Nightmare Project – Animal Mashup (part 2)

In class we continued to look at different ways characters were sometimes made up from the most unlikely sources – I actually really liked this exercise, even though the task was made a little harder by the school tablets (they’re not the greatest). I’d planned to continue (or redo) some of this work over the weekend, but VFX and Portfolio have been taking up a lot of my time. I would like to include as much as possible of this project into my Portfolio, however, so I hope to have a better blog post for part three!

Either way, Tony showed us something he threw together using various animal images he sourced from the internet. In his case, he went for a bear with crab armour and arms, as well as a couple of well-placed tentacles (likely from an octopus or squid). He then showed us how this mish-mashed series of pictures could be brought into Photoshop, realigned together, but then sketched over to create one, unified image of a SeaBear. I thought this looked very cool and apparently it’s a technique used during character idea generation.

I liked the idea of using a bear as the main part of the body, so I stuck with that, but I added on something that should be straight out of the realm of hell – the Asian Giant Hornet. Those things are made of hatred and loathing, killing somewhere between 30 and 40 people every year in Japan just from the sting (which looks like bullet holes), so what better to use for a project about nightmares!


The result did look rather ridiculous after all the parts had been Photoshopped together, but as Tony said it really didn’t matter since it would be sketched over anyway by the end. I added in some Horseshoe Crabs as armour over its front legs and then started drawing over the image. As I mentioned already, it wasn’t the greatest result with the school tablets, since unfortunately they’re not very steady – I guess I’m used to the one I have at home and need to try this again with that one.

Adding a grey overlay and dropping the opacity down, it was easier to pick out the parts that I wanted to use in the overall design, instead of focusing on a direct tracing. The entire point was to make something using the images as a base, not necessarily copy them all over again. So I took out the bear’s back legs and replaced them with the insect legs, tried to blend the legs and wings into the body, etc. While it’s not the greatest, I don’t think I’d want to meet a creature like this out in the real world!

We likely won’t have a chance to revisit this officially in class because of the Programming exam this week and going to Animex next week, but I’ll attempt to do a few more thumbnails of my own ideas, pick one, and at least get a turn-around sheet done. It would be nice to see this project through to completion through the summer, as well.


A quick update because I managed to finish the turn-around sheet for the Hornet Bear in time for my portfolio. I think it actually turned out better than I expected, so I’m rather pleased with it. I simply took the design into Krita and, using my tablet, drew out the outlines again and coloured it in. I decided to nix the odd grasshopper legs because I liked the bear’s body better in the end, but I did look at a lot of reference photos of bears (actually mostly polar bears) to get his positions right for the front and side views.



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