I’m in­spired to use in­sects in my sci-fi art. What’s my next step?

ImagineFX: Sci-fi & Fantasy Art magazine - - Imaginenation Artist Q&a -

Fe­bru­ary 2015

Nigel Fell­nar, Canada

Tony replies

Whether it’s the Reapers from Mass Ef­fect, In­vid from Robotech or the aptly named Star­bug from Red Dwarf, in­sects (and pretty much ev­ery type of an­i­mal with an ex­oskele­ton) have been in­spir­ing sci­ence fic­tion space­ships since the genre took off. The com­plex de­signs ofNa­ture are deeper and more thought­ful than most of us could hope to cre­ate on our best day, so it’s a good start­ing point for all kinds of stuff.

As with any­thing you cre­ate, the first thing you need to do is fig­ure out what ques­tions need to be asked. Whose space­craft is this? Are they hu­man-sized? What’s the gen­eral de­meanour of their race, and what sort of mis­sion are they on? Or are they lost? Friendly or hos­tile? Is this their ship or did they steal it? The more of th­ese kinds of ques­tions you can an­swer, the more stream­lined and fo­cused your de­sign will be­come. Just pick­ing your favourite bits from a se­ries of strange bugs can have an ec­cen­tric charm of its own, but only when you de­sign with a strong nar­ra­tive in mind will the mes­sage come across clearly.

Con­sider adding el­e­ments to your scene that will dis­play more as­pects of the de­sign, such as scale

and any spe­cial fea­tures the ve­hi­cle

may have.

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