe of warriors. However, I didn't want Rori to look like a stereotypical viking - with the blonde hair, armor and horned helmets.

So while researching their history, I found that there was some crossbreeding with Asia, and some Scandinavians look Eurasian. I decided to go in that direction for Rori, to help give her a distinguishing appearance that separates her from the other characters.

I've also altered her clothes, combining her original outfit with some features from different viking outfits I was able to find. I wanted to keep her clothes form-fitting, but have a piece of clothing that would represent the 'tail' of her wolf form. Her outfit is meant to be black and white, partially to represent Rori's wolf form's color scheme and also because Rori is color blind so black and white are the only colors she can really distinguish.

Finally, I adjusted her figure a bit. She's meant to be thick, strong, and curvy - particularly in the hips. In contrast, Larkspur is going to be thinned out a bit. Once I'm done updating the other character designs, I'll put them next to each other to see how well their new statures play off each other. Fun to come!

14 October 2011

Mechanima/Taffetas/Fate Saga: Cyrus Likes Their New Cat - by Megan


Megan Miller drew an awesome fan art combining her series with Fate Saga, as well as Jess and Tracy's "The Taffetas" (the left sketch). Megan's character, Rafe, apparently is taking the role of their new cat, and is already tearing up their curtains! Cyrus and Alex (the little girl) don't mind - Alex is used to Rafe and Cyrus likes cats (and apparently robots acting like cats!), though Veil and Gemini are both about to have a collective fit!

10 October 2011

Rori ReDesign Quick Sketches

Here is a series of quick sketches for Rori's new design. It's not much different than her old one - I widened her hips and altered her bangs so that they would be simpler and more suitable for animation. I also experimented with some of her details, such as eyes and mouth, and set it up somewhat like a model sheet. This is just a test, though, not a model sheet. Rori should ideally come across as muscular, but still retain enough femininity to be somewhat pretty (or, perhaps, could be pretty if she wasn't so rough and mean)

Some other characters are going to be going through some revamping as well in the near future, especially Cain and Larkspur.

04 October 2011

Exciting New Prospects for Fate Saga!

Hi everyone!

Thank you so much again for your votes of confidence, excitement and pledges! I am happy to announce that Fate Saga has been picked up by an online distributor, and we will begin production of the first episode in the next few weeks! As a result, I am cancelling this Kickstarter fundraiser, and launch a new campaign in the near future to redirect our efforts to the first episode!

This new avenue should open the door to great exposure and viewership! I look forward to updating you on the process and will let you know what happens! Thank you again for all of your support!

25 September 2011

Cyrus Promo: For Kickstarter

Fate Saga is a fantastical, action/drama animated series about fate and free will, and follows a knight who can see the future. We follow his travels as he tries to stop bad events from happening. Please help launch Fate Saga by spreading the word and donating to the Kickstarter fundraiser. We only have nine more days to raise $9,000. Every dollar counts! Thank you so much!

20 September 2011

Cain Alternate Outfit Concept WIP by Kishia Houck


Cain concept art by Kishia Houck
This was an alternate outfit for Cain proposed by Kishia Houck, one of our resident concept artists. (His scar hasn't yet been added). It's an interesting costume and one I'm not opposed to. I would have to try drawing it out and trying out a few variations to see how it would be to animate and how it would look in-scene.

Also, Cain's hair is going through a revision. The pilot will continue to have the same design, but we will soon be revisiting the character designs, backgrounds and revamping concept art to improve them for any possible future episodes - removing elements that cause problems in animation, fixing their shapes to give them better silhouettes, and the like.

18 September 2011

10 Facts About Armand

10 facts about Armand

1. Armand is a doctor
Although Armand is a scientist who conducts experiments, his actual job is that of a doctor. Fate Saga takes place in a medieval world with similar superstitions and fear regarding science and biology as what existed in Europe during the Middle Ages. Thus, Armand's only patients are usually those who don't care about superstitions/don't worry about other's judgment or people who are too desperate to care.

2. He is nearly blind
Without Armand's characteristically thick glasses, he would be considered legally blind by modern standards. Luckily, with his glasses, he is able to see almost like normal.

3. Armand is an introvert
He doesn't care to socialize and can be annoyed/overwhelmed if surrounded by too many people at once. Armand would prefer to be alone, and seeks solitude when he can. He deals with his teammates and subordinates because he needs them in order to get the job done, and socializes with them just enough to appease them.

4. He can conduct himself well in public.
Despite being an introvert and not someone who often goes out, Armand is nonetheless able to talk business and strategy with people. He was trained from a young age how to conduct himself - though he was never able to make himself seem friendly, and no longer tries to. Others find him dry and mildly scary in his apathy, but nonetheless intelligent and able to hold a conversation so long as it pertained to business.

5. Armand's fighting style is reactive.
He is a skinny man against a bunch of beefy, sword wielding, scythe wielding, sharp teethed, acrobatic warriors with powers. That man is not about to go in swinging like Mohammed Ali. Armand prefers to stay out of the fighting altogether. But if he's confronted and forced to fight, Armand is purely defensive and relies on counterattacks. He's also not about to pull a Dr. Wily and come down on monsters/space ships/mechas. That's what his henchmen are for.

6. He is a Nihilist.
He doesn't believe in the existence of morality, the believability of superstition or even the sincerity of emotions. Armand sees everything from a scientific standpoint, and believes that everything has a reasonable explanation. Thus, nothing to him holds mystery or value. Nearly everything is disposable.

7. Armand keeps a journal
He keeps a journal that is partially a medical journal and partially a regular journal, which he uses to chronicle the results of his scientific experiments, jot down his thoughts and his research.

