Youngling Razadé, hardened by a life in the desert fighting phantoms, escapes to the capital in search of help.
'Djinn' is a story about magic • In Islamic tradition, a djinni (genie) is a mischievous spirit. Not always malevolent, djinn have a reputation for deception and illusion. They are said to be made of a smokeless flame, though there are many types. Razadé, only but a young child, has been fighting djinn her whole life. Along the way, she's learned some tricks herself. • 'Djinn' is a multimedia animation short that combines stylized calligraphy, character design, and subtle visual effects. Each scene revolves around a magical interaction. The animation assets are hand drawn but animated digitally and arranged in a 3D space. Some characters are drawn using calligraffiti markers, while others in painted in watercolour, drawing from both East- and Western fine art tradition.
'Djinn' is an art project by Vancouver Island visual artist & multimedia designer, Arya Hawker.
Adopted by the sands, Razadé has been fighting djinn the entirety of her short life. Over time she has learnt just enough to combat the mirages and spirits that haunt her. As a young child however, Razadé usually has to retreat a fight, eventually finding her way to the oasis Capital. • As an animation, Razadé moves more than any other character. Despite the fatigue, she is dexterous and nimble: jumps high, slides low, and is often pitted against enemies much larger than her. She rotates, flips and distorts the most, employing more traditional animation techniques than other characters.
The mischievous Shaytun have been harassing Razadé for as long as she can remember. They appear as wisps of smoke and sand and are known to take many shapes and wear many faces. It is not clear what their motives are, though they are known to take pleasure in the misery of others. • The Shaytun move differently to other characters. Their snake-like genie forms allow for more fluid movement than that of a bipedal or joint-dependant character. They employ the most low level illusions, with an eye for distress.
King Malik rules over the walled oasis Capital, a city where no one is allowed to leave. The population remains subdued by Malik's spectacular visual displays in the night sky above the city. All new visitors are required to report to the King and his guard at the palace, including Razadé, fresh off the run from phantoms in the desert. • Assembled from pieces of calligraphy, associated with holy iconography, Malik translates in Arabic as "angel". As Light Bringer, a term often associated with the fallen, the King performs the highest level magic and illusion seen in the animated short.
Awarded to the city's most prestigious contributors, the Falcon Dress, or Ascension Wings, distinguish residents as being worthy of Malik's touch. Only those with the wings are allowed to leave the Capital. • The Falcon Dress flutters in the wind, glowing with light. Its edges fade into clouds of blowing sand. As a relic, the Falcon Dress is drawn with calligraphy and employs the use of symmetry, the royal theme. Its users are given new powers of flight, if not for a short while...
'Djinn' will employ a couple local artists and musicians, as well as contribute to the local Vancouver Island scene in the form of an art exhibition featuring all the paintings and drawings made for the animation. [pictured: Arya & EMP - 'Amethyst' - Pretty Good Not Bad 2016]
Through our promotional plan, 'Djinn" will be seen not only as an animation, but also as a large scale installation at a Canadian music festival. Summer 2017 will see our Storyhive project brought to the forests of BC. [pictured: Arya - 'Howl' - Bass Coast 2016]
Fine art assets from the project will be submitted to visual art platforms in the UAE, such as publications and gallery shows, benefiting from cross-culture exposition. [pictured: contributed to group 'FAKiE Dexhibition' - FN Designs 2011]
One of the motivations of this project is to dispel the pervasive stigma surrounding Middle Eastern cultures. By introducing viewers to Arab and Persian mythologies, perhaps there's room for more curious, creative, and philosophical discussion. [pictured: Arya in the UAE - 2015]
Each character begins as a series of concept sketches. They are later illustrated in ink and paint. Once completed, the drawings are lit and documented digitally. Depending on the medium, different types of paper and photographing/scanning techniques are required to prepare assets for digital production.
Instead of cutting and slicing paper, the characters are assembled digitally. Edges are cleaned up, colours edited, and posture established. Each moving part is then saved as a new file, ready for use in the animation stage. This process is repeated for every visual asset.
Character parts are re-assembled in a 3D space with responsive anatomical rigging. Virtual cameras and lighting are setup to properly composite characters within a scene. Movement is animated along graph curves and scripted with additional Java.
Light sources, particle systems, and other visual effects are composited into scenes. Backgrounds & foregrounds are managed. Camera dynamics such as motion blur, depth of field, and grain are added to scenes. Each completed scene is 'glued' end-to-end with transitions, yielding the finished animation.
Followers on the social media platform will have access to competitions such as original character art raffles, or art giveaways. Users who are interested in similar creative projects will have a chance to check in on our progress thanks to sponsored marketing. Animated content in the form of artist GIFs will spearhead the effort.
Posts on Instagram will be of a more personal nature, revealing the creative process throughout production. 1 image of production will be published a day until the project is completed.
At the end of the day, all paintings and characters will not be filed away to collect dust, but rather cut and assembled for framing and exhibition. Some pieces will be lit up with projected animations. A percentage of proceeds will be donated to charities aiding relief efforts around the world. [pictured: Arya & Wolf Sheep - Rifflandia 2014]
Characters will inspire our artist's interactive installation at a BC music festival later in the summer. The larger-than-life sculptures, while themselves possessing a unique personality, will tie back up with the mythology of 'Djinn'. [pictured: Arya - 'Howl' - Bass Coast 2016]