Book Review: Fundamentals of Creature Design: How to Create Successful Concepts Using Functionality, Anatomy, Color, Shape & Scale

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Fundamentals of Creature Design is an incredibly detailed book that covers almost everything you might want to know about creature design. The publisher is 3dtotal Publishing so you can expect the best.

This is a large format 288-page paperback book.

These are the chapters:

  • Research and imagination
  • Functionality and adaptation
  • Anatomy
  • General design principles
  • Creature design in the industry
  • Design process
  • Gallery

The first two chapters talk about research and the concept of biology, basically looking at why the animals look the way they look and how evolution works.

The chapter on anatomy looks at the anatomy of different types of animals from land, sea and sky. It also talks about what makes for believable anatomy.

First half of the book focuses on understanding animals and the second half is on drawing. The following chapters look at design or art principles such as to create silhouettes, give animals weight and balance, create scale and perspective, dynamism.

Lastly there are eight detailed case studies with professional artists going through a design brief and coming up with their own creature designs. The case studies give you an idea on how creature design works in the industry. The artists would have to come up with ideas, research, create thumbnails, filter out unusable designs and develop the ones that work to completion with details and colours.

Highlight of the book is it gets you to think about your designs. It's not just about drawing but coming up with a creature that actually is believable. The explanations are always answering the why. Why do chameleons change colours? How do animals move and why do they move like that? Why do crustaceans have so many appendages? After you've gone through the whole book, you'll probably be very used to the thinking mindset.

This is a fantastic resource on creature design. It's insightful and detailed. You can't go wrong with this if you want to learn creature design.

Contributors

Fundamentals of Creature Design: How to Create Successful Concepts Using Functionality, Anatomy, Color, Shape & Scale is available at Amazon (US | CA | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | AU | JP | CN) and Book Depository

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