8. He is asexual
Armand humors Bianca by putting up with her advances, but he has no sexual interest in her or anyone else. He is too involved with his work and research to even look at anyone romantically.

9. Armand's laboratory is technologically ahead of the rest of the world
Because Armand doesn't fear science, and surrounds himself with others who are equally intelligent and passionate about technology, alchemy and biology, they are able to create a laboratory that is far more advanced than anything else available in that world.

10. Armand has no powers.
As opposed to most of his comrades and enemies, who are psychic, lycanths, magical, clerical or have other forms of special abilities, Armand has no more powers than any normal human. However, Armand's scientific knowledge makes him a better doctor than most clerics, because he has a better understanding of how the body works and can surpass the limitations of magical healing by fixing the problems mechanically.

16 September 2011

Fate Saga/Taffetas: Rori and Wolf

This was a sketch that Tracy (co-creator with Yesenia Carrero of Taffetas) and I did awhile back, just for fun. Tracy drew Wolf, and I drew Rori. I inked the drawing. Wolf is chatting up Rori, while Rori's being her usual antisocial self. Ironically, despite Rori being a were-wolf, herself, she sees were-wolves in general as being filthy, slathering beasts and, at the moment, Wolf isn't convincing her otherwise.

His cigar smoke in her face probably isn't helping the mood.

Check out Tracy and Jess' original series, Taffetas, here!

15 September 2011

Anime Weekend Atlanta Preparation and Kickstarter

http://www.kickstarter.com/pro​jects/1603395204/fate-saga-the​-animated-series-pilot

Hi everyone! It's been an exciting ride getting Fate Saga ready for Anime Weekend Atlanta, promoting it for Kickstarter and generally trying to spread the word as much as possible!

In Atlanta, we have a presentation on both Friday and Saturday, as well as a Fate Saga table throughout the rest of the convention! Some of the Fate Saga crew who will be attending include voice actors, animators and director! If you will be attending Anime Weekend Atlanta at the end of this month, we hope to see you there!

14 September 2011

Bianca Battle Royale



For the Kickstarter pitch video, I wanted to make a video representation of the characters in action even if we couldn't quite animate them for the sake of time. The way I went around it was by placing the stagnant images in After Effects and animating them along with the camera.

The purpose of this sequence was to define Bianca as a villain that is strong enough to be a threat to the entire team, and one not to be messed with. I placed a crack in the ground, and rocks that move in different directions to show her elemental magic ability.

12 September 2011

20 Facts About Cyrus

20 facts about Cyrus

1. Cyrus was inspired by Sanders from Gundam 8th MS Team
Cyrus was created in 2001, while I was watching Gundam 8th MS Team. Sanders is a character who was given the nickname "Grim Reaper" because any team he had so many missions with (I think it was every 3 missions) would get wiped out and he would be the only survivor. It was always just bad luck, and Sanders hated the title. I came up with the question "What if someone had a nickname like that and enjoyed it?" Suddenly, the name "Cyrus Grimm" came to mind, and of course he had to wield a scythe. But at the time he was first created, Cyrus was intended to be a temporary, brutal villain. He has changed a great deal during the 10 years he was created, from a cold and bloodthirsty villain, to a sympathetic psuedo-villain.

2. Cyrus has Empathy
Cyrus can feel the emotions of others around him as if they were his own. They tend to either conflict or magnify his true emotions. Sometimes, he can get overwhelmed from the other emotions to the point that they will take over his own - such as a mob mentality. On the other hand, if Cyrus is freaking out and he's with someone who's calm, the opposite can happen and the other person's emotions can stabilize his own. This is why Cyrus prefers to stay near calm and happy people. Also, as a result of his empathic abilities, he is like a walking lie detector. He can tell right away if someone is lying, for the same reason a lie detector can. However, like a lie detector, Cyrus can also be duped by extremely good liars.

3. Cyrus has no social skills
Raised in isolation, Cyrus has no idea how he is expected to behave in public, nor does he know how the real world works. He doesn't understand economy, money or, most of all, etiquette.

4. He can't read phonetically.
Not only had Cyrus been raised in isolation, but he was also denied any form of formal education. As a result, he lacks any of the common knowledge most people take for granted, such as reading. Cyrus knows a few words simply because he's seen them before, but he lacks the ability to break down the words into their letters and sound them out. It's a fact he is ashamed of because it's a basic skill everyone has that he doesn't, and it singles him out as being dumb. Consequently, he won't admit to it unless he's called out on it, and even then he'll get angry and defensive.

5. Despite having a lack of formal education, Cyrus is highly intelligent
Cyrus is often mistaken to be slow or lacking in intelligence due to his lack of education and his childish frustration when he struggles with something intellectually. However, he is very smart and is able to pick up new skills quickly once he gets past his initial frustration and really tries. He is also excellent with math and can calculate complex problems in his head very quickly, but he couldn't explain how he'd know the answer.

6. Cyrus was the youngest of four children.
He has two brothers and a sister, though two are dead and the one who is alive Cyrus refuses to speak to.

7. His tendency to wear women's clothing has nothing to do with crossdressing.
Cyrus will sometimes wear women's clothes, but it never has to do with him thinking he's a woman, or wanting to be a woman, or even thinking that they make him pretty in any way. It has everything to do with the feeling of the material. Cyrus likes soft material and drapery that tends to cover most of his body, such as robes, skirts and dresses, and he has no concept that some clothes are meant for men and other are meant for women. Thus, even when he wears women's clothes, he never wears women's accessories or does anything to make himself look feminine. He'll just look like a guy in a dress.

