The world of the mind | Concept art | #01
*These concept art below are for my book — The Thousand Arms of Buddha.*
As cliched as this might sound, I chose the most obvious route with the set design to start with — The world according to Satori should be something like a theater. Something that visually represented the nature of his thoughts as he struggles in his addiction and ignorance caged in his own play.
And so it seemed natural to think that the world was a stage of some kind. The only difference being that he does not live in a world of actors. Rather he is an actor in a play of his own making. And in that everyone else is normal, living their lives, outside the theater. This is merely his interpretation of reality.
But what is outside this theater then? And how does he transition in and out of his world? I don’t have an answer yet. But as they say — Trust the process.
At one point I was thinking that a visualisation of his brain would give the theatre a surreal feeling but looks like overkill, so I ditched it. Though I do like the lighting 🙂
Also I have come to the conclusion that making it work in 3D is not going to happen. I am not proficient with Blender to any degree. So instead I am going to try a a hybrid 2D + 3D approach to the worldbuilding. Which is what I have been testing now.
One way to do this would be to use Disco Diffusion or Stable Diffusion to create images and map them into the scenes somehow. This might get me interesting results with a little more tweaking. Else I can also crop parts of images and import them as assets. Below are some very rough and random ideas.
Now that the settings are taking shape and the locations are getting finalised, this should start to fall into place in a month or so.
One of the problems I was facing with using 2D images was the depth of the objects. I did not want to go the card board route, where everything feels like a paper cutout. I do want it to feel a little realistic and not cartoonish. Mostly because of the tone of the book. It’s SERIOUS ye’all!
But I found this plugin which I am yet to test that adds form to pngs