Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Character: Experimenting with Creature Anatomy

Another day, another session. This time, I experimented with the proportions, body language and anatomy of creatures. I used two very different animals for this: a horse and a bat. Ultimately, the horse was the more challenging to do, primarily because the limbs of a horse are completely alien in comparison to a human's limbs.

The bat, however, was relatively familiar in terms of anatomy: they have distinct knees, elbows and shoulders. The only difference is that their hands are very outlandish in terms of their proportions. Their fingers are elongated and strung together by a stretchy, fleshy membrane to form their wings. Their legs are tiny and used only for clambering over the floor or to hang by, since they don't walk, but they are familiar in structure.

Lastly, I tried my hand at creating my own creature from scratch, but I was given a landscape to work from: a mountainous landscape. Immediately, when I thought of this, I imagine an alpine, snowy backdrop with looming mountains and rocky cliff faces. I began thinking about what types of animals may live in those conditions and what common ground they have with one another. Two things I found in common were mountain lions and monkeys (Takasakiyama Monkeys from Japan to be exact), which use claws and fingers to grab onto rock formations and climb steep, rocky landscapes. These animals can also use these appendages as weapons: cats using claws of slashing and raking and monkeys for punching and hitting.
However, I wanted to think outside of the box with my landscape. I chose instead to look at the rocky, arid landscapes of Nevada and the Australian outback.

Then, I began thinking about protection from falling impact should this creature fall from a rock face. This, combined with the hot, arid and rocky climate being synonymous with termite mounds and, ultimately, insects, lead me to think about a hard exoskeleton. This, in turn, lead me to take inspiration from crustaceans like crabs and how these creatures may act in swarms, emerging from cracks in the cliff faces in the thousands.

The use of claw-like appendages both as weapons and grappling hook-like appendages for climbing was perfect.


Finished Creature

Name: Chittin
Habitat: Kurabi Desert
Planet: Kaderak

1 comment:

  1. Hi Tom, once again, some solid creature designs! :)