Creature designs and presentation
I'm making these critters to mimic professional creature design sheets. They are originally based on the Crimson Revolver: The Racnor challenge, so they're designed to be able to fight off or prey on armored warriors. And that's about all the design guideline I used. For each creature I have life cycle and habitat in mind when designing. I'm looking more for things I should watch out to improve on or avoid doing for next creature project, as well as what could be changed on these right now. Any feed back will be appreciated!

Hi, I did a quick paintover, my advice is to think about repeating flow in shapes and rhythm.In this case the pattern : From thick to thin. Also the red crystals on the back of the creature don't follow any direction and point to random positions. I think this way anatomy gets athletic also creates a balance. Back in the days many designers searched for aerodynamic forms, they found their inspiration in nature. Due to the fact that a lot of forms in nature are aerodynamic. Which means that, fur, body curves etc are ordered in a particular direction or follow a curve or a path. This way it would easier for the creature to move fast , rather than getting stuck in some obstacle, because some anatomy part got in the way. For example the way the crystals are drawn above his bottom will get stuck in whatever is above the creature while running.
I hope it made sense my English is not the best :)
[Image: paintover_33123_by_skicnikutmi-d8vhise.jpg]

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Hey meat,

Mariyan-Hristov makes some good points man and I agree with him.

A couple of small points I would mention too mate are your textures and anatomy. It looks a tad clumsy in places, mainly around the front leg of the lizard dude and the legs of the giant bird. Plenty of anatomy studies and this should be fine mate ;)

Also, your textures are awesome dude, so much attention and detail gone into them which is great! Though in this case I think in areas their working against you. By putting textures all over, it's making the design read as flat and its difficult to focus on focal points. In nature we don't see stuff like this so it looks unnatural. We focus on things and then the stuff in our peripheral (around the edges of our vision) is blurry. That's why sometimes photos can be misleading. Try and keep all the nice textures your so good at in key areas, like focal points and in areas where to light is hitting. If you've ever seen Brent's work he's a bit of a boss at this so I've dropped an image of his here as an example. A lot of the darker and non focal areas are kept pretty simple with just slight implied textures.

On a final note, ive just touched up that shadow a bit dude, just to ground him more and pulled him away from the edge. He looks like he's abouts to just walk off the canvas, the chicken dude's the same. I know it's a design sheet so comp isn't as important but it's always important to make your designs as appealing and desirable as possible so these little details all add up :p

Hope that helps man, in general their pretty sweet designs, like I said I love your textures. Keep it up mate

While I replied Hristov via PM, I just realized I never replied to you Warburton, how rude of me!

Been studying anatomy and some shadows, like you said, but the over-saturating of texture is still hard to control. I'm still doing some studies, but will take more stabs at finished designs soon. Thank you so much for your thoughtful reply!

I prefer the original crystal creature. There's no reason for it to be aerodynamic, it isn't that fast. It may also exist in a grassland. Even in a forest, you won't often find branches that are stout enough and low enough to snag a creature that size. I've never even seen a deer get caught in branches, outside of Bambi, which was cute but not informed by reality.

The original looks as if it can walk on its hind legs if it wants to. That's totally lost in the redraw.
(09-07-2015, 01:41 PM)Jeremy Ray Wrote: I prefer the original crystal creature. There's no reason for it to be aerodynamic, it isn't that fast. It may also exist in a grassland.
The reason for it to be fast is because its a predator which hunts on land. We know that the creature it a predator, because the first post states " its designed to be able to fight off or prey on armored warriors". Also the claws suggest its a predator.

The need for aerodynamic forms in animals is not for speed. But rather being slide while crossing your environment. That's why even the spikes on hedgehogs follow a pattern which is pointed from front to back.

(09-07-2015, 01:41 PM)Jeremy Ray Wrote: Even in a forest, you won't often find branches that are stout enough and low enough to snag a creature that size.
It depends on the environment, the vegetation, the weather and the speed of the animal etc :D

(09-07-2015, 01:41 PM)Jeremy Ray Wrote: I've never even seen a deer get caught in branches, outside of Bambi, which was cute but not informed by reality.
Imagine this creature chasing a fast mammal and the mammal goes through some bad terrain.
At this point, the spikes which are in the direction if his head are gonna get stuck in random things, which is going to slow down the creature
and miss its prey. Another reason for the spikes to follow this pattern is that predators usually attack their prey from the behind in order to surprise it. If something attack this creature from behind, the attacker will automatically string on the creatures spikes.

PS : I apologize for my bad English :)

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I would give special consideration to any creature with crystals growing off of it. If I were writing the back story for it, it would be magical in origin and the crystals would store energy for a ranged attack.

The mouth isn't detailed, but from what I can tell it doesn't have the teeth of a predator. It looks a lot like the skull of a turtle, which also has claws. Almost everything has claws. This guy looks like a magician derived him from a turtle, a hadrosaur, a fern, and a bunch of magic crystals. I think he keeps the grass around the magician's tower mowed, until a knight rides up. Then he zaps the knight and scavenges the corpse. Very tidy.

It's all shadows.
Yeah I wasn't thinking a whole story before starting design. But I do know it lives in a barren, volcanic landscape with clusters of red crystal growth, like you would see at the end of Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. There are no trees, just low grass patches or a shrub or two. I never painted the environment 'cos I suck at it.

Here's more explanation on why it has crystals:

Hey meat!

I think it's a pretty cool idea, you definitely have a good physiology/ skeletal system thought out for it. What sticks out to me a lot is what you mentioned above, where the overall story of the creature hasn't been thought out. Not like you have to have a 300 page document thought out for it, but to imagine it really living in it's environment. Does it swim in lava? How does it reproduce? What do male/female versions of it look like? What mating styles does it have? What do alpha/beta versions of the creature look like? What do the babies look like? If it wanted to protect its young in a volcanic environment, would the eggs be that color? What texture would they be to withstand growth in that environment?

These questions aren't to beat down your idea at all, but to inspire a lot of wonder in your work. And it's not a complete overhaul of your idea, but a cool embellishment of the ideas behind it. Because when you think these little ideas out and make sketches/concepts conveying these ideas and behaviors, that's what's going to make an art director be like "I can trust this guy with making my IP that much more appealing to my audience." Just like in How to Train Your Dragon, Toothless acts like a cat. But it's well defined HOW it acts like a cat, belly petting, using light as a laser pointer, (something about striped snakes causing the dragons to freak out?), all of that. It adds to the behavior and the world of the creature, since in a way, the creature is a character in and of itself.

Let your love of the content show through. Advice that admittedly I need to take more often than not :D

David Szilagyi, 
Professional Badass, phD.

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