Tuesday, December 30, 2008


I was on the computer yesterday when suddenly the idea came to me to paint an old school, pulp magazine, raygun-toting, bug-squid hybrid alien invader. So, I sat down and painted this guy in virtually one sitting. I think it's the best creature rendering I've yet done, and I'm pretty happy with it. I even gave him some halfway decent-looking technological devices, as well.
As far as creature concepts go, this is a highly intelligent alien species native to a low-gravity world with a warm, humid climate and at atmosphere rich in carbon dioxide and chlorine. It evolved from mud-dwelling ancestors that looked somewhat like crosses between sandcrabs and cuttlefish. It is omnivorous, with three sets of powerful mandibles to process its foot. Its eyes are set atop dark stocks on the upper part of its carapace, while its ears are those crater-shaped structures near the mandibles. Its olfactory and respiratory organs are located on the back of its carapace, and in this image are covered by a gas filtering apparatus designed for traveling in an alien atmosphere. The three pairs of limbs can function as either arms or legs, interchangeably. Though these aliens can communicate by sound, they prefer to communicate by sight. Their wide, black eyestalks can shift to any color in the visible spectrum, and this ability has evolved into a highly complex visual language. The device attached to the eyestalk of the individual pictured is a communicator: it allows information in this visual language to be sent long-distance and fed directly to the aliens' visual centers. They can also communicate through the use of chemicals and pheremones.
I wrote a much, much longer natural history/short story about these creatures in my Deviantart gallery: link. I enjoy writing, as you may be able to tell.
Also, some alternate color schemes.


texahol said...

lol best render ever...I think if you can go this far, u can go a little farther ;)

pretty sweet design, but I would like to see more contrasting hues in the 'face' area. :D and probably a bit more hue variation overall.

and when working on white, remember that white is your environment 'color' [unless you pick a different one to render to]

you going to keep on rocking some retro creatures?

Moai said...

Thanks for the comment and critique, Texahol. I agree with you that this could be taken further. I'm not very patient, and often move on before a piece is as polished as it could be.
I'll play with some contrasting colors and hue variation. I think maybe some reds might look good around the beak area.
As for the white environmental color, do you mean that I should add some more white bounce light?
I don't know about more retro creatures, but I've decided that this and the last creature I drew, the Snapper, are part of the same universe that's taking shape in my head. I'll definitely be drawing more creatures from that.

Greg Broadmore said...

I think it's fantastic design man. Got that 50's sci-fi vibe but you have a few other things in there to mix it up.
I like the render too, it's solid. I think maybe a bit more detail, cast shadow and texture would help, but that depends on the ultimate application of the design. If this were a professional job for film or games and it was the final design, you'd need to do another pass or two on this to model from. Probably close ups of focus areas and examples of articulation (especially around the 'face' if there is any)
If it's going to stay 2d, for print or web, then it's really up to you and what you're happy with.

Anima base said...

Alien invader designs are cool.

Raox said...

this retro-design it's great! We are totally agree with Devin advices, keep it up!

wallasaurus said...

i like the idea of non humanoid sentients. :) nicely done!

Moai said...

Greg Broadmore- Thanks for the comments and advice, man! I might have guessed that you'd like this one.:)

Anima base- Thanks!

Raox- Thank you! I'll keep all the crits in mind.

Wallasaurus- Thank you! Aliens are a lot of fun.