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Project 300 is an artistic collaboration aimed at showing the forgotten face of ancient Persia and modern day Iran. Click here to find out more.

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Nov 10

The Shah Nameh project pilot

14003 comments posted by legofish at 02:35 PM

Well, it's been a while since we first talked about the French Shah Nameh animation project, undertaken by Cyrus Productions. I was checking their site and noticed that there is now a pilot up. It looks quite amazing. I contacted them to ask about the status of the project, but unfortunately - like last time - there was no response from them. Maybe it's because I don't speak French!

In any case, here is the video pilot (click here if the popup doesn't work), and some nice new stills.

I certainly hope the project isn't dead.




Watch the Shâh Nâmeh Pilot

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Nov 10

Garshasp game released

7585 comments posted by legofish at 02:15 PM

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The long-awaited Garshasp game has finally been released - but only inside Iran. Unfortunately there is yet no news about an international release.
The domestic release is reported to be plagued by distribution problems as well, but the game has generally received positive review among players. I hope to at least see some video captures of the game somewhere to get a feel for it.

This should be a momentous occasion for the development team, who has spent the past 4 years developing this game. I hope that they can find a way to release the game internationally as well.

Also, you can download the game guide here (it's in Persian). There's some nice artwork in there.

Apr 21

Artist Spotlight: Fatemeh Kashfi

3 comments posted by legofish at 04:20 PM

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There's something really great about Fateme Kashfi' art. She has those smooth flowing Disney-esque lines. Looking at some of her pieces reminded me even a little of Barbucci. I also really like the fact that she has a recurring character that's full of personality. Read our short Q&A with Fatemeh:

How did you get into illustration?
I started drawing about 5 years ago. Because I love animation I focused on disney animator's drawing and understood that I should know Human anatomy and draw every thing with line of action and basic forms and shapes (like circle ,cube ,cylinder..). So I draw every thing with this method. Most of the time I draw from books, pdfs and real life and I don't have many teachers.

Who are some of your favorite artists who have influenced or inspired you?
Glen Keane (Disney), Rodolph Guenoden (Dreamworks), Sylvain chomet (the French director of The Triplets of belleville), John Lasseter (Director of Toy Story)...

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We really like your Clown character. I think it's really interesting and very unique. What can you tell us about this character?
Thanks for your love. My clown was born 1 year ago on a terrible day! Before that I'd designed another clown which was more cartoony. The reason for using a clown is related to my personality and opinions. I love clowns. They always wear colorful and funny clothes and make us smile but I think they have sadness inside! I like this contradiction.

How do you describe being an illustrator in Iran? What sort of opportunities are there for an Iranian illustrator?
I think Iranians haven't gotten professional in the entertainment industry (remember that I love animation). Currently the industry is dependent on government . Also we don't have a good educational system to train students for getting their suitable job. So how do you think it's like?

Check out more of Fatemeh's great work on her Deviant Art profile.

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Apr 21

Prince of Persia: Before the Sandstorm

2 comments posted by legofish at 02:10 PM

61r9MxlSFEL._SL160_.jpg There's a new Prince of Persia comic book out from Disney Comics. They're no doubt releasing this in advance of the big movie release this summer. It's called Prince of Persia: Before the Sand Storm. It is a collection of short stories, illustrated by various talented artists (such as Todd McFarlane, Niko Henrichon, Cameron Stewart, Tommy Lee Edwards, Bernard Chang), all written by the creator of Prince of Persia. I can't wait to read it.

Apr 14

Artist Spotlight: Saeed Jalabi

posted by legofish at 11:05 AM

We're trying a new thing here at Project 300. From now on, we're going to have mini-interviews (conducted via email unless otherwise stated) with the artists that we feature.

