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