Help me con­cept a mu­tant

Kyle Spick, US

ImagineFX - - Imagine Nation Artist Q & A -


Alix replies

The first step in cre­at­ing any kind of mu­tant is to de­ter­mine their ori­gin story, their life be­fore the mu­ta­tion event took place. Whether it’s a heavy dose of ra­di­a­tion, ge­netic splic­ing or a bit of magic, the “how” be­hind the mu­ta­tion will in­form your ref­er­ence re­search. Don’t be afraid to get spe­cific when gath­er­ing your ref­er­ence ma­te­rial. Mix­ing in el­e­ments from an­other par­tic­u­lar species or ex­ag­ger­at­ing known and ex­ist­ing mu­ta­tions can help add flavour and be­liev­abil­ity to your de­sign.

The level of mu­ta­tion you cre­ate, from as sub­tle as a slight shift in bone struc­ture to se­vere body form changes, will en­tirely de­pend on the needs of the story you craft. For this ar­ti­cle, I’m go­ing to il­lus­trate a woman who’s been bit­ten by a cursed spiny orb weaver, a type of spi­der that’s strik­ing in both form and colour.

Work­ing in Photoshop, I be­gan with a sketch of a hu­man in the pose I want. Tak­ing this ap­proach can help you keep mind­ful of the flow of the forms, cre­at­ing a nat­u­ral mix be­tween the hu­man face and the mu­tated el­e­ments. Main­tain­ing enough of the hu­man form in the face can cre­ate an even more dis­con­cert­ing mu­tant, be­cause it can still evoke em­pa­thy in the viewer.

Al­ter­ing and in­clud­ing ad­di­tional aspects of the fig­ure, like the hands, can help push the creep fac­tor

of your mu­tated hu­man.

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