Random Render: the Foonmall sisters

I’ve wanted to return to Hani’s older sister at some point (and in some form) essentially since I first came up with the idea for page #100, over two years ago by now. I’ve long felt that the sister was the one of her family that Hani was the closest to, and who was the one who was the closest to understanding her, so I really wanted to get some time to just explore that.

Of course, it’s been hindered by details such as up until recently, I didn’t have an adult appearance or even a name for the woman… all of which have finally been addressed.

I always thought of Iyana Foonmall as the eldest of the two – not by a great deal mind you; they’re close enough in age that they grew up together, but still far away enough that Iyana was often the tasked with trying to keep an eye on her adventurous sister for whenever Hani decided it was time to wander off and explore. I also always thought of them as rather different – Iyana never had any of Hani’s wanderlust or thirst for adventure, and instead was entirely content with staying within the safety of settlement and following in the footsteps of their parents to become a tailor and clothier.

With all this in mind, I wanted her to look both clearly similar to Hani and yet also clearly her own person. I didn’t want any of her apparel to really look like it might be armoured – adventure and combat is not a part of her ordinary life and something she’d rather avoid entirely if at all possible. Still confident and secure in herself, mind you, but perfectly happy with letting the Sentinels (or Cenarion Wardens) look to the defense. I figured her as looking a bit more tended to than Hani – a bit more attentive to her own appearance as opposed to just going with whatever is practical and comfortable like Hani does.

Originally I had thought of Iyana as being shorter than Hani, but a friend of mine suggested that they should be of roughly the same height, and after thinking about it I concluded that it’d be much more interesting if she was if we ever meet her in the comic present. She also suggested the earrings, and insisted in my making her braids as short as they are (I’d originally envisioned them as a fair bit longer) because that’s much more in line with how hair actually works. Another friend of mine helped me pick which of the various outfit ideas I had to go with and suggested the rolled up trouser ends as a sort of visual nudge towards the wide, frayed trousers that Hani has.

Finally, for this post I dug up the old child models and did a very quick and dirty tweak to them to make them at least a little bit poseable to add something complimentary and interesting. Of course, the child models are absolutely horrifyingly bad and exceptionally creepy because of their age and the very custom nature of their textures (I’m sure I’ve mentioned several times already that I’m not exactly an all that good texture artist), but aren’t something I’m likely to spend that much time on fixing until I have a solid idea what to change about them, at which point I might end up redoing their entire texture from scratch, or even try something radical like adapting an adult face instead.

Like usual, click for larger images, etcetera.


25 Responses to “Random Render: the Foonmall sisters”

  1. 1 GrifPL
    September 21, 2011 at 17:42

    Why i think, that the older sister Hani is sexy ? 🙂

  2. 2 Synchronizor
    September 21, 2011 at 20:05

    I’d be interested to know if there is any specific reason for Iyana’s lack of facial tattoos. They’re pretty vaguely defined in lore as representing some rite of passage, but whatever that ends up being, they’re worn by most all adult Kaldorei women.

    • 3 Nhani
      September 21, 2011 at 21:56

      Honestly? It made her look visually distinct from Hani (and all the other characters using that base facial texture) while maintaining the general impression I wanted and without resorting to markings I don’t particularly care for.

      Besides, there’s really no rhyme or reason that I can infer in their usage otherwise – there’s no consistency in any kind of factional, familial, tribal or any other belonging, and I’ve yet to see a single NPC that in any way makes any reference to what their markings, or potential lack of markings, might mean. It has no discernible relation to ability or station or any of the sort. Heck, the only Night elf that I can remember being depicted with any sort of facial markings within WarCraft 3 itself was Malfurion Stormrage. (back when he also had blue hair. Then it’s gradually wandered from blue to cyan to teal to green with subsequent concept arts)
      (EDIT: I actually did some browsing of this, and it appears that Druids of the Talon also had facial markings in WarCraft 3, while Druids of the Claw did not.)

      The only kind of meaning I could possibly infer from Blizzards use (and non-use) of markings is essentially that some Night elves paint or tattoo their faces because they think it enhances their appearance in one way or another. There is no other meaning I can see that makes consistent sense across all characters and instances.

      So, with all that in mind, the best logical reasoning I could think of is that while Hani likely chose her markings as a sort of war paint (Breaks up her face a bit, I guess – might vaguely help her hide in tall grass), Iyana felt – for whatever reason – that her own face looked fine enough without any.

      • 4 Synchronizor
        September 22, 2011 at 00:00

        The novel Stormrage offhandedly associates Night Elf facial tattoos with an unspecified rite of passage. As far as I know, that is the only mention of their significance beyond simple aesthetics in current lore.

        Given that there have been no mention of any formal coming-of-age rituals for women in Kaldorei society, I would infer that the tattoos are a socially normative form of decoration that are traditionally chosen to commemorate a significant life event. This event would probably vary greatly depending on the individual.

        My character for example, received her tattoos after coming to terms with the death of a very close friend during the War of the Shifting Sands; and deciding to continue her training. The design she chose held a personal significance to her friend’s memory.

        • 5 Nhani
          September 22, 2011 at 00:22

          Considering Stormrage is also the novel that happily proclaims that Tyrande Whisperwind didn’t know that Druidic powers come from nature until that novel actually takes place, I’m a bit wary to take its word for it; it kind of has a marked tendency to pull entirely random things out of its metaphorical arse.

