By Arash Razavi
My graduation project, titled the “Sirius Anomaly” is a personal IP about a fantastical uncharted location in Mali. The source of inspiration for this project was the truly amazing culture of Dogons.
Based on their myth of creation, Nomo, their alien ancestral Deity came to earth for a visit from his/her (hermaphrodite) residence somewhere in the Sirius constellation.
The question for the brief was, ‘what if’ that actually happened. So then, I have made a little story only as an excuse to design:
“An intense static cyclone was registered by Meteosat-02 on 30 May 1978 over the Bandiagara Escarpment in the vicinity of Dogon country, Mali. No precedent formation mark nor landfall were detected. Its lifespan was estimated from 04:36 UTC to 23:59 UTC on the same day.
This anomaly was not attended to until years later when field research was initiated in October 2017. The cause of that anomaly stayed unidentified. An uncharted “crater” land, however, was discovered. Some evidence shows that they were formed by some external force contrary to other counterparts elsewhere.
There is also a regional belief that an Alien Deity used to live in the area and that has left the earth on the last Sirius A and B alignment. The ancient astrologists estimated that incident to coincide with the appearance of the cyclone anomaly back in 1978…”
The village was almost abandoned with only a very few dwellers. They were living a simple life but they had a highly sophisticated and spiritual culture.
Being animists, the villagers had sculpted the surroundings based on their deities' appearance and symbols. For them, everything they built was alive and had a purpose; nothing was just for decoration.
The Gate, with its reversed triangular columns, was firmly closed and acted as a separation between Zone I and II. As if it guarded a ‘precious’ within.
The main crater on top of Bandiagara messa was an endless hole that is yet to be delved in. Similar stone formation patterns were found swirling down the crater. Later on, the government put hands on it in search of resources.
Similar to the Pyramids, Giza, the astrologist, found the craters being aligned with the Sirius constellation, having the main crater on top as the Sirius itself.
The impenetrable zone was scanned with geo-ultrasound devices. A network of corridors and chambers were unearthed with some branches under the village connecting all the craters.
More importantly, an unidentifiable element was detected being spread within the microstructure of those strange stony formations.
At this point, putting all the findings together, some further investigations into the zone-x can potentially provide some answers to origins of the cyclone anomaly.
There we are, that was it for the main body of my graduation project for the last three months. Up to this point, I’ve worked more on the world-building part of this project.
Later on, I’d also like to explore the interior of the zone-x and its connection to the craters’ underground network. Furthermore, I will be working on the character design and keyframe parts of it.
Thank you for your attention!
For a project from the VFX animation department in New3dge. It was a production simulation for us with tight deadlines and supervision of guest ADs from the industry.
In the brief a shaman widower is on his way to overcome his grief.
The character, his props, a part of the storyboard (120 frames) with the color key, and a few keyframes were delivered. Here are a few pages of it.
VFX team on Borealis: Antoine Mathieu, Yann Meessen, Solène Juignet, Noëlie Girard, Julien Giard, Julien Tassan
For a project from the Game Art department in New3dge.
In this one, I had 2 characters to design with this specific brief:
A hermaphrodite giant "Lucifer" in a state of decay with holes and rivers of blood. And the young handsome "St. Michael" with only one broken wing. Both needed to wear white and golden outfits. The location of the game is in hell, so some ideas of "damn souls" were also explored.
Game art team on Odium : Adrien Lemoine, Thibault Pasquier, Pierre Sébastien, Julien Benyahia, Lucille Fournié, Paul Bellier
These three were designed in my first year. The colorkey here corresponds to a little story that I hope to develop further one day.