Admittedly, this post is largely bereft of original work this time around. Studies are the name of the game for this post. We'll kick off with a status update on the Arceus Project.
After many... long hours and a lot of frustration, these (simplified) anatomical study guides are finished. They have already proven to be worth the investment as instead of hauling out heavy study volumes from my personal library, I can just pull these up in the midst of work and get exactly what I need without attempting to make space on my meager work desk. Eventually, once the project for which these were made is done, I'd like to expand this pair with more animals, namely with dog, cat, and bird studies, to complement and expand my "instant access" resource library. If I ever do get a studio job, these will be the first things to get pinned to my cubicle walls.
Also for the project, various bird and horse studies. Or rather, just more of them in general to add to what was made before. Some are stronger / better than others, but they've all been helpful. At long last, I finally have some basic grasp on how to draw bird wings without pulling up 20 images off of Google to help me out. They don't look it, but the first set of bird studies was a solid four hour time investment. The bodies were of no problem, but a concentrated effort was put on the wings specifically, which involved... a lot of ctrl+z, deletion, restarting, and generally getting annoyed.
The result in completing all of these was a brief consideration to change Arceus' design for the project:
Giving Arceus eight legs as opposed to four sounded like a fun idea, and with some creative problem solving it's perfectly doable. However, despite the background mechanical considerations that were done in the midst of this to make it work on the physiological end, visually it's not very fun to look at,which rather made the whole endeavour feel like a bit of a waste. If I were going more for a mutation direction with the Pokemon, I would have likely soldiered through and kept the concept, but since, in relation to the project, Arceus is being interpreted as a bioengineering "Work of Art", the wacky leg layout would be inappropriate.
Hi, Anon! I have just added an "Archive" link on the main blog page (and the blog now comes with a refresh button). If any of the link break somehow, please let me know!
Hey, Robots! There is actually a reason for that! The reason the link is missing from the front page is because I am a weenie and don't want the casual blog portion of the site to be available via general menu access just yet. I don't feel it's appropriate to have it linked directly from the front page at this stage. This may change in the future, but for the time being the only way to get to the blog is to manually type in or bookmark the url extension from the site. The address will never change, so for as long as folks remember the extension they'll be able to get to it.
As for help with skeletons, it can go either way! It honestly depends on how much legwork you want me to do with the skeleton. I'm happy to do either, but if you're just looking for a little bit of help, I can probably blast out a redline for you in a couple of minutes and give you a short bit of justification for my choices in a small text block. HOWEVER, how much help they may be might be affected by your own understanding of how skeletons work in tandem with muscles - but that too depends on how much that side of things legit matters to you for the end result. If you're just looking for something that looks believable, then a redline will probably be all you need. If you're looking for something more in-depth, then I'd probably ask for some level of pay for the extra work involved.
To expand on this for anybody who might be interested - making a believable skeleton isn't as hard as it looks. It's time-consuming, but not too difficult. However, what it does require is a basic understanding of the purpose of a skeleton, which is to protect vital organs and provide anchorage for muscles to further permit movement. Form fits function in a skeleton, and generally function is accomplished in a "path of least resistance" manner (generally through the marvel of refinement via evolution). Unless your design is really wild, the skeleton will be the least of your concerns, it'll be the muscle layout that give you a run for your money!
Hi, Erin! The change in Lemmy's hair specifically does play into his species. To justify the colouration of his hair in the official design, I decided to go with the idea that in Lemmy's species males would have colourful quasi-manes as a display tactic or general form of sexual dimorphism. If his hair were permitted to fall naturally, it would look like something like this:
The secondary reason for changing his hair was that I couldn't think of a convincing justification to give him a naturally vertical-rainbow mohawk. I could have gone with dye / manual colouration, but it didn't fit his character or the culture of the Koopa monarchy in which he was involved. Since so many of the Koopa children were becoming very colourful overall anyways, I shifted the concept a little for the least amount of trouble.
For whatever reason, I felt driven / inspired to take a half-a-gigabyte's worth of screen captures from Predator and Predator 2 one day, and do a bunch of studies from them (with some Monty Python in between). Ever since I was but a booger, I was enthralled by the design of the Yautja, and the unique differences in facial / cranial construction between the Jungle Hunter and the City Hunter from the two films. Both creatures have a very specific facial arrangement that for years I could never get right, which bugged the absolute shit out of me even until today. Why it bothered me for over 15 years to the present is anyone's guess, but here we are.
Doing these lead to considerations on the Yautja homeworld and what evolutionary pressures could have lead to such a strange facial arrangement, sensory range, and culture. Using the original 80s - 00s era body of material (re: chucking out everything that came after the AvP movie [except Predators] because fuck that hot mess and the further messes it created) from both Fox and Dark Horse, I came to some conclusions that I felt were quite plausible. Once I have some more material built off of what I came up with I'd like to share those ideas here.
Two new additions to the height chart: twins Lelial and Vovere, and a Zobsk.
Lelial and Vovere were introduced sometime last year. While living, the pair swindled the church and preached worship to God through destruction of the body. Damned, they are chained to the doors of Pride's Fortress, deformed and awkwardly bent, guarding it against mortal intrusion and damned attempting escape. In being partners in crime in life, the pair cannot be truly separated in Hell. Should one brother die, the other will deliver them back into Hell through their own body. Should both die, the remaining gore will coalesce and nurture the reformation of the damned.
Zobsk are natives of Wrath, endlessly patrolling the Sea of Tar. They are an aerial species harbouring nothing but suspicion towards their fellow demons, answering only to Wrath's ruler, the Conflictor. Zobsk land only to court and deposit eggs. They remain airborne until death, plummeting from the sky to explode upon the ground. Zobsk breathe through their tendrils, performing gas exchange throughout the length of each. Their innards are delicate, collapsing upon the demon's death, even before catastrophic connection with the horizon.
More Sonic, because I sure do like comfort zones (act 1 and 2 haaaaaa). Because I refuse to just use Modern Sonic's design, here I am trying all over again to make a less uncanny-looking style-mashed Sonic so I can justify all the work I put into Metal Sonic. I'm sure if I just changed the face all my issues would be solved but for whatever reason I can't bring myself to do that. "Listen, this will work" I keep telling myself. What's even more hilarious is that technically he works on an anatomical level, he just looks fucking creepy, which probably reflects on me in a staggeringly terrible way with the reputation the fandom has.
I could just use this redesign from 2015, which would eliminate all of my problems instantly:
BUT, then I'd have to redesign Metal all over again. This redesign is meant for an entirely different project anyways and I'd rather not mix the two.
Speaking of projects, once the Arceus project is done and delivered to donors, I have a few other small-scale projects in line that I'd like to immediately jump into afterwards. In relation to TUZ specifically (all... three versions) there are some ideas floating about that I'd like to tackle, but I'll speak of those closer to when work on them actually starts.
A pair of sketch commissions! The queue now consists of just two more jobs before it's completely clear, not including the Arceus donor project.