Computational Research Center

News and updates from the CRC

Native Dancer: General Update

Author: Ariann Rousu – Native Dancer Digital Artist

This past week I have continued to work on the Native Dancer characters’ street clothing options to maintain my learning in the marvelous designer (MD) program. I have also begun researching various subjects related to the work I am doing. This research has included looking at and even playing other games that have Native American representation. I also have been doing research on all the different styles of Northern plains associated with Jingle dresses.

My main goal this week was to get to a point in Marvelous Designer where I feel confident to begin making Native Dance regalia. I feel as if I do know the program enough to begin this process. I began by making a basic shell of a dress to begin modifying the pattern to see how a longer/shin-length dress would fit on the character, but this is nowhere near what the final outcome will be. I am now working on full-colored hand sketches of dress designs to share with the Native Dancer Advisory board. From there we will be making modifications based on the people on the board’s input. A huge goal moving forward is to have a jingle dress that excitingly represents a modern Jingle dress dancer.

Native Dancer Project-Concept Sketches for Jingle Dress in Marvelous Designer

Continuing forward, I will be sharing these and other sketches with the advising committee as well as continuing research on the representation of Native Americans in video games to date. The purpose of researching Native representation in video games is to understand where we have gone wrong in the past as well as move forward in property representing them in the future.

There have been times in the past where Native Representation in video games has not been so positive. Some of the representation has been offensive by reinforcing negative stereotypes and by having a native character as the villain in the story.

There has been positive representation in various ways such as using native actors to voice characters or involving Native Americans in the project development. This is something we are doing as well and will continue to find new ways to include and fully respect those we want to represent. I will also be using this research to write a paper about the representation so far and how we could improve Native American representation in video games and the metaverse in the future.

This week, while making modifications to the jingle dress designs, I have been continuing research for the paper and working in the MD and Character Creator 4(CC4) programs. I also would like to experiment with exporting clothing files out of MD and back onto the characters in CC4 to see how they look on a full-colored character.

Native Dancer Project- Female character with base dress