Our groups agreed to go our separate ways to come up with some concept creatures before coming together to draw in a similar style to create a few final designs.
I first focused on the deep-sea inspired creatures, living in the dome fluid. For this society I have belief that there would be a higher species, much like humans, with other creatures inhabiting along side them.
I began further research into mermaid style beings, including those in the movies Harry Potter. I found that these creatures were heavily influenced by fish, from their bulbous eyes to pursed lips. I decided to watch animals such as manatees and orcas for my basic structures as my characters would have a softer persona. I also noted that to show the maturity of these species, it would be interesting to have a look with greater advancement, such as limbs. Similar to the adaptation of thumbs in the human species.
Referring once again to Avatar- the Na’vi species show a hierarchy compared to that of the other animals that live with them. However they act as a common leader, keeping the world in peace. These mermaid like animals could be used as just that? Keeping peace in the dome?
Merfolk from the Harry Potter series.
Video courtesy of SebastianPhoenix1069.
Swimming with manatees in Florida I found them strange. Massive creatures with a peace about them as they moved.
Killer whales are already intelligent creatures.
I also looked at the movement of these animals online, to get a better feel for how the features could make them feel more flow like in the water. I swam with manatees on holiday a few years ago and noticed how gentle they were and how slow in movement, gentle giants summing them up.
Swimming with Manatees- courtesy of outdoortravelchannel.tv
I wanted to create a humanoid style animal, with flowy free scales or fins. These would be use to navigate in the fluid environment and would also give an angelic look. I previously owned several fighter fish and their beautiful tails would look amazing if replicated onto such beings.
Furthermore, I wanted to convey the bio-luminescence subtly in my designs, either through bead like patterns on the creatures or through their organs. Therefore I experimented with the use of both. The Comb Jellyfish (below) are a great example of something we wanted to look at- the idea of the light source pulsating through their tentacles.
Video courtesy of trojannemo.
The next species I wanted to look at was the more simplistic pet like animals that lived in the world alongside the mermaid creatures- they would be inferior in intellect but still serve a purpose in the environment. Like a step above pets but below humans- if that makes sense?
I wanted to make these guys flow around- as if constantly moving like a lava lamp flowing. The effect overall looks very tranquil, and will gives a squashy fluid look to the creature. The Pixar short ‘Day and Night’ is exactly what I would want the creatures to look like.
If you’re having a hard time sleeping, watch this video before settling down for the night- it helps- trust me. Courtesy of austinstrunk.
The squash and stretch in these characters give the fluid look to them. Courtesy of Pixar.
I can’t remember who pointed it out (possible Niamh) but someone said my idea reminded them of the character Morph from Disney’s ‘Treasure Planet.’ After looking at him I seem to have taken this fluid idea from somewhere else! (Oops). However, I’ll incorporate this into my own designs, to ensure I don’t directly copy them.
Courtesy of Disney.
Video courtesy of meryuk.
Morph kind of reminds me of a blob fish- maybe where the original inspiration came from?
Blob fish- Psychrolutes marcidus.
Above are some of my original concept sketches for the Dome animals. Next I will create drafts of the Forest creatures.