Albums du Patrimoine – the illustrator behind -the-scenes of the château de Fougères

While some may think that comics are for teenagers or geeks and that they are only a beautiful work of fiction, they will change their minds when they see the work carried out by the "Albums du Patrimoine" team, a publishing house managed by Chris Lécuyer, illustrator and comic artist with a passion for history. During our visit to the Château last October, we were lucky enough to meet the illustrator who, behind the scenes, actively contributed to making the project in Fougères possible.

Before being able to show these images of the Château in the Raoul Tower (room for people with reduced mobility), or the Logis (dwelling) in augmented reality on a tablet, it was necessary to go through a certain number of stages, questioning, testing and rewriting. Albums du Patrimoine, in collaboration with the National School of Architecture of Brittany and under the direction of a scientific committee (Château administrators, cultural heritage inventory department, archaeologists and heritage architects), was able to translate the committee's requests about the fortress into images and to adapt them as discoveries were made. What makes this device so striking is the level of detail present in the images; even the precise location of a trebuchet or a watercourse.

Different proposals for the Logis seigneurial (Lord’s dwelling) interior

Results of initial research on the 15th century Logis seigneurial- illustration C. Lécuyer - Albums du Patrimoine

  


Result of the second research on the 15th century
Logis seigneurial and the version selected to be developed
illustration C. Lécuyer - Albums du Patrimoine
 

These comic strip drawings are, in fact, the result of extensive research work and numerous discussions with the scientific committee. The illustrations, which are easier to correct (and often have been) than the computer-generated images, were the ideal tool and medium for understanding the evolution of the Château and the rock on which it was built over the centuries.
Thus, this work of interpretation through comics allowed the EESAB developers to produce these digital visuals from a good starting point.

Château in the 15th century - extracts from the different graphic stages


Château in the 15th century - first draft - S. Linard (Fougères heritage coordinator)    4-Correction Château in the 15th century - illustration C. Lécuyer - Albums du Patrimoine   

Château in the 15th century - illustration C. Lécuyer - Albums du Patrimoine

  Digital view of the Château in the 15th century - realised by E. Mahé (technical manager of the project), and SMART computer graphics experts - at EESAB

The mission of the publishing house is to promote culture and heritage while encouraging the attractiveness of tourism by communicating through comics.
This translates into tailor-made work, in response to the needs of heritage sites:
- The production of brochures, booklets and flyers distributed at reception points, in site shops or in tourist offices, will make it possible to reach the general public, especially young people, who, with the exception of a few, "integrate information better when it is presented to them in comic strip form...". However, this means that the historical archives and graphic representations of the place are rich enough to give the illustrator a starting point.
- When this is not the case, or when the sources are fragmentary, the request will be to reconstruct these missing parts, as in the present instance with the Fortress of Fougères. In this case, where the final objective was to give a hyper-realistic representation in digital format, it was for the developers to "make the sometimes complex requests of the scientific committee easily readable". A real job of interpretation and facilitation!

It is therefore no coincidence that our partner in Fougères called on the Albums du Patrimoine, whose facilitation skills enabled these immersive experiences to come to life and to provide this grandiose tourist site with new, fun and modern historical resources for a wider public.

To find out more about the work of Albums du Patrimoine: www.albums-du-patrimoine.com