          I’ve personally never really ascribed any deeper meaning or value to them because the setting has never really presented them in a way that came across to me as important or pivotal enough for there to be one. The entirely inconsistent usage across games, novels, art and everything only serves to make me further convinced that they have no inherent meaning and any meaning applied to them is entirely done in retrospect. It feels to me like if you were to suddenly attempt to inscribe a deeper meaning beyond appearance into why people wear makeup.

          I mean sure, I can see why some people would want to, and I can understand why I’ve occasionally run across character descriptions that try to denote a specific meaning to theirs, but for me, it’s never been more than an aspect of how they represent themselves. I’ve never felt they need to be more than that – I don’t ascribe a deeper meaning to Troll or Tauren face paint, so I don’t see a reason why I’d consider Night elves different in that.

          • 6 Synchronizor
            September 22, 2011 at 18:21

            I know how you feel about Knaak’s writing, and I’m of the same opinion. However, his novels are lore, and current lore is that Shandris’ tattoos mark some rite of passage.

            Make-up or face paint is temporary; tattoos are permanent. A permanent bodily modification is not a trifle, especially for such a long-lived race. I can’t really imagine that facial tattoos never had (or were at least expected to have) any meaning besides aesthetics.

            The best general application I can come up with based on this information is that the tattoos are traditionally expected to relate to something of personal significance. Tradition isn’t law, however, and this theory does not preclude the use of tattoos have no real significance beyond aesthetics, or abstention from tattooing, depending on the individual.

            • 7 Nhani
              September 22, 2011 at 20:16

              It is secondary lore however, and for a company that tends to be very forward about incorporating secondary lore into primary lore, Blizzard seem to have adopted far more the vague spirit of Stormrage than the word of it. This, combined with several instances of it making claims that make little to no sense even within Knaak’s own incarnation of the lore (several where the novel even directly draws attention to it), makes me very unwilling to actually take its word for anything that isn’t reflected in main canon.

              In short, until Blizzard starts treating them as anything more than visual design, I’m not likely to treat them as anything more either. Sure, some characters probably would attach specific meaning to theirs – old priestess Nhani Moonfall attaches specific meaning to why she wears her hair long these nights, but I’m not going to take any of that as any kind of established rule or indication of any kind of norm, nor as an indication that it’s something that must have, or even usually has, a detailed story or reasoning behind it.

              At the end of the day, there are times when visual design is simply visual design, and I don’t spend time dwelling over trying to find or invent any kind of reasoning or purpose over night elven facial markings for the same reason that I don’t spend time dwelling over what could possibly be a practical reason for attaching several humongous axe blades to certain tiers of Warrior armour. Of course, that doesn’t mean that some characters can’t attach special meaning to their specific markings, but I find doing that no different from attaching specific meaning to a lucky headband or a favorite pair of trousers or whatever.

  3. 8 LolDrood
    September 22, 2011 at 05:59

    You know that no one believes you when you say you’re not an artist, right Nhani?

    Yup, I 100% accept Iyana is Hani’s sister. 🙂 And I’m digging her little braids.
    It’s always sweet to see Hani chilling with someone she can let her guard down with.

    So did the sisters Foonmall canonically grow up in Moonglade, or is this just a back drop?

    • 9 Nhani
      September 22, 2011 at 10:08

      I always figured Nighthaven would have to have been a Night elven settlement before it became a predominantly druid one, so yeah. As far as I’m concerned (and unless Blizzard eventually completely and utterly contradicts it), both Hani and Iyana were born and raised in Nighthaven, with Hani subsequently spending most of her childhood exploring all the various locations within the Moonglade.

      • 10 Moltrazahn
        September 23, 2011 at 04:36

        … and attempting to reduce its native spider population ^_^
        Looking forward to see were you take us with Hani’s sister. It would be interesting
        how much their lives may differ… Is she married? Does she herself have a child?
        Is Hani actually the cool aunt?! oh alas the many questions that could lie in wait!

        Whichever it is, your still top notch artist and story writer in my book… So go with
        whatever lore you decide to go from, and rock that story like only you can do it.
        Also… looking forward to seeing partymember nr 5!… whenever that happens 😛

  4. 11 C
    September 24, 2011 at 01:47

    Have you read Wolfheart yet? I’ve heard the author messed up Tyrande (again).

    • 12 Nhani
      September 24, 2011 at 02:40

      Nope, and I’m not going to either. Finding reasons to continue Beyond the Tree into Arc Two is difficult enough as it is without reminding myself how the setting has lost nearly everything that got me interested in the first place. Besides, I can barely muster the will to log on to the game itself – I’m not exactly inclined to spend either time or money on tie-in material unless it’s bound to bring back the things I used to care about.

  5. 13 Xel
    September 26, 2011 at 23:26

    Great artwork here, and in previous posts, Nhani. Keep it up.

  6. 14 Fokker
    September 29, 2011 at 17:26

    Hey Nhani, have you seen the new Tyrande model on mmochampion?

  7. 24 Aldrius
    October 5, 2011 at 20:53

    I don’t really get the green hair… that doesn’t make any sense for a character who has clearly been shown to have blue/teal hair. (Though they did the exact same thing for Furion… so… eh.) The hair in general doesn’t look right. Her two defining characteristics. (SInce she was pretty much indistinguishable in WC3’s actual game) were that she had leaves in her hair, and a moon pendant on her forehead. And this model has neither.

    But otherwise I like the new model a lot. Certainly more than her current one. (I’ll take a raised heel over a dress.) Plus it looks like she’s wearing actual armor.

    It’s not nearly as good as the updated model that Sylvanas got, but it’s still a step in the right direction I suppose.

  8. July 11, 2013 at 07:44

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    argue with you (not that I really will need to…HaHa).
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