8. Cyrus wears his heart on his sleeve...whether he wants to or not
He has the emotional maturity of a young child. When he's happy, he's ecstatic. If he's sad, he'll cry. If he's angry, he'll throw a tantrum. If he's afraid, he's terrified. He can't control himself even if he knows he's being irrational. If he's upset, he'll often pull up his hood so that the shadows cover his face and people can't see his expression. However, he only pulls up his hood if he doesn't feel well, so anyone who knows him would instantly know something's wrong even if Cyrus wasn't facing them. And then Cyrus wonders how everyone knows how he's feeling even when he's hiding it.

9. He sews his clothes and makes his own weapons
While Cyrus was a young teenager, he spent a short period in foster care under a farmer and his wife. They were extremely poor, but kind, and had to make everything they needed themselves because they couldn't afford to buy anything. While there, Cyrus learned the basics of sewing, leather working and blacksmithing from them, and after he left he developed those traits further to design all of his own clothes and tools.

10. Cyrus has PTSD
While growing up, Cyrus spent most of his life in constant fear for his safety and survival, and the anxiety follows him even as an adult. He's illogical and unreasonable, and the steps he takes to feel safer tend to be childish and don't actually protect him in the long run. For example, if he's upset or frightened, he'll pull up his hood in order to 'hide'.

11. He has a phobia of doctors, medicine, surgical instruments, anything that is too sterile or has a smell of sterilization, and excessively white clothes
Cyrus is terrified of laboratories, and thus anything that could remind him of one. If he sees anything that too closely resembles anything from a laboratory - such as a cup that looks too close to a beaker - he will panic and immediately destroy it. This also includes anyone who happens to wear too much white - Cyrus will instantly attack the person in a fit of panic. His phobia can be a real problem when he actually does need medical intervention, such as if he's injured, is sick or even just needs a regular check up or dental work.

12. Cyrus is irrational
Although he is highly intelligent, Cyrus has a child's logic. If he's afraid, upset or angry about something, appealing to his logic will get you nowhere. One would get farther by appealing to his emotions and even nonsensical logic.

13. He laughs when he's nervous, manic, sadistic or upset, but never when he's genuinely happy
When he's actually happy, he tends to be more quiet and will just calmly work on something creative, like sewing or blacksmithing. He also enjoys being read to, or reading by himself if/once he learns to.

14. Cyrus is very genuine
He is a man nearly incapable of ulterior motives - and even when he has them he'd say so right away. He seldom lies, and when he does they're lame to the point of transparent. Although he can be rude and childish, he is also incredibly sincere in every thing he does and everything he says.

15. He is impulsive
Cyrus is nearly physically incapable of controlling his impulses. It is partially due to immaturity, and partially as a mental defect caused by an event that occurred when he was a boy which resulted in the scar he has on top of his head.

16. His conscious and subconscious are merged together
As a result, his imagination is incredibly vivid but if he's sick, tired or too stressed out it can get out of hand and cause him to hallucinate. This combined with his PTSD and his inability to control his impulses can cause a disaster.

17. Cyrus tends to be a hermit, but he doesn't like to be alone
Because it's hard for him to handle other people's emotions and as a result of the negative reactions he often gets when he's out in public, Cyrus will often hermit for awhile. However, his inward wanting for companionship and company often eventually brings him back out of hermithood. He is content in the company of even just one or two close friends, and otherwise wouldn't want for anything else.

18. He is fiercely loyal
It is very hard for him to bond with people, but once he lowers his guard and lets anyone close, he can be affectionate, genuine, protective and loyal. Although he will never outwardly state his affection for anyone (he's just not the type to express feelings in words), he will show it. Cyrus will go out of his way and give anything and everything he has for someone he loves.

19. He loves animals
Animals are simple, genuine and easy to read. If a dog is upset, Cyrus can tell empathically whether it's hunger, thirst, sick, tiredness or simply wants attention. And, in most cases, Cyrus has the capability to do something to make the animal happy. He also has a quirk for giving his pets stupid names.

20. Cyrus has a brother complex
While growing up, Cyrus' only source of comfort was his oldest brother who was also his caregiver. His oldest brother was the one who taught him compassion and love. Since his brother passed away, Cyrus unconsciously seeks that bond out in any way he can. If he finds someone who treats him with any parental tendencies, it will subconsciously remind Cyrus of his brother and he will fall into the little brother role. Also, if Cyrus sees anything significantly smaller and weaker than he is, including children or small animals, Cyrus subconsciously takes on a big brother, protective role with them.

10 September 2011

Touchy Assistants are Touchy

These two sketches demonstrate Armand's relationship with his two assistants and alchemists-in-training, Bianca and Lukas. Although both of his lackeys are both highly intelligent, capable and dangerous villains, they are equally neurotic and difficult to deal with. Lukas is obsessed with the human anatomy, and Bianca is obsessed with male companionship.

And both completely lack the concept of personal space.

Armand tolerates them, though keeps them at arm's reach and prevents them from going too far - with him, anyway. So long as they remain competent and can complete the assignments he gives, he is willing to put up with them. Through his cold and aloof demeanor, he manages to both draw their attention to their tasks and appease them by not rejecting them outright.

08 September 2011

Fate Saga Height Chart


I roughed out a height comparison chart due to recent changes to the sizes of the characters. I wanted to see how the characters looked next to each other, to see if the height differences helped differentiate them and if it worked well. Some of the sizes may change in the future, but this is the current state of the characters' heights.

