Creature Design: Arachnomorphette Head
Conveying Narrative & Creating an Immersive Experience
Picking up where we last left off with the Arachnomorphette creature concept, we’ll be zooming in to define her head design to a greater degree of detail.
Watch the previous tutorials from the Arachnomorph series below:
The head of a character or creature design is one of the most important aspects of the design to develop. That’s because it’s the first point of engagement that’ll hook the viewer in. Why is that though? What makes the view pay attention to the face before anything else?
The reason is, the face is one of the most expressive parts of the body. So it’s our best chance of expressing the temperament of the creature, whether it’s friendly or dangerous, what it’s thinking and how it’s feeling. Put simply, the outward expression of the face allows us to relate with the creature with most potent level of connectivity.
In saying that, there’s a wide spectrum of different creatures out there. Some more humanoid than others. The more animalistic a creature is the more difficult it becomes to relate with them on a human level. This can be both good and bad depending on the effect you want your concept to have on the audience.
A creature that veers away from traditional human qualities in terms of the way they’re structured, their anatomy and proportions might be harder to connect with or understand, making them scarier or uncomfortable to look at.
In the case of the Arachnomorphette there are certainly creaturely distortions which have been applied to her humanoid make up in order to increase the amount of fear she might strike into the hearts of the audience. However that’s also been balanced out with human like aspects, particularly in regards to the appearance of her face.
So although she’s a fearsome looking creation, we’re able to get a good read on her emotions. Beyond that, there’s also a certain level of feminine allure which has been incorporated into her design. This creates an interesting contrast between her womanly features and the insect-like characteristics they’ve been merged with.
The most believable creatures often have some basis in reality, being built upon subject matter we’re already familiar with. What makes them appear as a unique, never before seen creature design, is the way in which those already existing elements are composed, morphed and combined. Striking that balance is quite simple and oftentimes very enjoyable as you mix and match different ideas to come up with a concept that’s truly compelling.
In this tutorial you’ll also learn not only how to execute the design process, but also how to craft an immersive experience for the audience, that you’re able to control as they absorb your concept. What I’m talking about here is leading the viewer’s eye throughout the design using contrast and tonal value, to draw their attention to the key points of interest throughout your design.
Part of that immersion comes from your ability to convey narrative within the design, in the way they dress, through their pose and other physical characteristics. In the end that’s what brings them to life and makes them feel uncannily real.
I hope you enjoy this tutorial and get loads of value out it. I enjoyed putting it together for you, and I know that it’s going to help you out in a huge way when you start putting what you’ve learned here into action.
Software Used: Manga Studio
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