El Dave Photography

A photographer and his toys. Updated weekly.

Voldo 1

7:28 AM by , under , , ,

Voldo (by ElDave)

When SoulCalibur 2 first hit, it was like a revelation to me. At work, all I could think about was my lunch break where I would drive to the nearby mall and pump tokens into the arcade's machine. They had created something called Conquest Mode where you created a profile and a pin number, then chose one of four different kingdoms to fight for. There wasn't any difference in the kingdoms, so you were essentially picking your favorite color out of Red, Blue, Yellow, and I think Green. The more you played, the more skilled your fighter became (My choice was Kilik, naturally), and the system was smart enough to "grade" you after each battle, adjusting your fighter's skills and preferred moves and combos. The reason it did this was, while you were away and other people attacked your kingdom, there was a good chance that one of the defenders would be you. If you win a lot and are very aggressive, your fighter will behave similarly when someone challenged them. Also, the more you won (and played), the higher your rank, up until you were the Defender of the Realm (or something similar) and your fighter showed up, with your name, all the time. It was awesome.

Of course, when your kingdom had completed purging the world of the other three kingdoms, the map, and your saved character, reset and you had to do it all over again. Well played, Namco.

Before I get into the details, here is a little info on Voldo:
Voldo is easily recognizable by his strange and unique style of play. His moveset is based on attacks that bend and twist his body in unnatural ways, making him an extremely unpredictable fighter. He also has many stances that compliment his odd style, like his Mantis Crawl in which he stands on his four limbs face-first. Even his neutral stance has him moonwalking.

Another recognizable feature of Voldo is that he has no spoken dialogues, just grunts and hisses. This is explained in the game's universe because of his isolation in his dead master's tomb, which has led him to lose his sight and become insane, often hearing his master speaking to him in his mind. Later games have hinted that Vercci's voice could be produced by Soul Edge itself, but no official confirmation has been made. Voldo's face is obscured by either tightly bound strips of cloth or a full mask in every game he has appeared in.

Fun fact: I am not allowed to play Voldo, because he creeps my friend Laura out. I am also not allowed to play Maxi, because I beat her by just pounding the Y button.

This photo was taken in the Garfield Park Conservatory's Arid Room. Because desert plants have such unique shapes, I like using them as a backdrop and the sandy soil allows the figure to sink in a little, creating the illusion of weight. It was lit by natural light, and while we were there, a very nice couple stopped and talked to April and I about photography. The wife, trying to stay polite but obviously a little disturbed at a grown man playing with toys, complimented me on photographing my "little creatures".

In Photoshop, I lowered the saturation and then used the lab color tweak to even everything out. I used a gaussian blur to give it that video game bloom effect, and finally, I painted the gem on his Katar. Oh, wait, I lied. Before I did any of that, I had to clone out the HUGE gap between his torso and his waist. I should probably fill that one day...

A tale of swords and EXIF, eternally retold:

Camera: Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi
Exposure: 0.2 sec (1/5)
Aperture: f/5.6
Focal Length: 55 mm
ISO Speed: 100
Exposure Bias: 0 EV
Flash: Off

File Size: 3.2 MB
File Type: JPEG
MIME Type: image/jpeg
Image Width: 2592
Image Height: 3888
Encoding Process: Baseline DCT, Huffman coding
Bits Per Sample: 8
Color Components: 3
X-Resolution: 72 dpi
Y-Resolution: 72 dpi
Orientation: Horizontal (normal)
Software: Adobe Photoshop CS3 Windows
Date and Time (Modified): 2008:12:29 08:58:34
YCbCr Positioning: Co-sited
Exposure Program: Aperture-priority AE
Date and Time (Original): 2008:12:28 15:59:10-06:00
Date and Time (Digitized): 2008:12:28 15:59:10
Metering Mode: Multi-segment
Color Space: sRGB
Focal Plane X-Resolution: 4433.29532497149 dpi
Focal Plane Y-Resolution: 4453.60824742268 dpi
Custom Rendered: Normal
Exposure Mode: Auto
White Balance: Auto
Scene Capture Type: Standard
Compression: JPEG (old-style)
Global Angle: 30
Global Altitude: 30
Copyright Flag: False
Photoshop Quality: 12
Photoshop Format: Optimised
Progressive Scans: 3 Scans
XMPToolkit: Adobe XMP Core 4.1-c036 46.276720, Mon Feb 19 2007 22:40:08
Orientation: Horizontal (normal)
Metadata Date: 2008:12:29 08:58:34-06:00
Creator Tool: Adobe Photoshop CS3 Windows
Format: image/jpeg
Color Mode: 3
ICCProfile Name: sRGB IEC61966-2.1
Viewing Conditions Illuminant Type: D50
Measurement Observer: CIE 1931
Measurement Flare: 0.999%
Measurement Illuminant: D65
Color Transform: YCbCr
Flash Return: No return detection
Flash Mode: Off
Flash Function: False
Flash Red Eye Mode: False

Be good,
-Dave



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1 Reply to "Voldo"

Ange on January 30, 2009 at 8:11 AM

Lovely shot Mr Dave.
We had such different childhoods...! Hee - and in order to authorise this post I have to type Gedlypoo - this shall be my new surname...