Friday, 5 November 2010


The main idea of when we have set our project is around the 1350's ( The Black Death)

Here I found a article from the History channel, on the Black Death:

It began almost like the common cold. Within a day, fever took over, black swellings the size of baseballs appeared on the neck, and then the coughing of blood. Few lived more than two days after infection began, and very quickly the simple disposal of the bodies became an overwhelming job.
The year was 1347. It was the worst biological disaster in the history of mankind, shaking the very foundations of human order. Almost half of the population of Europe died, and it brought out the best and the most terrible in the people caught up in it - savagery and panic, true heroism and self-sacrifice. Perhaps above all things the Black Death serves as a mirror for our own time, forcing us to question the stability of our own society should such a catastrophe strike again; our own vulnerability should some new killer microbe appear, whether through changes in the ecology or through bio terrorism.
It was said the Black Death began in the most remote regions of the Mongol empire, and spread along their trade routes to the Black Sea port of Caffa, from which it spread by ship to Italy and all of Europe. It was caused by a deadly microbe - Yersina Pestis - carried in the stomachs of fleas infecting the common rats which so heavily infested the towns of the Middle Ages. As the disease killed the rats, the fleas moved onto other hosts - human beings. Once the humans were infected, they themselves became highly contagious, spitting and coughing contaminated blood. In some cases, death came within a day, taking whole families between one morning and the next.
I found this quite interesting baring in mind it started off so small and in turn killed of half of Europe. I think this gives us as a group many routes to go down while creating our environment as well as many options of how to explore the environment. 
what first comes to mind is the idea of the streets being covered in filth and muck from the waste people threw out there windows at the time. Then I see slippery looking stone payment with a grey and slightly blue tint to it. It has that cold feel to it that can only be shown with the right colour balance. I then see a sunset in the background, so it's not morning, mid-day or not, but just as the sun is setting. I think this is the peak of when you really would get the feel of the grub and dirt, especially as that's when I would presume the rats would start becoming active.Oh and the rats! I see tones of rats everywhere. Not out in the open but stealthy moving on the outskirts of the building grabbing any food they can get weather it's an apple or a corpse decomposing.

One thing I'm not one hundred percent sure about for the group though is when it will be set. whether it is pre plague/ mid-plague/post-plague. I think this is a important part for the entire animation as it will determine the overall look to it. whether it is:

Pre - crowded with market stalls and people and dirtiness

Mid - Sick and ill dying. Plague doctors roaming the streets

Post - pauper's grave graves being dug, men collecting the dead on carts and the very absence of life it self as half the country is dead.

I actually kind of like the post-plague idea but for some reason I feel that it has probably been done many times before. The main idea I like is the pauper's grave,  which was a grave that was produced for anyone who couldn't afford to buy a private grave or was autonomous. This would pretty much be a open whole which the bodies in bags would be dump in and then covered in lime to try and conceal the smell.

These images I found as a good starting point for the design of the buildings back in the 1350's. The main thing I have noticed is that the streets tend to be be pretty narrow with the front faces of the buildings protruding forwards.

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