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ImagineFX: Sci-fi & Fantasy Art magazine - - Imagine Nation | Artist Q&A -

Ques­tion

Can you help me con­vey the weight and mo­tion of a gi­ant stomp­ing beast?

Floppy Thomp­son, UK

An­swer

Bobby replies

A griz­zly bear can sprint up to 60kph, which is sur­pris­ing be­cause griz­zlies are huge, and great size and great speed are usu­ally in­com­pat­i­ble con­cepts. For this rea­son, con­vey­ing the weight of a gi­ant beast crash­ing through the jun­gle can be dif­fi­cult: we tend to think of gi­ants as lum­ber­ing, not run­ning with speed. In fact, even when a gi­gan­tic beast is be­ing de­picted as charg­ing at some­thing, it of­ten looks like it’s run­ning in slow mo­tion. Again, this is be­cause our brains don’t nat­u­rally as­so­ciate ‘ big’ with ‘ fast’, so there’s a nat­u­ral dis­so­nance there. With a gi­ant beast, pow­er­ful and de­struc­tive is easy, but a fear re­sponse in the viewer comes from adding speed.

When I was asked to do this, my first thought was the “must go faster” scene from Juras­sic Park. A T-rex is scary enough, but what makes that scene truly in­tense was that the T-rex was chas­ing the jeep and it was gain­ing on it.

For this ques­tion, the key to show­ing speed is in how the weight and en­ergy of the beast af­fects its en­vi­ron­ment as it crashes reck­lessly through it.

Nor­mally, the big­ger some­thing is, the slower we ex­pect it to be, and vice versa. So the chal­lenge here is to over­come this as­sump­tion in a be­liev­able way.

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