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The first artist we're interviewing is Saeed Jalabi. I first stumbled upon his art through the website cgarts.ir, and I was very impressed by the amount of detail in some of his works. Here's his answers to our questions:

How did you get into illustration?
Like a lot of my friends and other illustrators I loved to draw as a kid, and my school books were always filled with drawings. I've never received any formal training and since the beginning I wasn't interested in going to art classes because I think these classes kill your creativity. I didn't study arts in high school either, but I always practiced my drawings on the side. It's been about 2 years - since I started going to University - that I have been illustrating professionally.

Who are some of your favorite artists who have influenced or inspired you?
I've always liked collecting illustrations of foreign artists. Works of Boris Vallejo and Frank Frazetta really expanded my perception of the field. I worship artists like Dale Keown, Ashly wood, Carlos huante, Joe Madureira, and Mike Mignola.

How do you describe being an illustrator in Iran? What sort of opportunities are there for an Iranian illustrator?
Iran has some really talented illustrators, but due to lack of government or corporate support, not having proper learning centers, and a lot of other factors their numbers are small. Right now there is an emerging gaming industry in Iran. Graphic and concept artists play a big role in this industry. Comic art is also slowly becoming more common among artists and only needs more support and investment. Sadly our animation industry - despite numerous talents and a lot of potential - is always under-funded and has nothing to say.
Despite all these restrictions, I can say that all these guys who are working for private animation studios or for the press or other places, have always followed their passion and have tried to raise their work quality up to international levels.

What's your favorite personal piece of work?
It's really hard for an artist to say which of his works he likes the most, or say he's completely satisfied with one of them. I personally like the feel of "I'm not done yet", this also got published in the April issue of 2D Artist.

Saeed Jalabi

check out some of Saeed's other work on his Deviantart gallery.

Apr 09

Artist Spotlight: Ahmad Mir

1 comments posted by legofish at 02:30 PM

I couldn't find a whole lot of info on Ahmad Mir. But this 24-year old artist from Tehran is pretty talented. I like his confident thick brush style. Check out more of his stuff on cgart.ir.

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Apr 09

Age of Heroes

2 comments posted by legofish at 01:56 PM

ever since I started doing some research on the Shahnameh characters, I've been coming across all sorts of interesting things.

I just discovered another Iranian-made computer game - this one probably a couple of years old - called Age or Heroes that is based on the Shahnameh characters and stories.

This government-funded RPG sure doesn't look as good as some of the other more recent games being developed in Iran. The trailer is pretty nice though, and the site - although really slow - might be worth a look. (Note: the English section of the site doesn't seem to work any more, the whole thing is in Persian).


Apr 05

The Shahnama Project

3 comments posted by legofish at 12:31 PM

I have been recently looking for Shahnama manuscripts and illustrations for a personal project. The Shahnama (Book of Kings) is an enormous poetic opus written by the Persian poet Ferdowsi around 1000 AD and is the national epic of the Persian-speaking world. It tells the the mythical and historical past of Iran from the creation of the world up until the Islamic conquest of Persia in the 7th century.

It is filled with a colorful cast of kings, heroes, and villains; a great source of inspiration for comic books. Over the centuries, artists have made great illustrations from these stories.

The Shahnama project (now a few years old, and I'm not sure if it's still active), tries to bring together all the wonderful illustrations (many of them centuries old) of the Shahnama in an easy to access format.

It really is a treasure box for anyone interested in the visualizing the Shahnama stories. Check it out.

Mar 26

Garshasp Trailer

posted by legofish at 09:52 AM

Here's a longish look at the Garshasp game we talked about earlier. The game is developed by a small team of talented people in Iran. Considering everything, I think it looks really good.

Check out this great Washington Post story about the game. Also check out the gallery section of the Garshasp site for a lot of cool concept art and game screenshots.

The only question is. When is the game released and how can we buy it? (Thank to Elham for the tip)


Mar 05

Artist Spotlight: Aria Saffarzadegan

2 comments posted by legofish at 03:48 PM

24 year old Aria Saffarzadegan is one of those artists who is equally great at doing characters as he is doing environments. I love the light hues he uses in his colors, and his attention to detail when it comes to incorporating actual historical elements in his characters.


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