UGAC III 17th Century Plague Doctor

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Old 09 September 2007   #1
UGAC III 17th Century Plague Doctor

El Medico dea Peste (The Plague Doctor)

Quote: [a Plague Doctor]One of the worst scourges for the city of Venice was without any doubt the Plague, which struck the city on several occasions.

Because of this the "Plague Doctor" isn't a real mask but was a disguise used by local plague doctors who went on visits wearing this strange costume to people afflicted with plague.

The costume itself is quite particular: the doctor wore a tunic of pure linen or waxen cloth and gave him the appearance of a large bird (more than anything else, he was considered to be like a mournful vulture...).

He wore spectacles on the mask and furthermore always had his trusty staff with which he removed the clothes of plague-victims, thinking that in this way the terrible epidemic would not bring him any harm.


So the idea is to bring back this character in a modern day form. I did actually attempt this around 3 years ago with this following example but I went way too far and it became something else...

But since then I've got industry experience under my belt and should be able to pull it off this time around. If I get the time of course...

I did this speed paint trying to get something out of it which I feel I have but I still need to try a few other things first. This time around I want to make a design that would fit into a 'dark superhero' type film, V for Vendetta being a prime example.

Old 09 September 2007   #2
more ideas...


Last edited by capone_adam : 09 September 2007 at 09:53 PM.
Old 09 September 2007   #3

Old 09 September 2007   #4
That IS uncanny!, well spotted

Refined design, still pretty simple at this stage and since I don't have much time will likley refine the design in the modeling/texturing stage. Need to start modeling today really.

Another change is that I want to make him all robot. Which is odd as I usually find robots/mechs tiresome but theres something quite interesting about the idea of making a robot look like a 17th century figure.


Last edited by capone_adam : 09 September 2007 at 09:06 AM.
Old 09 September 2007   #5
Your concepts, while nice, don't really look any different from the real thing.

Also, why 17th century? there was no major outbreak of the plague between the 14th and 19th centuries.
Old 09 September 2007   #6
Originally Posted by Docm30: Your concepts, while nice, don't really look any different from the real thing.

Also, why 17th century? there was no major outbreak of the plague between the 14th and 19th centuries.

Yeah I see where you're coming from, while changing a human to a robot is quite a significant contrast the problem is that most of this is hidden under his clothes. I want to keep the shape and general theme of the clothes the same but make them more modern. With my current simple designs you're only seeing the shape, I think with details I can make it appear very different. Thanks for bringing it up, its a good point that I need to keep in mind.

As for there not being major outbreaks of plague between the 14th and 19th cenutry I'm not sure where you're getting that info from. One of the biggest plagues known as the Bubonic Plague/Black Death was in 1665 ( Not that it matters in any way for me, so if I'm somwhow mistaken I don't see it as a problem.
Old 09 September 2007   #7
Hi. Love the concept and wanted to give you my ideas...

definitely keep the long coat it is very iconic for the is kind of look.

What I wanted to share with you is maybe coming from the other side towards this character... I mean not it has to look like this but in a different era.. but more along the lines of why it was they did this... what are they supposed to gain and what are they doing. (the plague docters that is.
And then going for the different era and see what was there the doctors would use to reach a sinilar goal... materials would have changed the insight in nature would be significantly different... look up art from the era you are going to put this in and look for a way to apply it so you achieve the same goal as the original plague doctors but without actually being the same.

As a design student I have learned that form follows function and the same is true for characters.. so maybe trying this approach will get a slightly deeper character and will hold you from going to far from the original like the last time.

Anyway... those are my thoughts... I think you have a wonderful library of references and wonder why I had never heard about this... it is a wonderful insight in history
Keep up the good work because I am very inspired by this and I look forward to the next step.

Teached serious game design: triadic game design

The Earth is round...
Like a pancake!! -makes circling motion with hand-
Old 09 September 2007   #8
Yeah you're right matsman. Some interesting info about the doctor that I could bring into the concept...

He carried flowers or strong perfume - maybe have some kind of vents in his robotic elements that give off scents.

Carried a lucky charm - could be made into an interesting concept.

Smoked a pipe of tobaco to ward off disease - smoke machine elements perhaps

The point of the long beak was to keep substances in - maybe I should find a new way of using the beak. May it is that which has vents/holes in that release aromas. Could have a tube running from the beak to somewhere else, perhaps over his shoulder into his back.

Shame I'm really busy for the next couple of days but at least I have made a start on the head model. I'll adjust the concept before the weekend hopefully.

Old 09 September 2007   #9
quick play around, colours are more or less random. Was just thinking about the design here. Any comments?

Old 09 September 2007   #10
Hi! good to see so the background information... sound very promising... my mind is already racing with ideas but it is your project so i'll keep quiet.

About the concept... I like 1 but it is to common and to obvious a gasmask so that spoils it for me
I also like 3 and 4 but would do something to merge both into a new one (and not just the flowers which, I think, need to be bigger- or how about a scent vaporizer in the shape of a abstract flower?)
And while I had something of a halflife-combine type of image in my head when reading through your posts.. 5 and 6 (like the eyes) are not really interesting enough for me.. and I think there is a very big chance of the mask going to look like a stormtrooper and you don't want that.

I like the idea of the tubes going into the back though maybe you should try some bigger ones and maybe let it run through the neck?.. just thinking out loud...

But as always... I merely express my feelings and thoughts but you should make up your own mind... what do you think about all these different concepts?

Good work and I'll be their for the ride if you don't mind me picking about
Teached serious game design: triadic game design

The Earth is round...
Like a pancake!! -makes circling motion with hand-
Old 09 September 2007   #11
Love those beaky masks. Takes me back to the old days of Warhammer 40K.
Old 09 September 2007   #12
+1 vote for #1 without the feathers. simple black would look cool.

anyway, you should switch it up so they are like a gang or something. From the city. anyway. nice job.!

Old 09 September 2007   #13
vote: +1 for #5
Old 09 September 2007   #14
Been laying around somemore and came up with this nice variation of 5, am really pleased with the head now. Almost looks alien like yet keeps the overal beak outline

Old 09 September 2007   #15
yeah. that pwns!
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