06 September 2011

Morning Flight

This is an illustration I did back in June 2010 for Yesenia Carrero as a gift art, of Fate Saga's Seiron carrying Taffeta's Cook in a morning flight. Seiron is dressed in a more 50's attire that is fitting to Taffeta's style.

Regardless of whether it's during a crossover scenario or in Fate Saga's real story, Seiron loves to fly and he enjoys taking his friends out on flights with him. In Fate Saga, it's usually Cyrus who's dragged out into the morning skies. But in the crossover scenario, Cook happens to be the victim. But Cook's enjoying it, even if he's not one for smiling.

04 September 2011

Fate Saga: Blast Off Meme!


What is this?! Fate Saga participating in a MEME?! This cannot be!

This was inspired by this comic: http://neo-dragon.deviantart.com/favourites/#/d41dnf7 Which was based off of the meme started by this comic: http://angelaart.deviantart.com/art/ADVENTURE-110507423

What a silly meme?! Who would do such a silly thing?!

Cyrus would!

And Seiron's wondering why Cyrus is the one flying when Seiron is the one with wings. Mysteries abound!

02 September 2011

20 Facts About Rori

20 facts about Rori

1. Rori is a feminist
Rori is a strong, independent woman who can be untrusting towards men. She doesn't necessarily dislike all men, and she still respects women who are housewives and mothers, but she sometimes gets berated for being a warrior because she is a woman, and that's what she can't stand. This often becomes a topic of disdain between her and Cain - she thinks Cain is a chauvinistic arrogant pig.

2. She is a were-wolf trapped in her wolf form
Rori was changed into a were-wolf when she was 18 (she is 28 when Fate Saga begins). Were-wolves have three forms - human, wolf, and were/monster. Wolf and Human forms don't take any effort to maintain the form, but they do take effort and concentration to shift between them. Rori was never able to figure out how to shift forms willingly, and has been trapped in her wolf form ever since the change.

3. She was a vegetarian before she became a were-wolf, but was forced to become carnivorous in order to maintain her metabolism
Although Rori wasn't entirely anti-meat, she was mostly vegetarian when she was changed into a were-wolf. When she first changed, she tried to go entirely vegan because the thought of killing and eating animals with her own teeth and claws made her feel like a savage. But lycanthropy sped up her metabolism exponentially and she nearly starved to death. Ultimately, Rori gave up on going vegetarian because she wasn't going to give her life for it.

4. Rori has two personalities.
Her second personality comes out when she is Were (monster) form, and is a defense mechanism all were-wolves cubs in Fate Saga are born with. It is a personality of pure instinct, usually awakened by a sudden and drastic surge of adrenaline, which allows the cub to fight off enemies even if they haven't yet learned how to defend themselves otherwise. The personality eventually is meant to merge with the cub as s/he grows up and learns to control his/her abilities. Adult humans who contract lycanthropy usually struggle with the second personality but also eventually merge with it and control it. Rori, however, was never able to control her powers, and the personality still activates when Rori transforms. If an adult were-wolf isn't able to merge with the second personality, there is a slight chance that, if a concussion or a similar event occurs, it is possible for the second personality to take over the first, and for the main personality to become dormant. If this happens, then Rori's mentality could be reduced to that of a dumb beast, indefinitely.

5. She likes fighting.
Rori has a lot of pent up aggression and anger that usually comes out as snarkiness or generally mean/abusive behavior. She often holds back her emotions partially because she doesn't want to be weak, and partially because she's afraid it'll activate her uncontrollable Were-form. But when she fights, she's able to let out a lot of her aggression, and is usually at her calmest and most agreeable after one.

6. Rori is Atheist.
She believes that once she dies, she will cease to exist. But she doesn't fear death, so long as it's quick.

7. She fears intimacy.
Since being betrayed by her fiance, Rori has since feared relationships, especially intimate relationships. She doesn't want anyone else to have the power to hurt her the way her fiance had, and if she starts to have romantic feelings towards someone, she'll start to draw back/push the other person away to protect herself.

8. Rori was a wolf hunter before she became a were-wolf
Her people were Viking-ish, and she fought with a thin sword and knives. She was raised in a group of predominantly men, so she was often 'one of the boys.'

9. She is insensitive/awkward during emotional situations
If someone (like Larkspur) cries in front of her or otherwise talks to her about highly emotional situations, Rori has no idea what to do. At her best, she will sit there silently and maybe say one or two awkward things. At her worst, she'll tell them to get over it and leave.

10. Rori thinks "unconditional love" is romanticized idealism that doesn't exist
This doesn't only fall under romantic love, but also parental love or love between friends. She believes that, when it comes down to it, everyone is alone and out for themselves in the end.

11. Rori had a good relationship with both of her parents and they're alive, but she doesn't speak to them
Rori's parents were wolf hunters along with her. When Rori became a were-wolf, she ran away and never saw them or the rest of her clan again. She still loves them - though she'd never say so - and she doesn't know if they know that she is alive. However, she is certain that, if they knew she was a were-wolf, they would kill her simply because they are wolf hunters and that's what they do.

12. Although she doesn't fear death, she greatly fears disablement or helplessness
Rori's greatest fear is losing herself or her independence in any way - be it through physical disablement in battle or losing her mind to her lycanthropy. This is partially because she can't trust anyone. She doesn't let it get in the way of fighting because, with all the ferocity Rori fights with, she would either win or die.

13. Rori likes to keep relationships simple.
She makes it very clear to Cain and Guile that she's just using them to find a cure for her lycanthropy, and she remains distant and aloof to ensure that they won't ever expect anything from her and that she knows never to expect anything from them.

