Saturday, May 23, 2009

Boss of Bosses, Part 1

Thus far, I’ve constructed a number of mobs for Shattered Dreams, some of which are bosses in their own right. Nevertheless, all these creatures are mooks compared to what I’m about to make. Behold the boss of bosses, the thing that will have players’ adrenalin pumping on overdrive as their characters hang on to dear life.

Actually, the picture shown on the right is my initial concept for the main boss. When I first drew this picture, I had not yet learned about making silhouette studies. With my newfound knowledge at hand, I decided to make a quick and crude silhouette of the creature to make sure that my design is on the right track. Below is the result.

What’s wrong with this picture? Simply put, the silhouette does not look dangerous at all. It’s generally bell-shaped, which brings to mind not only bells but also pears, statistical graphs, and women in Victorian dresses. How threatening are those? Clearly, a redesign is in order.

It didn’t take me long to come up with a silhouette that I like. The general shape of the drawing on the right is that of an inverted triangle. Most of the weight is at the top, which suggests upper-body strength, unlike the bottom-heavy bell shape, which looks much less strong and mobile. Also, triangles with their sharp angles look far more dangerous than pears with their soft curves. This whole discussion on shapes and their significance is part of what is known as “form language,” which professional concept artists and product designers are familiar with. Being the amateur that I am, it takes a bit of research for me to figure these things out.

Satisfied with the above silhouette, I then painted the details. Below is what I finally settled on. Not bad, in my opinion.


Josh said...

AnReminds me of a Manta Ray. It looks cool :)

Lance Botelle (Bard of Althéa) said...

Another great monster!

Your comments reminded me of a time when my wife looked at a new creature I drew (on paper) that was to face my group. When I asked her what she thought, she simply said, "Ah! It looks cute!" My ultra fierce nightmarish creature of the dark looked cute? You can see why I gave up designing monsters after that.


Frank Perez said...


Yeah, I did base this creature partly on manta rays.


LOL. Whenever I show my creatures to my wife, she says, "It looks ugly."

"Yes," I'd say, "but doesn't it look ugly in a beautiful kind of way? Look at the painstaking craftsmanship."

"It looks ugly. I don't know how else to comment on things like that."

Oh, well.

nicethugbert said...

Some teeth or claws, or whatever looks threatening or disgusting, in the triangle area of it's body?

Frank Perez said...

Actually, as can be seen in my next blog post, I transferred the tentacles from the back of the model to the front. It makes more sense to put them there.