Premise | Research and Ideation [1]

After establishing my premise concept, I decided to improve my understanding of believability in relation to animal design.
I went to wildwood where they currently have two brown bears, rescued from neglect in Kormisosh; an abandoned bear breeding centre, in southern Bulgaria. They're presently adjusting to the smaller enclosure, before they move to the larger one east of the conservation.
The bears don't hibernate but they do undergo a slowing heart rate, breathing rate and metabolism during the winter months, so we were lucky to see them come out that day. There I collected photographs and filmed their movement, fur textures and behaviours for the future designs of 'Mord'; Vandermeer's giant flying bear.

Additionally I collected information on other animals; i.e. the lynx, the red/artic fox (as referenced within the novel), and a smattering of other European and northern American animals.
These animals were in enclosures, which made photographing them through the wire fence tricky to overcome. I tried a shallow depth of field, and manual focus to blur the foreground, but for some of these animals (the bear included) this obscured some of the detail. Luckily one of the helpers volunteered to photograph the bear as he was allowed closer. There were two fences between us and the bears which separated them from the general public. The keeper gave them some acorns to snack on, which allowed him to get a few close-ups. I managed to get the fur also, as they circled round.
That being said, these images aren't clear enough for texture exploration- but had helped inform me on animals for future research, specific behavioural mannerisms and movements (in regards to walk cycles).

Here's the full selection of images taken here:


My interpretation of the novel was a combination of references from both North America (where the main city is based), and South America (for the protagonist's past childhood home). Thus, I felt I needed some more knowledge of animals thereabouts (Wildwood does offer insight into a few American species, but for the most part have birds/mammals from across Europe).
This alternative research has started to come from documentaries such as 'Blue Planet'; 'Brave Wilderness' (a YouTube wildlife Channel that includes subject matter from across central America, specifically Costa Rica), and past visits to museums (etc.). Given the small body of research on this, however, it might be worth further visits to museums, parks or exhibitions, in the near future, if I confront this limitation at a later date.


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