14. If, and only if, someone is able to get past her emotional wall, Rori can be very protective
If she does happen to become attached to someone, she won't necessarily become much nicer or otherwise show attachment to the person. However, if that person is threatened, Rori will tear the attacker apart. Of course, she'll make up an excuse why she did it that has nothing to do with loyalty, like "He just pissed me off," "I don't like his face," or "I needed the exercise."

15. Rori is selfish
She puts her own wants, desires, anger, hopes and dreams before anyone else most of the time. She teams up with the heroes because it suits her goals - and she's just as willing to leave them or join the other side of the ends justify the means to her.

16. She will never admit it, but she likes belly rubs
Both her wolf and real personality are linked, so they have the same general likes/dislikes and preferences. If her wolf personality is dominant and there is no danger to rile her into a frenzy, then she will be an un-jaded, unguarded and dog version of Rori's personality. She will approach and show affection to people Rori genuinely liked, and enjoy playing and belly rubs.

17. Rori is partially color blind
She can only see a few colors, and relies more on smell and hearing than sight.

18. She has been trapped so long in her wolf form that her human form has been affected
Those who were born as were-wolf cubs maintain wolf-like attributes even in their human forms, including ears, tail and jagged teeth. Although Rori's DNA was changed later in life and her human form has maintained most of its normal human attributes, she stayed in wolf form so long that her human form has the jagged teeth and some of the wild features that those born as a were-wolf have.

19. Rori later obtains a collar that gives her a human illusion
Often Rori is not taken seriously or considered a pet because she's trapped in her wolf form. Later, she gets access to a collar with an illusionary spell attached, that allows her to cast a human illusion over herself. However, she cannot see the spell's effect without a mirror, and the magic was not meant for quadrupeds trying to look like bipeds. So the spell occasionally has trouble accounting for Rori's motions and will make the human illusion do awkward or embarassing things. For example, if Rori picks up something in her teeth, depending on how she does it sometimes the illusion will appear to pick it up in her hand, or she'll get down on all fours and grab it with her teeth. Rori herself won't know which happened, and Cain, Guile or Larkspur will have the awkward assignment of pointing it out.

20. Although Larkspur finds her brave, Rori considers herself to be a coward.
Larkspur admires Rori for her bravery, for speaking what's on her mind and being able to fight without a worry. However, Rori doesn't consider these to be good traits, because Rori doesn't fear death and she certainly doesn't care what anyone thinks of her. It would be like a swimmer being told that s/he is brave for getting in the water at all, when the water is of no fear or threat to them. Instead, Rori considers herself to be a coward, and Larkspur to be brave. Rori gives in to her fears by pushing everyone away and her willingness to sacrifice everything, including her morals, to cure her lycanthropy. Larkspur, on the other hand, even though her fears are sillier and less life-threatening, she still takes them all head on. Rori admires that trait about her, and later grows fond of Larkspur.

01 September 2011

Fate Saga Has Reached $1,000 on Kickstarter!

Hi everyone! I am excited to announce that Fate Saga has surpassed the $1,000 mark! Thank you so much, everyone! Lets keep the momentum going! I know we can do it!

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1603395204/fate-saga-the-animated-series-pilot

Along with celebration and high hopes, here is some warm up practice artwork by Cameron Jones, of Cain, Guile and Larkspur!

31 August 2011

20 Facts About Cain

20 facts about Cain

1. Cain is sexist
Although honorable and chivalrous, Cain's gentle treatment of women comes from an innate feeling that women are weak and in need of protection. He prefers never to fight a woman and doesn't tend to take a female enemy seriously. On the other hand, he has unrealistic expectations for how men should behave. He believes they should be strong, noble and treat women gently. This taints the way he reacts to certain events. If he sees a woman abusing a man, Cain would consider the man weak for not standing up for himself. However, if he sees a man abusing a woman, he will beat up the man. His sexist views often put him at odds with Rori, who is very fiercely independent and sees Cain as chauvinistic.

2. He has a black and white view of the world
Cain has a strong belief in how things should be, and he expects the world to abide by it. Men and women are expected to act a certain way, everyone should be noble and polite. Knights, soldiers, militia are meant to be pure and good, while anyone who does bad deeds (stealing, murder) are immediately evil regardless of the motivation. His self-righteous attitude often puts him at odds with morally neutral/grey area characters because Cain has no trouble lecturing them about the errors of their ways without listening to their situation.

3. Cain is an introvert
Although Cain was raised to be able to conduct himself well in public and to be able to hold conversations, he is generally shy and prefers not to talk a lot if he doesn't have to. He doesn't prefer to participate in parties or social gatherings.

4. He is shy and awkward around women he finds attractive.
Cain fails at flirting. Terribly. Any attempt to sweet talk a woman tends to come across as awkward and sometimes creepy because he will just grow silent and hover around - wanting to talk to the girl but not knowing what to say. The fact that he's huge and wears a cowl that conceals part of his face doesn't help.

5. Cain is very self conscious about his body
He has a lot of scars, many from the same terrible event that caused the scar on his face. While some men show off their scars and consider them to be cool, Cain is ashamed of his because he considers them signs of mistakes and failures. So he is almost always fully covered up, even during the summer.

6. Cain's mother was psychic, with the same future sight ability he has.
The people of Kantarok were very superstitious of magic, psychic ability or anything they deemed unnatural. As a result, Cain's mother hid her psychic power and ignored her visions to avoid being called a witch. However, she supported Cain in letting him decide for himself what he wanted to do.

7. Cain falls in love with Larkspur the first time he hears her sing.
What drew Cain to Larkspur was when he first hears her voice. He finds her physically attractive, but it's her voice that really ensnares him. Cain comes to the Crystalin every night that Larkspur is there just to watch her sing - which ends up creeping her out.

