Project Afrodite - Part One "The Big One"

Work In Progress / 16 January 2023

     Most students when they think of their last year in college is their capstone project, or as we like to call it "THE BIG ONE!" The big project, the one that keeps you up at night in a panicked frenzy thinking 'Why am I like this? What was I thinking?!' and the glorious one that I constantly get told by my parents when I told them I was doing Game Art and telling them I'm freaking out... "You should've gone to that art school in Nova Scotia and gotten your degree in painting and art history!"

    Regardless here I am thinking about my capstone, while most of my classmates are focusing on concept art, environment art, or animation, I was still deciding what I was going to do. And yes, I know I could've done just a scene and left it at that, but I want to make a statement, something that I could make a splash and have it be a conversation piece, and maybe be something that extends beyond me and becomes an ongoing project.  

    So dear reader this is where I welcome you! Welcome! To Project Afrodite!

    One thing I find about video games is that hair options can be pretty slim, at least when it comes to my hair. When your mother comes from South Africa and your dad looks like Bob Ross who wears coveralls and clogs, I guess you could say that my hair is pretty interesting. Hair options with the games that I play (mostly RPG's) were either nothing even remotely close, or downright insulting! And as an RPG, most players want to see themselves in the game doing whatever action or conversation they are doing, and your whole being and sometimes personality is your hair. For me, I used to have an afro when I was younger and it sucked! It was torture, most hair stylists didn't know what to do with my hair when it was long, and most just chopped it off and my hair was short, cue sad little Nicole who got teased and got called "Bud", "Boy", or "Him". I didn't grow out my hair until I was in college and long before that I was playing games hating my hair because the game never matched mine. The afro's  in the game looked like someone had no idea what afro hair was and decided that a cauliflower was the equivalent to that kind of hair. Curls were also non existent in games as well, they were messy and gross, even dreadlocks were dreadful and this is only a couple of years ago! 

    So I decided what my capstone was going to be, "The lack of representation of ethnic hair"! This is something that I believe in to my core and should get more attention, and what better way than to make an art piece about it and not only that give devs an example of different styles of hair! Pretty good, huh? 

    So with all of this in mind I'll cut to the chase! I'll be using Unreal Engine 5, MetaHumans, and Ornatrix to create this, every week I will give an update to how everything is going, any challenges, whats done and what needs to be done in the upcoming weeks, what I've learned and maybe throw in a tutorial or two. So this will be a multi-parted series that I'm excited and passionate about and I can't wait to share it with you! And with that! I'll see you next week!

-Nicole (Yeoman)