Three acknowledgments for Heli Salomaa’s pioneering thesis
Heli Salomaa’s MA thesis "Video Games and Costume Art - Digitalizing Analogue Methods of Costume Design" has received three acknowledgements. Today, in the graduation ceremony of the School of Arts, Design and Architecture, it was issued the Dean’s Award and the annual Metex Award by the Technology Industries of Finland Centennial Foundation for best thesis work. It was also selected as one of twelve outstanding master level graduate works of Aalto University showcased in the Game Changers exhibition. Exhibition is open at Beta Space gallery at Otakaari 1X until Friday, 15 June 2018.
Salomaa majored in Costume Design Program at the Department of Film, Television and Scenography at Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture.
Dean Anna Valtonen highlights that Salomaa’s thesis pioneers both in costume design and game character design discliplines. “The thesis shows costume design adds value to the game industry, as it increases the storytelling value of the characters and provides new tools for the narrative. For the traditional costume design, digital character design opens up new imaginative possibilities that are free from the restrictions of the human body and laws of physics.”
The material of the thesis is based on Salomaa’s experience as an intern and Costume Artist at the game company Remedy. Salomaa studied immersion-driven AAA-games that employ 3D-graphics and human characters either photorealistically or represent stylized realism.The result of her research is a costume production pipeline for integrating a costume professional into the game character design process.
The chairman of the Metex award jury Jussi Neuvo considers Salomaa’s thesis very topical, as the game industry is growing fast in Finland. “Gaming is already a substantial way to spend free time, and the visual and virtual environment of games is interesting also from a sociological perspective. The visual identity and costume design of game characters is a means of crafting powerful stories. It is interesting how new jobs are being generated when costume design expands into digital design,” is how Neuvo explained the decision of the jury.
The Technology Industries of Finland Centennial Foundation annually grants the Metex Award worth 5,000 Euros to an excellent master's thesis which directly or indirectly contributes to the renewal of technology industries through arts and design or is executed in collaboration with a technology company. “This work is relevant for both character designers and game leads. It is also an interesting new approach for costume and fashion designers,” said Neuvo.