8. Cain is Catholic
He was a paladin of Kantarok, a very religious and superstitious small kingdom. He believes his visions to be a holy calling to stop events that aren't meant to happen.

9. He has a phobia of dragons
Due to a traumatic event involving a dragon when he was younger, Cain has a phobia of dragons. However, Cain is too righteous and noble to run away from a battle. So if he is faced with a dragon, he will simply freeze stiff - unable to rush forward and fight but unwilling to run away.

10. Cain has BO
Because he lives outside most of the time without regular access to running water, and often engages in activities that often involve sweating (fighting and saving lives does that kind of thing), Cain at times has an odor. Man stink. Body cheese.

11. He tends to take a fatherly disposition towards anyone who he sees going down the wrong path, but isn't evil
For characters like Guile, Rori and others, who do bad things but aren't bad people, Cain makes a point to try and 'show them the right way'. He does this by patronizing them. Some who are looking for guidance, like Guile, respond well or are otherwise appreciative of Cain's fatherly concern. Others, like Rori, want him to mind his own darn business.

12. Cain is a good ballroom dancer
Due to his chivalry and etiquette training as a knight of Kantarok, Cain learned some of the nobleman traits such as ballroom dancing. He is very good at any dance that requires the dancer to be stiff and masculine. Any booty shaking involved and it's over.

13. He has an excessive sense of responsibility
Cain takes the burden of the world on his shoulders. He expects a lot from others, but expects an exceeding amount of himself. Cain will blame himself for events that are beyond his control, and tends to avoid letting anyone else help with missions and burdens he feels should be his alone to bear. However, at times he can break under the weight of it.

14. Cain is my third oldest character
Cain, Guile and Rori are my three oldest which still made it into the final story, Guile being the oldest, Rori a close second, and Cain third. Cain's original name was Jake, and his original story changed multiple times throughout the course of many years, but always included that one major event that changed the course of his life and set him off to a path of helping/saving people. I used to have a different character named Cain, but when he was written out of the story, I took the name and gave it to Jake.

15. Cain doesn't believe in revenge, but he does hold a grudge
He believes in forgiving and forgetting, and will preach it. However, he can't help but feel a grudge towards those who've wronged him. As a result, he may save an enemy in battle out of knightly obligation and in the sake of "It's the right thing to do." However, he will almost always regard that enemy as depraved and villainous, and will be suspicious of their intentions even if they're turning a new leaf. Overall, he is aware of his judgmental attitude and will try to hide it/give the benefit of the doubt as much as he can.

16. He will bottle up and hold back his anger, but then explode once he loses his temper
Cain is adept with keeping his emotions in check, and will hide his frustration and worry. He can come across as calm and rational even in intensive situations. However, once he's reached his limit and loses his temper, he can snap and briefly go into a rage. Cain can regain control of his temper quickly afterwards, usually before he does anything he'd regret or go too far.

17. He doesn't want to be leader, but often takes a leadership role out of obligation
Cain doesn't like to work in groups and prefers to work alone, however his sense of responsibility always compels him to take the lead if there does happen to be anyone else involved. It is not that he feels himself to be a great leader, but because he doesn't tend to trust anyone else to do the job and Cain would feel responsible if anyone got hurt during the mission whether he was leader or not.

18. Cain is good at taking orders
Although he tends to try and take a leadership role, if he is in a position where another leader is established, even if he doesn't like or trust the leader, he will still listen and follow orders as to not cause problems for his team. Especially if his knighthood is called into question.

19. He is very sensitive to any mention of Kantarok or any jabs against him as a knight
Kantarok's destruction leaves Cain as a knight without a country, which is the worst failure. Because he doesn't have a kingdom to protect, some don't consider Cain to be a knight at all, anymore. However, he clings to that title and continues to use it. If he is called out as a failure or belittled as a knight, he will get angry and take it to heart much more than he should.

20. Cain is altruistic
He is very concerned with the welfare and happiness of others, and always puts them above his own. Cain will be the first to help a stranger in need, and give everything he can for the greater good. He does this partially because he feels that is how a knight should be, and also out of guilt for past failures.

29 August 2011

Somber Larkspur, by Tracy MacLauchlan

This is a lovely gift of Larkspur, by my dear and talented friend Tracy MacLauchlan! She's so sad and wistful here. Maybe she's waiting for someone, or had her feelings hurt? Larkspur looks so beautiful and graceful in Tracy's feminine style.


Feel free to check out more samples of her work on her blog, as well as her stories, The Taffetas and Test Flight!

27 August 2011

Larkspur Crystalin After Effects Composite Concept



For Larkspur's introduction, and as a quick introduction to the Crystalin for the Kickstarter pitch presentation, I whipped up illustrations for Larkspur, Guile, Cain and Rori, as well as took a screenshot of the interior of the Crystalin. The group was composited together in After Effects, with lighting and color correction added.

The reason for doing it this way was because it allowed for animation within the pitch presentation (as I didn't want any image to remain still and risk stagnation) without spending the extra time it would take for full frame-by-frame or even puppeted animation. The purpose is to represent the Crystalin environment and the characters within it and is meant to feel more like an animatic, where the viewer can fill in the details

25 August 2011

Cyrus Pilot Clips ReVoiced



Cyrus voiced by Scott Smith
Cain voiced by Orlando Aviles
Storyboards by Dana Corrigan

Recently, Scott Smith tried for the part for Cyrus in the series. His voice test for Cyrus came out so well that we tried to see how it would sound if Scott re-recorded the voices for the pilot episode. This was made possible because Scott had his own recording equipment, and was kind enough to put in the time to do it.

