So I am basing my project entirely on character design, as I previously mentioned. I have decided to strip the book down to the rivalry between the main protagonist Henry Courtney, and the main villain Colonel Cornellius Schreuder.
The book pits these two together at regular intervals, however they are always interupted through some whimsical event and so it is left till the last few pages of the book for them to settle the score as it were.
By the end of the book where they fight to the death, they have great respect for each other. They refer to each other as sir, and are incredibly polite even when both are mortally wounded.
I aim to base my character designs around the characters at this moment in the book, and to hopefully recreate the aformentioned fight between them in a short animation. Though the character designs themselves will be the most important of things to produce.
I have spent the last couple of hours flicking through the book as fast as I can, to find out exactly what I need to know of the characters features and their traits. So here is what I found out:
Sir Henry Courtney :
-Bright young blue eyes
-Quite tall and slim, with robust and broad shoulders
-Unline face, smooth skin, almost feminine
-Black hair tied back
-Magnificent velvet cloak, tied at the neck with the logo of the order, hangs down to his knees
-Nautonnier Knight of the Order golden ring, and a necklace with the England Lion with its eyes inlaid with red rubies
-White Silk stockings
-Breeches and Doublet of midnight blue
-Satin sleeves sashed with gold
-Black leather shoes with buckles of heavy silver
-Crossed belts of black leather
-Cavalier Officers hat with ostrich feathered brim
-Sword of Neptune : Chased gold and silver scabbard decorated with crowns and dolphins and sea spirits gathered around Neptune enthroned. Large star saphires set in the pommel and the blade of steel inlaid with gold.
Colonel Cornellius Schreuder:
Progress here : http://jonathonstewart.blogspot.com/2009/04/transcription-5-colonel-cornelius.html
-Huge muscular man
-Large spiked dark brown moustaches
-Gold embroidered sash over shoulder
-Cold blue merciless eyes
-Dolman of islamic fashion
-Sashes and ribbons og gold
-White baggy breaches
-Soft knee high boots
-Scabbard of embossed gold
-Torn dirty clothing from fighting
There is no real reference to what Schreuders weapon looks like, however due to him being Dutch I can probably find source material of a Dutch weapon in the 18th Century.
So with these characteristics pulled from the book, I have an extremely strong foundation to build my characters upon. Henry being a young athletic man, late teens early twenties, and so will be quite small and not so muscular in comparison to the much older, larger and muscular Colonel Schreuder. Whom whilst is an expert swordsman isn't quite as light footed and fast as Hal.
Of course, this is a fictional book which takes real fashions and facts from the time it is set in. However I have artistic licencing with things like the Nautonnier Knight logo and such, as these are fictional things thought up by the author.