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4.1.6. Character Design

In How many ways and with what techniques can one produce variations on the human face seen from the front? The graphic designer works without set limits and without rejecting any possible technique. His experiments in the visual lead him to try out all possible combinations and methods in order to arrive at the precise image he needs for the job in hand, and no other.....We may also look for all possible linear connections between the features, and we may try to do this with straight lines, curves dotted lines, parallels, with one unbroken line or with a fragmented one.

“ ariation on the Theme of the Human Face” Design as Art Munari.p55. Penquin book

Each story has different characters and themes. Masks are used to show social class- es, and the differences in facial expressions used by each class; whether dominant, common, low and the educated classes. Thus in detail, I attempted to design each character to include their personalities and lifestyle using specific costumes unique to each social class. For example, Sunbi, whose social class is a scholar, is not of the leading class, but of the educated class. To be one of the leading classes of the time, he needed to pass a government administered test, or to be born of the noble class. Because the social level is revealed by the person’s hat and costume, the Sunbi’s hat is different from one worn by Yangban, who is of the leading class. I intended to reveal Sunbi’s personality, stubborn and discontent from being unsatisfyed with his social level by using thick wrinkles under his eyes. Using the same concept of Sunbi’s, I tried to characterize other character masks.

In characterizing each individual character in the story, I kept with the main themes. For the dominant characters, they were rendered in bright, saturated colors, while common classes wore white costumes. Religious figures were colored in tones of grey. In keeping with paradigms of traditional Korean painting, all characters have a high contrast value against the muted backgrounds.

For the interactive design elements of my thesis, characters would animate when activated by a user-defined input, such as clicking the character with the mouse. Char- acter animation and interactivity was produced with a combination of Macromedia Flash, hand drawing and Adobe Photoshop. Each character was individually created using ink brushes and then scanned at high resolution into Photoshop. Each character was colored in Photoshop using a filter that resembled hand coloring.


Storytelling of the Hahoe Mask

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