Animation Strategies – Keyhole Castle – Ideas and Research

Dabbling in ideas…

During this section, there was much more talking than there was sketching an idea. We wrote many ideas on the whiteboard. As you can see (or not see) we talked about having party scenes.

During the many conversations and jokes, we fell upon a castle idea. Looking around the room we noticed that people drew their ideas out and that we where safe.

The idea initially was that we could have a castle under siege. We would have catapults fling rock, cannon balls or other debris that would break through the walls and ceiling and wreak havoc inside the castle.

We initially decided that we would have two levels to the castle. A throne room and a dungeon underneath.

A tribute to a great man

On Saturday morning I got a phone call that I need to be down in Cork because my uncle is not well. Whilst we where fuelling the car up, we got word that my uncle died in hospital from sepsis.

This was a shock. It happened suddenly and I still don’t know how to feel. But what I do know is, he was a great man. A gentle giant.


At the start of the week, I did not have much to show as we only came up with the idea on the Friday. By Saturday morning, I had to leave to Cork to visit my uncle, who sadly passed whilst myself and my brother where on our way down. For this reason I did not do any work, apart from different types of concepts toward the end of the week. However, I had barely anytime due to the frantic time I had down at Cork and finding a place to stay.

The few bits of research that I did during the time I had available to me are shown here.

For aesthetic and atmosphere, we talked about Dishonoured, Over Watch and  Bloodborne.



Throne room cutscene starts at 1:24.

By the Friday 5th I was back and able to work on the project again. One thing that we did was finalise the idea.

I created mood boards for the meeting on Friday. They showcase my idea of the

Castle mood board 1
MoodBoard 1 – Showcases Colour and Style 
Castle mood board 2
Moodboard 2 – Showcases thought of layout and Colour
Castle mood board 3
Moodboard 3 – Showcases layout and Style (Also “God Rays”)

Whilst showing our research we all noticed that there was a common theme running throughout, this was Gothic Architecture. Design wise, it seems that the Gothic Architecture is used to convey dark, creepy and villainous hideouts, fortresses and castles.

With Bloodborne its used to add to the harsh world that you, as well as assist the narrative as well.

Colour Scheme

I have found an interesting site that analyses the colour schemes used within Disney films.


This site overviews the different colour schemes used within many Disney and talk’s about how they could be incorporated into a narrative. Below is a quote,

And finally, the “Dark Past” color scheme. Maybe your cause isn’t one for the greater good, but that doesn’t mean your users and customers won’t be interested in a little self-indulgence, in which case these naughty color schemes might be right up your alley. I’d suggest to use them if you’re trying to convey an air of mystery, allure and regality. – Nadya Khoja

I believe that the colour schemes inspired by Scar and Ursula, allow for the sense of regality with a deeper, sinister meaning behind their actions.

Examples of use within the Disney Films

The colour scheme can be seen within many Disney films, for example Sleeping Beauty, The Little Mermaid and The Lion King.

Example one is Ursala from The Little Mermaid.

Example two is the lion king. We see the desolate and baron waste land that is the Elephant Graveyard. Fitting in with our theme with bones and how to create an eerie atmosphere.


The above image is of Scars Lair, or a part of. We see the colour scheme being used to demonstrate the grand, sinister nature of Scar.

Finalising the idea

On the Friday I got back from Cork, we all had class. It was cut short and we had time to have a group meeting where we began to discuss the idea again. The sketches that I did over the time I was in Cork aided the idea to take on a unique approach.

The final idea:

We are creating a Castle that is inhabited by a villain. There is going to be a banquet, a villainy feast when all of a sudden, a boulder cracks open the ceiling, landing on a table breaking it. This has made the other tables scatter and fall over, spilling its contents.

The castle is under attack, maybe from the previous owner? Maybe a hero has come to rid the evil? Who knows.


The aesthetic for the interior is bones. Towering over the throne and staircase stands a giants skeleton. This skeleton is used by the villain to intimidate guests, visitors, enemies and others who dare ask for a request or audience.

I originally envisioned the hall being decorated by bones, taking themes from Bloodborne. However, we decided that it might be too much for the time being.


Scan_20181230 (2)

This concept was inspired by the art of Bloodborne. Although with the bones at the side of the rooms, the idea came to me when I was going down to Cork. There are these curved pieces on the sides of the motorway. I sadly could not take a picture. But I thought it would be cool if the walkway and throne where surrounded by something. Seeing as he is a villain with a skeleton, I decided why not have ribs of some sort of animal rib cage decorated  in his throne room as a message as well as trophies. I thought it adds to the villainous and evil aesthetic we where going for.

The shape is inspired by the flag poles on either side of the street facing the City Hall.

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The above slide show showcases the different ideas I came up with.

Layouts of the room:

For this we had many different examples. I researched for different layouts of castle halls across the different platforms of entertainment.

Concepts for the hall

Final Layout Design:

Our whiteboard reflecting our research into castles and the assets within them
We settled on creating a unique keyhole shape as the design for the castle. We each took turns filling out the layout and breaking up assets and discussing what needs to go into the castle.


colour scheme of physcology –

dishonored 2 interview –



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