Any advice for making a fantasy creature look plausible?
Simon Kaminska, US
Tackling anatomy that doesn’t exist isn’t as difficult as it may seem if you take a look at animals that closely relate to what you’re trying to design. It’s just a matter of applying the reference and combining what exists in the real world with what you’ve envisioned in your mind.
Regardless of how alien or crazy the anatomy may appear, it all functions the same way as Earth’s own animals’ joints and muscles. I’m simply modifying the amount of bones, joints and how that structure is designed using what I’ve learned from varied species in all the different classes and families of our own taxonomic ranks.
Something that I tell myself and others, which I believe helps a lot, is to think of your creature as a real animal and not some mythical monster. If you take the view that it’s an actual species, it’s easier to relate your fictional creature to how a real world animal walks, runs, jumps and how its anatomy reacts in a vast array of different actions. It’s best to consider the purpose behind the anatomy as well, instead of just drawing something that looks interesting.
This comes down to the guiding principle that form follows function. Which simply means that it’s more important to make sure a design functions properly before you worry too much about the aesthetic details. So I always try to keep things simple early on until I’ve solved the way the anatomy is broken up and how this creature fits within my own fictional world.
This beast has a forelimb that consists of an additional joint not usually seen in nature, but it’s something you can recreate by studying bones.
The bone structure of the limbs in canines and felines are very similar. I’ve used their limbs as a starting point to create my own multi-jointed limb.