Computational Research Center

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Native Dancer: Making Regalia Design Choices

Author: Ariann Rousu – Native Dancer Digital Artist

The overall idea behind creating these characters in regalia started with a concept, and sketches early in the character development to understand the overall goal. After creating characters and familiarizing myself with the Marvelous Designer (MD) software via the creation of street clothing I began to plan to create our first regalia design on paper. We decided on a jingle dress style for the female character to be our first regalia attempt.  

Early Design Sketches of Jingle Dress– Native Dancer Project

Before diving into creating this dress in MD, I began by creating more sketches of various jingle dress designs. Each of the first three designs were equipped with their own characteristics and stylistic traits like those we see already in modern jingle dress attire. We choose the style of the jingle dress in the middle of the picture because of the sleeve choice and overall flow of the dress seemed to be what we often see within the region and tribes we are beginning to represent in this game. Our characters and regalia are meant to represent a modern northern plains associated Native American Dancer.  

Moving forward in the process of designing the jingle dress, I am creating more sketches with the sleeve choice and overall flow of the first dress, with different variations in the detailing. We decided to move forward with a design that reflects the floral designs and some geometric shapes, as floral print as well as the geometric designs are commonly seen when attending a northern plain associated Powwow, familiar to Ojibwe, Lakota/Dakota and other northern plains tribes. 

After the final decisions are made on the dress this week, I will begin to create the dress in MD. Something I will be exploring further in the MD program at this stage is ways to create hanging jingles from the dress. I am unsure how this will work out, If I will design the jingle as 3D elements in a separate program or try to make them directly with the features in MD. I have explored ways of creating hanging elements such as fringe and rips on jeans already. I plan to try to use these methods as well as making the material appear more metal by using the MD features. I am looking forward to creating this dress as it will be the most planned out piece, I work on so far in the MD program.