Throughout the production of a series, a lot goes on behind the scenes in regards to planning and design, which often go through multiple stages before resulting in the final version that is seen on screen. Some concepts and ideas can have an effect on the show and characters, and unexpected occurrences during production can also lead to changes and additions to the plans for the show.
Weiss Schnee alludes to the character Snow White from the fairy tale Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, which follows Team RWBY's theme of fairy tale allusions. This allusion has had the following influences on the character and show:
- The literal translation of Weiss' name, from German to English, is "White Snow".
- However, the actual descriptive phrase "white snow" would translate to "weißer Schnee" or "schneeweiß" in German. The German name of Snow White in the original book is "Schneewittchen".
- The song Mirror Mirror heavily references the evil queen's use of a magic mirror, with the lyrics "Mirror, tell me who's the loneliest of all" referencing the queen's line "Mirror mirror on the wall, who's the fairest of them all?" This song first plays in the "White" Trailer, which serves as Weiss' introduction.
- The pendant on the necklace Weiss wears with her original battle outfit is an apple, referencing the poisoned apple that Snow White takes a bite of.
- Advertisements for Schnee Dust Company merchandise bear the slogan "The finest of them all", referencing the evil queen's phrase "who's the fairest of them all".
- Klein Sieben, one of the Schnee family's butlers, alludes to all the seven dwarves.
Weiss also alludes to another variation of Snow White in the fairytale Snow White and Rose Red. This allusion is a connection to how she and Ruby would become close partners.
Weiss' emblem is a stylized depiction of a snowflake. She shares her emblem with the rest of her family and her family's company. This emblem appears on some of Weiss' possessions:
- Original battle outfit - on the back of her bolero
- On some of the vials of powdered Dust she had packed in "The Shining Beacon"
- Pajamas - on the upper right side of her chest
- In her normal glyphs
- "Snow Pea" alternate outfit - on the back of her coat
- On her debit card
- In the Volume 3 version of her Arma Gigas summoning glyph and in the Volume 4 version of her Arma Gigas summoning glyph.
- Timeskip outfit - on the back of her shrug
- Occasional outft - on the back of her shrug
- In her Boarbatusk summoning glyph
- Atlas battle outfit - on the left sleeve
Original Battle Outfit
The original concept art of Weiss was revealed through a photograph of an old sketch by Monty Oum. In it, Weiss is wearing a short, white and pale blue dress and a white and pale blue bolero. The collar of her bolero curves in close to her neck. Around her waist is a belt-like article with a pouch on the back. Around her neck is a silver necklace with a small pendant. She is wearing a pair of white high heeled boots, each with a strap around it. There appears to be a line down the outer side of the boot that may indicate a hidden zipper. The far edges of her bangs curve along the sides of her head, while the rest sweeps to her left. It appears that her ponytail curves up and then falls.
Between the two drawings of Weiss are a couple of doodles that resemble snowflakes.
Another piece of concept art, by Einlee, resembles the final design more closely. She is wearing the same outfit, with only five differences:
- Her sleeves have black tear-drop beads dangling from the ends.
- The front of each boot does not have a silver design.
- The metal circles on her bolero are gold instead of silver.
- The pendant on her necklace appears to be a teardrop instead of an apple.
- Her boots don't have zippers down the backs of them.
Her physical appearance has the following two differences:
- Her bangs are parted in the middle.
- She does not have a scar on her left eye. In its stead is a beauty mark.
This appears to be the stage at which Monty began considering changing her to being left-handed, considering the presence of the "left handed?" note.
Einlee also made an early draft of Weiss' portrait for the end card of the "White" Trailer, and the subsequent trailers, which shows her wielding a silhouette of an early version of Myrtenaster in her right hand. She has a beauty mark instead of a scar, and her pendant appears to be a tear-drop instead of an apple. Her ponytail splits in two partway down, with each half hanging to each side of her. The sleeves of her bolero have white tear-drop beads dangling from them. This portrait was edited to replace the beauty mark with her characteristic scar, remove the beads from her sleeves, shorten her ponytail, and remove the split from the ponytail. In this version of the portrait, she is shown holding a version of Myrtenaster that only contains red Dust, a leftover from before Monty Oum decided to color code Dust. This edited version of the portrait made it into the end card of the trailers.
Concepts With No Change
There is no visible difference between the show and concept art versions of the following outfit.
- Weiss fights with fencing because Monty studied fencing.
- She was originally going to be right-handed, but Monty, who was left-handed, found it easier to animate her fighting if she was also left-handed.
- Early designs for Weiss were set aside and later used for Melanie Malachite.
- In the old concept art of Weiss, her characteristic scar is absent and, in its place, is a beauty mark.
- The "Snow Angel" nickname Jaune Arc gives to Weiss was spawned during the same improv session where the crew decided Jaune should have an infatuation with her.
- Originally, all of the Dust in Myrtenaster was going to be red but still have different effects. This is because Monty felt that red went well with Weiss' design, and he disliked the idea of having a character with a specific color palette walking around with a glowing rainbow. In the end, he decided it would be better, for the audience's sake, to color code Dust.
- In the original Volume 1 Opening storyboard, Weiss is shown practicing with Myrtenaster in a room full of dummies, while a mysterious figure watches her from a nearby doorway. She is later seen at the end, standing with Yang and Blake, looking at Ruby.
- She does not appear to have her characteristic scar in any of the storyboard images. It is unknown if this storyboard was made before or after it was decided that she would have a scar. It is also unknown if her scar's absence is an oversight, due to the storyboard simply being used to plan the actual opening animation.
- After Volume 3, Rooster Teeth changed animation software from Poser Pro 2013 to Autodesk Maya. With this change, the animation department also made all new models for RWBY. The Weiss Schnee model was given a wider waist and larger thighs, and her face has lips modeled on. The newer hair model gives her the same hairstyle, but the ponytail is longer.
- During Volume 7 the protagonists gained new designs, and Weiss was given a big redesign by tying her hair into a large braid.
- Between Volumes 7 and 8, Weiss' hair was given a new, updated model that slightly shrinks the braid and fixes the volume issue.