Kurent
Traditional carnival figure of Slovenia
Final animation
Detailed information +
Character design
Katarina Šeme
Animation
Katarina Šeme
Client
Personal project
Year
2020

What is Kurent?

Every year around February several cities in Slovenia organise traditional etno carnivals called “Kurentovanje”. These celebrations are named after their main figure - “Kurent”. Kurent is believed to chase away the winter so his frightening appearance conversely brings happiness and aspirations of spring. Being a Kurent was in past reserved only for unmarried men but today married men, children, and women are also invited to wear the outfit.

The aim of the project

This is a personal project. My goal is to promote Kurent as an interesting traditional figure and to create something fun for the season of carnivals.

Reference photo by © Bočko Metod

Process

Rough sketch on paper

Although I know kurent as a traditional figure very well I started my work with background research. I learnt there are two main types of kurent - feathered and horned kurent. The two originate from different regions and slightly differ in their head decorations.

When considering the final animation I decided to design and animate the hybrid between the two kurents: my character sports horns but also wears long, colored stripes that are associated with the feathered kurent.

Final illustration

Anticipating the animation I thought about how to present kurent’s special features (their horns, colorful stripes, big cow bells, scary demon-like mask) and also clearly illustrate its main purpose: to march across the land and summon the spring. Long stripes enhance Kurent’s tourning movements and add some color balance to the final scene.

To achieve this nice false 3D turn I followed Fabien Rousseau’s masterclass “Fake 3D Walkcycles in After Effects” hosted by Motion Design School.

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