Ques­tion

I’m want to cre­ate an alien mask for a war­rior race. Any ideas? Rob Jones, US

ImagineFX - - Imagine Nation -

An­swer

Este­fa­nia replies

The first thing to keep in mind when cre­at­ing an alien mask is the owner of the mask. Think about their per­son­al­ity, their anatomy, the pur­pose of their mask, when the alien will be wear­ing it and so on.

Spend some time look­ing for ref­er­ences and or­gan­is­ing your ideas. Here I start off by de­form­ing the hu­man skull pro­por­tions, mod­i­fy­ing its size, length and shape to make it look oth­er­worldly. Com­mon por­tray­als of aliens fea­ture a domed head and curved or­ganic shapes, so in­sects such as a grasshop­per, wasp or fly may help you to vi­su­alise your crea­ture.

An­other ques­tion you need to ask yourself is what kinds of ma­te­ri­als are used to man­u­fac­ture the mask. More than one ma­te­rial can bring ex­tra vis­ual in­ter­est to your de­sign, so find a good bal­ance be­tween them and al­ways pay at­ten­tion to how light in­ter­acts with each to achieve a real­is­tic look. Fi­nally, add some be­liev­able ob­jects to the de­sign, such as breath­ing tubes or per­haps some un­usual lights, to en­hance its fu­tur­is­tic ori­gins. The key thing is that pretty much any­thing is pos­si­ble when it comes to alien arte­facts!

I’ve used two dif­fer­ent types of glossy sur­faces and some straight light to achieve a fu­tur­is­tic look. I also add some marks – some scratches and dirt.

To add some clean curve lights, paint a thin straight line and then use the Warp tool (Edit>Trans­form>Warp) to curve it un­til it fits the ob­ject be­low it.

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