How would you go about de­pict­ing dif­fer­ent gen­er­a­tions of an alien fam­ily?

ImagineFX - - Imagine Nation - Jess Ab­bott, US

Nick replies

This is a fun ques­tion with the po­ten­tial for a va­ri­ety of an­swers. It all de­pends on the par­tic­u­lars of your alien and the life cy­cle you de­cide to give it. My ex­am­ple veers to­wards the comic, but the think­ing be­hind its vari­a­tions could be one way to go, what­ever your own cre­ation is like.

I’ve plumped for a part rep­til­ian, part plant-like crea­ture. That doesn’t ex­clude in­cor­po­rat­ing ideas from other choices such as in­sects into the mix. I imag­ine this to be an egg-lay­ing crea­ture, with the fe­male con­sid­er­ably larger than the male and less brightly coloured (but not shown here). Maybe she has habits such as eat­ing her part­ner af­ter mat­ing, like some spi­ders do? The brighter colour­ing and fo­liage-like fronds around the head and neck aren’t merely dec­o­ra­tive, but serve to lure its in­sect-like prey near its mouth parts. It’s car­niv­o­rous. It’s im­por­tant to think how and where your crit­ter lives be­cause this af­fects how it ages. Try and be log­i­cal.

The de­tails de­pend on the life cy­cle you choose to give your aliens, but you can glean which of these is young or old.

Form fol­lows func­tion: the plant-like fronds at­tract prey. Pos­si­bly they also wilt with age, as plants do?

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