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Get started in creature design

Friday, January 15th, 2021 | Posted by Jim Thacker

The Gnomon Workshop has released Introduction to Creature Design: Volume 1, the first in a new series of creature design tutorials recorded by Ready Player One and Lost in Space concept artist Kyle Brown.

The workshop, which comprises over three and a half hours of video training, focuses on the use of digital sketching to explore ideas, refinining early concepts into a finished creature design.

A guide to professional workflows for expoloring and refining creature designs
Brown begins by setting out the considerations that underpin the design of creatures for film, TV, games and advertising projects: how big, small, dangerous, or strong should the creature be? What environment will it be occupying, and what role does it play in it? Will it have any unique skills or traits?

He then discusses the importance of using photographic references even for fantasy creatures, sparking off ideas rooted in believable real-world anatomy and physiology.

Brown moves on to set out a typical design ideation workflow, exploring possible silhouettes using simple two-value construction, then adding secondary forms during thumbnailing.

The training then explores how to flesh out the initial thumbnails into more resolved sketches, varying the shape and design language to create multiple iterations of the creature.

To complete the workshop, Brown demonstrates how the final design is translated into a three-quarter pose for the presentation — either for a client, or for a personal portfolio.

About the artist
Kyle Brown has worked as a concept artist in film, broadcast and game development, on projects including Ready Player One, Netflix’s reboot of Lost in Space, and Star Citizen.

Outside his professional work, he teaches creature design at Gnomon, as well as character development and digital sculpting.

Pricing and availability
Introduction to Creature Design: Volume 1 is available via an online subscription to The Gnomon Workshop, providing access to over 300 tutorials. Subscriptions cost $49/month or $490/year.

Read more about Introduction to Creature Design: Volume 1 on The Gnomon Workshop’s website

Full disclosure: CG Channel is owned by Gnomon.

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