ImagineFx (Christmas 2014) All Creatures Great and Small
This article from ImagineFx has some very useful insights into designing creatures.
Ken Barthelmey talks about the importance of a mixture of realism and imagination in order to make the creature design believable yet not boring.
Terryl Whitlach describes a similar approach where “real nature…is the anchor of the imagination”. She says:
“An idea in the abstract is fine, but even then the human brain is wired ‘to put a face on it’, as George Lucas would say: some sort of physicality that our senses can interpret and allow us to interact with it.”
Allen Williams has some useful tips on texturing. He suggests using the natural textures of the medium or create new ones from scratch. He says: “It’s important to understand that texture is surface pattern on a smaller scale. Look for textures and patterns that create a pleasing visual rhythm.”
Aaron Blaise also gives some useful advice for texturing. He encourages people to experiment and use textures that might not be the norm for a particular surface e.g. rock and trunk textures on skin.
Bobby Chiu uses non intuitive mixtures in his work to create interesting designs e.g. he has combined the anatomy of large bulky animals such as elephants with the proportions, lighting and pose associated with a smaller animal. He also talks about the importance of including story elements that the audience can easily decipher.