These are the voices integrated into the pilot. This is not all of Cyrus' lines, but a good portion of them. All sound other than the dialogue are either temp sounds, or the final sounds-in-progress. The music is by Ryan McCullough.

We have a long way to go in the sound department, but it's imperative to have the final dialogue perfect first, to complete the rest of the animation. There are a few lines that have been re-recorded since this video was made (including "Your fat makes you look fat!" and "Spilling your garbage out of every pore!"), but overall I love how they came out! Scott has a lot of range and energy that really fits well with Cyrus' character.

24 August 2011

Fate Saga Pilot Soundtrack WIP by Ryan McCollough


Music by Ryan McCullough

Most of the music for Fate Saga's pilot episode will be done in post-production by Ryan McCullough. Although the film isn't finished yet, about 1/3-1/4 of the pilot has completed animation, and most of the animation is kept together in sequence. Consequently, Ryan was able to put together some test sounds awhile back to see what it could sound like.

Needless to say (especially considering that this is the music you hear during the trailer and what we have done of the pilot episode thus far), I loved it. Ryan's music fits well stylistically with the series and, because it's done in post-production, synchronizes with the action on-screen fantastically. It really helps to emphasize the mood, and I felt like it deserved to be heard without all of the sound effects and voices on top of it.

23 August 2011

Cain Voice Audition by Ty Coyle


This is Ty Coyle's test for Cain Strata. Although the position of Cain's permanent voice actor is still open, I'm posting this test because Ty did a great job and I consider him to be a contender. His strongest areas were Cain's accent along with his self-righteous and chivalrous disposition. He was emotional without being too overdramatic, and chivalrous without being too patronizing. My favorite line is definitely the first one, so self-righteous!

The main concern is that his voice may be a little young and raspy for the role. However, overall the acting is very good and definitely worth keeping in consideration.

In fact, Ty tried out for many of the male cast, even those whose voice likely wouldn't fit - such as Drax because he's an old man, and Cyrus because he's too young and his voice isn't as deep. Admittedly I had asked him to so I could get an idea for what their speech patterns could sound like and he is a nice person who humored me. Ironically, this was how he ended up conquering the role of Lukas. I didn't know if Lukas was going to be a good fit, but Ty did a fantastic job with him! - In every instance the voice acting and speech patterns were very nicely done.

I may post other tests of his here in the future, even for characters who don't quite match, because the acting makes for a great reference. So I want to give a big kudos and thanks to Ty for his help and for letting me use these samples!

22 August 2011

Armand's Laboratory Environmental Concept: Cage Chamber




These concepts are connected to the previous set of Armand's laboratory concepts. This is the Cage Chamber room, where the victims and hostages are kept. The cages are various sizes to be able to fit everything from humans and elves, to were-wolves and even dragons. Monty did a great job with visualizing what a place like this could look like, keeping the convenience of the scientists, the inconvenience of the hostages and security of being able to keep their specimens trapped in mind.

The environment is still in conceptual development and any feedback would be great!

21 August 2011

Armand's Laboratory Environmental Art Concept: Main Lab 1 by Monty Bess





Armand's laboratory environmental concepts by Monty Bess

These are preliminary drafts of Armand's main laboratory area, by Monty Bess. This laboratory is connected to a series of other smaller labs, that are still in the concept design stage. But this one is the most important area, and the one that viewers would see the most of throughout the series.

We are still figuring out Fate Saga's level of technology, whether the illumination should be provided magically, through torches or through electricity. We are aiming for both aesthetics (it would be best if the villains could be lit in a way that emphasized their creepiness. Monty had suggested that they be underlit and thus we could have their light sources come from below. I am not opposed to the idea.) and for lighting that would make logical sense in their world.

Armand and his team are the most scientifically and technologically advanced, due to their support of experiments and science that is otherwise feared or shunned throughout the rest of the world. So it is okay for the laboratory to look a little alien in comparison to the rest of the environments. However, that being said we need to ensure that it still makes logical sense in that world, and that the aesthetics still have a link to the rest of the backgrounds.

Although nothing is yet finalized and we are still figuring things out, this was a great step towards visualizing Armand's laboratory. Any feedback would be helpful!

Feel free to check out other samples of Monty's environmental work on his website - http://www.montybess.com/

20 August 2011

Kickstarter Updates and Rori/Guile's Pre-Series Relationship

First off, we have some updates to the Kickstarter pitch, namely in the form of a FAQ. The FAQ may eventually be posted here as well in the future. For now, it can be found on the Kickstarter page - http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1603395204/fate-saga-the-animated-series-pilot?ref=live Please don't forget to spread the word!

As for the images above, these are possible concept sketches of Guile and Rori pre-the beginning of Fate Saga. When Guile and Rori first meet, Guile is 10 and Rori around 25 (in human years).

Rori herself looks pretty much the same except that she's not wearing the collar - she didn't have it yet. Guile as a kid is simply a younger, possibly even dumber version of himself - but before hormones kick in. So he is not yet the king of terrible pick-up lines. He earns that crown once he starts hitting puberty.

Guile is the one soft spot in Rori's cold heart. She's hardly nicer to him than she is to anyone else, but her intentions are more genuine. And although it can be hard to convince Rori to do anything she doesn't want to do or help in a battle she doesn't care to involve herself in - as soon as Guile's in real danger, she will step in and eliminate the threat.

How do they meet? You'll have to watch the series to find out.

19 August 2011

Bianca and Armand Dance

Armand and Bianca, the main villain and one of his apprentices, have a strange relationship. Despite its implications from this picture, it's not necessarily romantic.

