Rich W.

Motion Design

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1

Geo Mantis

Intro

As most young kids would do in their youth, I used to catch and play with bugs from the backyard.  In particular, I was fascinated by the alienlike praying mantis and would house my tiny pet in a little bug cage we set out on the porch.  We would get so excited to catch all this food for it and then go absolutely crazy to see it rip apart its prey, limb from limb.  So sinister now that I think back on it.

Research

The mantis is the top of the insect food chain, nothing could take it on one-on-one.  It screams bold dominance yet freakishly odd with its protruding bulgy eyes, long stick frame and razor sharp spikes lining its claws.  It will patiently wait for its prey and then ambush just when the perfect moment comes, pinning it down and slowly nibbling away. 

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Sketch

I tried to capture the mantis' deadly personality with jaggedly sharp edges, straight lines and precisely calculated 65 degree angles.  I constrained myself to the page too much and realized that I would need to elongate the body a bit more in the vector version.  She is in the attack stance, ready to pounce and rip her victim's body apart.

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Vector Process

I used a lot of guides and stuck to them, to keep the consistency and ratio of the sharp angles.  It makes a work of art in itself almost.

The patterned details on the body were a series of triangles and diamonds to complement the jagged exterior.  It reminds me of an exotic, hybrid African-Polynesian style of decor.  I know the details may be a bit too refined, but that's my style to go macro small on the accents.

The background circles are a simple contrast on the thorny mantis.  It also reminded me of Mr. Miyagi karate poses, so with the sun rises or the Japanese flag too.

There is a subtle leaf texture, a perfect camouflage used by a mantis as green as this.  It also gives me a sort of cosmic space vibe, which reinforces the alienlike inspiration I got from these guys.  Something straight out of 'Starship Troopers'.

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GIF sequence of the making of process:

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Final

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