Concept Art: Creature Design Workflow | Andrew Hou | Skillshare

Concept Art: Creature Design Workflow

Andrew Hou, Concept Artist and Illustrator

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11 Lessons (2h)
    • 1. Introduction

      3:26
    • 2. Keywords

      12:24
    • 3. Photoshop Crash Course

      11:31
    • 4. Silhouette Thumbnail 1/3

      8:42
    • 5. Silhouette Thumbnail 2/3

      8:33
    • 6. Silhouette Thumbnail 3/3

      15:09
    • 7. Refining Sketch 1/3

      15:11
    • 8. Refining Sketch 2/3

      11:11
    • 9. Refining Sketch 3/3

      7:52
    • 10. Coloring and Final Touches 1/2

      10:35
    • 11. Coloring and Final Touches 2/2

      16:22

Project Description

Create and Design a monster/creature

Brainstorming and Keywords

  1. Choose a Topic

    Choose a topic for  what you'll be designing.

    In this course's video I demonstrate with a "Dragon" concept design. Even with a known creature topic such as "Dragon", there're many different approach that we can tackle the design.

    If you're having trouble coming up with a topic, we're more then welcome to join me creating your design of "Dragon"

    Just remember to not be too vague with your topic such as "A Monster" :)

  2. Create a Keyword List

    You'll create a keyword list, breaking it down into various categories.  An example of categories are:

    Physique:Elemental:
    Personality:
    Habitat/Environment:
    Special/Unique Features:
    Basic Form:

    You can add more to the categories if you see fit such as... Color, Texture, and others.

    During this intial step of concept design, sometimes for me I'd spend days just brainstorming about it in my head, while I'm walking around, eating, before I sleep.  It's good to have a visual imagination of what you'll be creating.

  3. Refine your Keywords

    From the list of Keywords, choose and streamline the keywords while brainstorming and visualising in your head the possibility of the final design.

Silhouette

  1. Create 6+ Silhouette Thumbnails

    Use your imagination and create interesting silhouettes and shapes.  Do not let your creativity be limited when creating the silhouette, sometimes random surprises creates the most interesting results.

    While creating interesting shapes, think about the list of keywords subtlely in the back of your mind.  While you do not want to let yourself be restricted, you also do not want to go in a totally random direction.

  2. Mix and Match 3+ thumbnails

    From your initial batch of thumbnails, mix and max, overlap, cut and paste, and play around with combining the thumbnails to create new interesting surprises.

    It's always good to spend more time during the initial steps to try out a wide range of possibilities, and sometimes unexpected shape can lead to exciting ideas and designs

Refining and Sketching

  1. Sketching and Refining

    From the page of thumbnails, lower the opacity of the layer and sketch above the silhouette to start refining your idea.

    If you're doing this traditionally, you can even print out the silhouettes in a light color and use pen/pencil to draw on stop of the thumbnails.

  2. Explore different variations

    After refining the sketches, choose one or 2 of the silhouette that you like most, and create a different refined sketch variation. 

    You can consider boring elements you like from the other design and combine it into the final design. At this point, you're adding little more interesting detail to your design.

Colors and Final Touches

  1. Adding colors to your design.

    Putting the lineart as multiply layer ontop, create a new layer beneath the lineart and give your design simple colors.  

    Play around with different color variations while again, considering your initial keywords.

  2. Finishing Touches

    Add simple shadow/rendering to your creature.  During this final phase, add in small finishing touches and details to finalize your design!


Additional Resources

  • Silhouettes.JPG

    Reference from lesson.

  • Refining_sketch.PSD

    Sample PSD from lesson video.

  • Dragon Coloring_sample.PSD

    Here is the PSD file of the colored dragon in the video. Student can use it as a reference for coloring and the photoshop layers order.

Student Projects

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