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Sunday, September 25, 2005

Influences: The Thinking Beast

I am very story/purpose oriented so conceptually, with all of my creations, I have a fairly clear idea of what I'm looking for early on because every character or creature or environment or architectual structure has a clear purpose or place and set of emotions I intend for them to carry in a given story. Once I have the story nailed down I begin to find ""loose" image references or sketch, or commission another artist to sketch images of the character(s) which I model from, regardless of where the reference images come from I can have as much or as little freedom in the modeling phase as I choose. In more than a few cases I've found it useful to use modeling applications without reference as an effective brainstorming/sketch tool as is the case with the "Thinking Beast" and my Centurion.

The "Thinking Beast" is a character/creature that I felt I definitely needed in my story. No sci-fi fantasy film is complete without a huge imposing quadraped. The main difference between most huge creatures, as depicted in film, and "Thinking Beast" first can be distinguished first from the character's name; as the name would suggest these creatures have as many complex thoughts as any man intelligent man would. In keeping with with Egyptian Mythos that character is a mix of animal and human/Sphinx-like elements and also falls squarely between the ethereal an corporeal realms. The beast is "Ghostly" white because it represents that rarity and mythical element that has been recognized by so many cultures and traditions throughout history in story. Most of my characters are not replicas of the original Egyptian pantheon deities, because these are "The New Stories of RA." The following images are random images that influenced the 3D design of the "Thinking Beast."

The "Thinking Beast" was modeled, rigged, and skinned (enveloped is the XSI terminology) in Softimage:XSI. I later exported the geometry for tweaking in Maya and to re-rig and skin the character since I decided on primarily using Maya for the rest of my project.