Monday, February 02, 2009

Hellsing close-up faces study: Order 01 - Integra part 2

The guy in charge of animation for Hellsing said that they were going to use digital effects as well, but he wanted to use them in a way that would enhance the animation. I think the idea he was getting at was that he wanted digital effects to be used as a bonus rather than as a crutch. As usual, click on all images for a larger version. Warning: spoilers ahead.

After Integra lights up her cigar, a thin stream of understated digital smoke trails upward from the cigar. A very nice touch, in my opinion.

And here she exhales a puff of digital smoke.

Here is a "prop" shot, a close-up of her box of cigars.

I almost missed this one: an unusual shot of Integra almost smiling. The guy behind her has just asked how many agents the Hellsing Organization has dispatched to deal with a new vampire outbreak, and she answers, "One." This shot also shows a couple of animation techniques that are used extensively in Hellsing. First, the glowing eyeglasses thing. In this case, a shaft of sunlight leaking through the blinds she is facing glares from her spectacle lens, which I think presents a more dangerous and perhaps feral appearance. (I have been using "feral" a lot lately, but it fits). Second, only a part of her face is shown, while using the rest of the screen to portray a secondary character who the main character (Integra in this case) is interacting with.

I'll go ahead and include a couple of villain close-ups here since I don't have anywhere else to put them.

This is the first vampire killed at the beginning of the series. The scene doesn't give us her name, or anything about her except that she is posing as (or is) a prostitute. That thing in the center of her forehead is the bullet from Alucard's pistol just before it hits her. This scene serves mainly as an introduction to Alucard and what he does. It's sort of a teaser for things to come.

A close-up of the vampire priest's face. This is the second vampire killed by Alucard at the end of the first episode. This time Alucard shoots him in the chest rather than the head, but it doesn't make any difference. He's dead either way. There doesn't seem to be any real consistency to the way the false vampires' eyes are drawn.

A little explanation here. The story of Hellsing is not the same as Hellsing Ultimate OVA (OVA is more accurate to the original manga, from what I've read). They each have different origins for the "bad" vampires who Alucard hunts down and kills. In Hellsing, there are only two "real" vampires: Alucard and Seras. They both have red eyes. Seras' eyes are blue before she becomes a vampire. Then there are the "freaks," or false vampires, who have been created by technology, that is, they have had a "chip" implanted in the brain that turns them into vampires. It is never explained who is creating these vampires, or why. Conversely, the "who" and "why" are important parts of the story in OVA.

Some of the freaks, or false vampires, have eyes with very tiny irises, such as the priest above. Some have normal eyes. The females usually have regular huge female eyes like any other anime female character, such as the prostitute vampire above. However, as I intend to show later, some of them have red eyes just like Alucard and Seras.

In the next post I'll look at Seras Victoria.

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