Artist Log [2] – Frozen II’s Costume Design

I went to watch Frozen II last week. Even though not quite get the story, I was really impressed by Elsa and Anna’s outfits. I particularly love Anna’s travel outfit, which is consisted of midi skirts, capes, and boot.

“Anna’s style draws inspiration from traditional Norwegian folk wear known as the bunad, a dress typically made out of wool and adorned with embroidery, and silhouettes like the cinched waist and full, A-line skirt from Christian Dior’s “New Look.” Her looks tend to be grounded in the fabrics and materials of the place and time period (the 1840s-1850s, according to Lee), which means she wears heavier materials like wool and velvet and her color palette skews on the warmer side.”

– Vox (

In Frozen II Anna has grown three years older and has become more mature, which is reflected in her hairstyles and dresses. Her hair changed from pigtail braids to something less childish: half of her hair is down and a crown braid runs across the back of her head. In terms of Anna’s costume, its lines have become more straightened, and the overall color palette changed into something darker and less saturated.

The change of the cape color from bright pink to darker pink/purple is what I think the most successful. Especially when the new pink/purple color is in contrast with a touch of the gold color around her necks, it really showcases Anna’s identity as a royal princess. Besides, the less saturated pink is also a better match for her beautiful auburn hair. Compared with Frozen I, the dresses in Frozen II become shortened, therefore making it easier for the sisters to run, jump, and climb in the magic forest. Both Anna and Elsa are wearing pants and boots underneath their skirts, which is another improvement from Frozen I for their constant movements.

For Elsa, her dressing style and color is mostly inherited from the last movie. While keeping the theme color of white and light blue that remains people her magic power related to ice, the new dress has a bit more military look with the encrusted shoulders. The change is reflecting her new identity as the Queue of Arendelle.

Similarly, after Anna becomes the new Queue of Arendelle her dress also changed from last season while keeping the green color scheme.

After taking her cape and boots off, Elsa’s outfit really remains me of the costume of figure skating, and the legging makes sure she can move freely without being worried about too much exposure. Besides, there is also a lot of discussion about the fabric of Elsa’s dress, so that it could perform realistically when she is flighting with Nokk underwater.

At the end of the movie, Elsa finally reached the Ahtohallan, where her dress changed again while her understanding of her role and responsibility has changed. (And there is actually a transforming process as what you have in Sailor Moon lol ) Elsa finally got a white dress that I think everything little girl would be crazy about.

We can see the color scheme is still derived from ice, and the decorations are referring to the four elements appeared in the movie before. With the transparent white cape and the water horse, Elsa looks more like a fairy or goddess instead of a queen.


Artist Log [1] – Belgian Comic Art

I went to a lecture yesterday about Strip Comic in Belgium. The presenter is from the Museum of Comic Art in Belgium, and he has mentioned several really famous comics born in Belgium including Tin Tin, Lucky Luke (which a lot of people think is American), and Smurfs (which a lot of people think is American again). It was both nostalgic and inspiring. 

I loved Tin Tin a lot when I was a kid. My cousin has a full collection of them at our grandparents’ place and reading them used to be one of my major activities when I spent my summer there. The lecturer talked about a lot of things I didn’t know about Tin Tin: it started as something to spread political ideologies (Tintin in the Land of the Soviets, and Tintin in the Congo). Herge talked to a Chinese student who was studying in Belgium (Cheng/Chen/Chang/Chan?) a lot before he produced the fifth book, the Blue Lotus, which was about China. That was a huge success and after that, he started to do his own researches about the place before drawing the adventures. Also, Tin Tin’s hair didn’t start with the signature style, while it first appeared in a scene where Tin Tin was in a car and got his hair blown up by the winds. Then they decide to keep that and it became into the symbol of Tin Tin.

I guess the most important takeaway from the lecture is that good comic drawing could convey an incredible amount of motion and emotion through just static lines. And as our media of expression becomes richer and richer, those qualities don’t exist anymore. That is definitely something I should learn when I draw short comics (which are not that good at this stage) for characters in Theta in the future. For the game itself, what I have had so far are mostly avatars, so there are really limited body movements or posts. But their facial expressions should definitely be richer and more distinct.

Finally, another anecdote about Lucky Luke: the undertaker in Lucky Luke is portrayed as a super ugly guy. And that is because the author used to doodle a lot during classes in school, and sometimes he drew his teachers. When he was drawing Lucky Luke, he decides to recycle those old doodles, and the undertaker is an act of revenge to his childhood teacher…

Also, do you know that Smurfs first appeared as side characters in Johan et Pirlouit? But kids became crazy about them so they wrote letters to the author to ask for more stories, and eventually, Smurfs had their own series.

Artist Log [0] – Environment Design

Environment Design

Back to the beginning of this year, when we were talking about the setting of [Antima], we have decided that it would be based on Spain and southern Italy in terms of the natural environment and the architecture style. The weather is hot and dry, with strong sunlight during most time of the year.

When designing the map of [Ionforr], where [Edge] and [Abgail] started their journey, I had to find the architecture history textbook I haven’t look at for years, and searched about the rules of ancient Roman town planning, what Ancient Rome have brought to Spain when they have conquered there.

“The basic plan consisted of a central forum with city services, surrounded by a compact, rectilinear grid of streets. A river sometimes flowed near or through the city, providing water, transport, and sewage disposal”

To zoom into more details, I have designed some tile-sets that are more and less standardized in most RPG games, such as stone pavements, brick walls, and grass. Last week FB showed me how they actually look like in Unity scene, and how they were used in his work-in-progress tile editor, which was really exciting! There are definitely differences between how they look like in Illustrator and how they look like in Unity scenes, and the additional lighting effects in Unity are something that should be taken into consideration when designing those tiles. The major thing I am concerned about is that I want the game to have some kind of hand drawing style, which is achievable for the character designs since they are done in Procreate. However, the modular nature of tile-sets could bring difficulties.

Besides, I have also started drawing objects in environments such as trees, ruins, gates, and windows. What left me a really strong impression of Spain is the orange trees in the courtyards of the mosques, so we are definitely going to have a lot of them in our game lol.