Saturday, April 25, 2015

Fish Telephone

Silhouettes are a great starting point for character and creature designs, so I thought I would use them for a new series of flying fish-like animals that I'm developing.

Before I started these, I built up a little visual library by sketching out some bizarre sea creatures. Afterwards, I mapped out a couple blobs on my page, which gradually morphed into what you see here. I applied some characteristics of non-fish ocean-dwellers (whales, nudibranchs, shrimp,...) to make them more fantastical, but still believable.

I chose five different creatures from the initial set of silhouettes that I thought had the most potential and developed them further. For this particular creature, I focused on the head, making sure that the other parts of the body complemented its shape. The blue highlighted designs are ones I thought were strongest.

This particular design departed more than the others from its first silhouette. When one feature changes, it sometimes results in all of the other features undergoing a small change. Like the game of telephone, you might end up with something that resembles the original idea just vaguely.

With each additional design, I found that it helped to focus on a personality for each creature. After my 4th design, I wanted to make something more sinister to contrast with the others. Knowing the personality ahead of time for my last creature really informed the development of his fins, for example. Spiky, angular things read as hostile and aggressive for any creature design. But who knows? Maybe he's soft and cartilaginous on the inside. 

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