Ok, so I'm entering my first Creature Forge Competition on CGHub and figured getting advice along the way might be useful.
The brief is:
The Triclops' primary sense is the 3 eyes it has. It is a nocturnal little creature that gets frightened easily, so it spends much of its time looking around for predators before making any type of move. It is a quadruped with 2 smaller limbs used to handle food. All other physical traits are up to you.
I did these few sketches beforehand, but I think I may have gotten carried away and forgot some details such as 'nocturnal or 'small'. Either way I always liked the top left hand one more and so I think I might continue on with that.
Any advice or critique is greatly appreciated
Last edited by Tchuk; December 18th, 2012 at 03:18 PM.
My problem with all those is that none of them really convey that there's three eyes that well. Most of them look like a two eyed creature that has just wonkily drawn face (especially the one you chose to continue with), and the ears don't really come off as that large or comical, considering that they're still pretty small in comparison to the creature. Even hares have larger ears in comparison to their body.
I think at this point you should start working on that one design further. Search for creatures which put big emphasis on vision and hearing or other means (like whiskers, hairs).
Last edited by TinyBird; December 15th, 2012 at 07:19 AM.
Thanks Tiny, I decided to take your advice and I've been looking up creatures like Hares, Wilder-beasts, Deer, Giraffe, Rabbits and Rats. Finally came up with this:
I figure perhaps the two side sets of eyes can serve one function, so I've based those off of Rabbits specifically, and the forward eye on Owls. I've also tried adding Jowls, changed from a chitinous body to a more mammalian based body and increased the ear size, also based off of Hares.
Anything else so far?
I still have a really hard time figuring the head. You're drawing the ears angled as the head would be angled towards us (actually the whole body is angled towards us), but I guess you're drawing the actual head directly from profile?
It just ends up looking like it has one nostril in the middle of the face and two different eyes.
Also personally I preferred the chitinous armor, as it made me think of bugs that go about in the dark, like silverfish, etc.
I think you need to find a pose where you can see all three eyes at once, otherwise it looks...like what TinyBird says.
I was once on the receiving end of a critique so savagely nasty, I marched straight out of class to the office and changed my major (sketchbook).
Well I was actually basing it more of of this angle:
Perhaps drawing a few in the scene at angles like this might be useful also though, just to add context.
I tried elongating the face slightly too, might make it a bit easier to read for now, but I'll likely draw a new pose for the final image soon enough.
Last edited by Tchuk; December 15th, 2012 at 06:06 PM.
I liked it better when the head was smaller - keep those ears real big like a rabbit, but shrink down its head. It also seems atm that the body and legs are too feeble to carry the weight of its head and tail. Back legs are good, but Id bulk up the front legs a little more.
The head looks like pre-roadkill in every one you've developed further - they all seem to have the "flounder effect" - sorry, that's just what comes to mind. You need to figure out a way to convey three eyes better. You're trying to just make three eyes on a creature that is clearly a minor variant on things we already know so well...squirrels, rabbits, that thing TinyBird caught and is now likely experimenting on. We inherrantly expect those types of heads and creatures to have two eyes and the appropriate skull and brow ridges to support that...so when we see that central eye it just looks like wonky cubism.
Personally I thought #2 and #4 had a lot of potential....but that's just me.
On a secondary (but important) note on presentation...the blobby gray shape surrounds really distract from the silhouettes of the creatures. They are the stronger contrast and harder edged shapes so we read those first. I would suggest looking at a lot of other professional level "surrounds" and then experiment with developing your own versions that are interesting and support the subject without distracting. Just something to think about.
Thanks Saeaie, I think I spent too much time tweaking I forgot about how balanced the creature might be. I've edited it now and it looks much more balanced I think.
And I can see where you're coming from Jeff, I've changed the head now after looking at some triceratops mouths. I think this fits in much nicer with the more rigid corners on the carapace and suits the creature more. As for the skulls... I am genuinely struggling to understand how a brow system might work with a creature with 3 eyes. I guess the concept of 3 eyes to me seems alien and unnecessary and so trying to grasp that is more difficult. Perhaps the third eye should be much smaller in proportion to the other two. I've been thinking perhaps the use of them could be the two side ones keep track of predators, whilst the forward facing one might see in a different spectrum to find vegetation. Much like how insects see in a ultra-violet to find flowers or something along those lines.
As for the outlined blobs, I'll take a look around at portfolios and such and see how others do it so I'll definitely take that on board.
Anyway just a quick update with new proportions/mouth.
Hmmm...I think a better way to approach this would be to sculpt a head maquette in sculpey or even just plasticine clay (that way you can change eye size/location easily). I might also do a full body maquette to get better information and a bit more dynamic nature to the pose. I would also avoid the tangent of tail and ear.
The main element of the brief is that this is a creature with three eyes,
YOU HAVE TO SHOW US ALL THREE EYES.
You have been bound and determined to avoid this since your very first sketches and, despite repeated advice to do so, you still are resisting it. The default assumption for all vertebrates is two eyes, so if you show us two eyes we are going to read the head as if it's a two-eyed creature in full/three quarter view, not a three-eyed creature in profile. If its three-eyed nature is important, and it is, you HAVE TO HAVE TO HAVE TO make that clear, and the only way to make that clear is to draw its head from an angle so that we can see all three eyes.
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As for the three eyes I've tried drawing the head at a different angle as well as a couple of quick thumbnails as for the final image I might use for the creature. I'll do more but for now here's the update.
The eye looks a bit like a nose from the distance. I suggest moving it up to where the third-eye position (humans - above the eyes, on forehead).
Yeah...have to think about evolution and adaptation for where that eye would make sense...plus just the physilogy of an eye socket, muculature, etc.
Plasticine clay is very inexpensive - can't bake it to preserve it but if you're careful a plasticine maquette can last months or even years.
Tiny bit better...but study this thing from teh skull out! That is really the approach you need to take. Understand the eye socket and orbit and the muscles that control eye movement and lids.
Personally I thought you were onto a much more interesting solution by having the third eye be a different type of eye altogether, placed higher and used for sensing different wavelengths. I would think for a nocturnal/prey creature an eye that sensed infra-red would make a lot of sense.
Well I've tried taking a closer look at animal skulls, tried adapting the creatures face around it. But along the way I've also been told perhaps too much emphasis was on the ears and not so much the eyes. So I've been playing with the head design a bit more.
I've also been looking into keeping the eyes different too. I was thinking the middle one might look more in ultra violet rather than infra red much like insects do. It might make spotting vegetation in an arid climate that slight bit easier. I did experiment with different pupils such as the cuttlefish 'W' but then it just made discerning it as an eye that slight bit harder.