Bianca wants Armand. Not necessarily loves him, not even necessarily sees a long term marital relationship with him. She simply wants him, much like she wants just about any man she comes into contact with. Usually her infatuations end poorly, when she is either rejected outright for her aggressive advances (and her affection turns to outright fury), or is accepted into a short-term relationship which ends even more disastrously once the object of her affections realizes how possessive and unreasonable Bianca is.

Luckily for Armand, he manages to be stoic enough to both humor her and keep his distance just enough to keep her loyalty (and save himself from her fury) without leading her to believe that they're in a relationship.

I'm not sure if this scene in particular would be in the series, but it gives a preview of what their interaction is like. Armand is humoring her and giving in (briefly) to her want to dance with him. But he's leading, and keeping her at bay (unlike any other man she would be dancing with). Bianca is satisfied enough, for now, and once they're done would be complacent to get back to whatever task he had assigned her to.

She's enjoying herself, but not in that blissful school girl happiness of someone blindly adoring/following her leader. Bianca's a woman who knows what she wants, even if she's unreasonable/selfish about it, and Armand gives her just enough to satisfy her for the moment without giving her room to take advantage. Armand doesn't really care for this break from his work, but he's not miserable or suffering. He's not necessarily leading her on, merely pacifying her.

18 August 2011

Malachi Sketches


These are some gesture and expression sketches of Malachi Maelstromm, the resident professor and psychic of the Duerian School of Gifted Youths. He teaches children (and sometimes adults) how to use their magical, psychic or other form of powers.

Malachi is a calm, gentle character. Even when he's angry, he never looks furious. Most of the time he's mellow and laid back, even in the face of fear and chaos. He's much older than he looks, and has the wisdom of someone who's seen just about everything before.

He's a minor character who comes and goes from the spotlight as needed, but spends most of the time in the background. However, despite being a minor character, he is an important one to the story and thus I wanted to practice sketching him.

17 August 2011

Guile Voice Audition (Cockney Version) by Casey Mongillo


Voiced by Casey Mongillo

By popular demand, I'm uploading the Cockney version of Guile's voice audition! I've gotten several suggestions to revisit the idea of keeping Guile to a Cockney accent, and to be honest I'm not opposed to it. Casey had done a great job with it, keeping it clear while still keeping as much of Guile's energy into it as possible. I figured the best way to determine which would be best would be to give you guys the chance to check it out and evaluate!

I appreciate your advice. If the Cockney version gets better reviews then that will be the direction I'll go!

Also, to all you sound-savvy people out there! I am experimenting with different codecs to get better sound quality. It's hard for me to really hear quality differences in sound the way you guys do. This video has a different codec than all of the ones I've uploaded thus far. Please let me know if you hear a difference (good or bad!) Once I've found the right codec, I will re-upload all of the previous auditions in that codec, to give better samples of our voice actors' fantastic work! Thank you so much!

Guile Voice Audition by Casey Mongillo


Voiced by Casey Mongillo

Guile has the odd position of being a character whose voice I can imagine clearly, and yet had some struggle figuring out his speech patterns. Fate Saga's original world is based with European influences, and I try to integrate that into the series as much as would fit. This also involved character's accents and speech patterns. Cain, for example, comes from a region that is based off of England, and thus I've always imagined him to have a British accent. Guile, on the other hand, I always pictured to have a more casual accent. During a very old version, it was a Southern drawl, but as the series developed and became more European-based, American regional accents no longer quite worked.

So, for awhile, we had been entertaining the idea of having Guile speak with a Cockney accent. We've had a lot of trials with it, with both benefits and detriments. The benefit was that it gave Guile a distinctive speech pattern and slang that really helped to make his personality stand out. However, Cockney is a difficult accent to emulate, and it's also hard for an American audience to understand, just because it's not one we're as familiar with. Also, it's hard to find a voice that can balance Guile's energy, the accent, and perfectly match the general sound of his voice. It's a lot to ask a voice actor to do.

Casey Mongillo did a fantastic job on both the Standard American and Cockney versions, but the American accent version has such great energy that it really made me giddy to listen. I also like how young and endearing Guile sounds here while still keeping the flaws of his character, and Casey also has the ability to deepen his voice (which is great addition in the long run, for a male character who is just about to hit puberty!) He was also nice enough to spend so much time trying different versions of Guile's voice, with varying degrees of energy and the different accents, to find just the right tone for him! More samples of his other work can be found on his website!

I also want to give a big thanks to Allison Rose, for her research and input on Guile's Cockney accent. She was the one who made me aware of the Cockney Rhyming slang, which although isn't featured in this audition, will very likely become integrated into Guile's speech pattern in the near future. Even with an American accent, the rhyming slang would still make for a very interesting character quirk that would give us a lot of wiggle room for some very fun dialogue!

16 August 2011

My Little Fate Saga Ponies




Cyrus, Larkspur, Rori and Cain as ponies, done by Ashley Sahler using GeneralZoi's Pony Creator on DeviantART - http://generalzoi.deviantart.com/art/MLP-FiM-Pony-Creator-Beta-210228500!

I love how their characteristics stand out - from Larkspur's sweet, big eyes and flowy hair/tail and Cain's serious face, dark complexion and red eyes, to Cyrus' scythe tail and crazy face and Rori's angry face and black/white markings! They're so cute!

Really, everything should be infected by ponies. Ponies make everything cuter!

Ashley Sahler is a fantastic actress who is currently behind the voices of Larkspur and Bianca, the kind hearted, flighty girl and seductive sorceress! Her demo reel can be found here!