III's graphic designer, Denise Lutz walks us through her most recent experience with the Creatures of Amalthea curriculum.
I’ve spent the majority of my time thus far researching animals with similar anatomies to the one I want to create. I want to begin understanding what aspects this group of animals have in common and what distinguishes them from each other. When I create my own creature, I want to know the reasons behind each specific trait, rather than using guesswork to make design decisions.
I choose to focus my attention on zebras and water buffalo. While these animals have similar anatomies, the way they use their bodies is very different.
I used the Creatures of Amalthea's Foundation | Creature Design Section as my launching point to start my research.
I looked at the “Why’s” of the animals I had chosen to focus on:
- Why is the water buffalo structured the way it is?
- What does its diet look like?
- What kind of habitat does it thrive in?
- Which aspects of its physique make it unique, be able to escape predators, etc.?
I approached my research with the zebra in a similar way. Research is vital when thinking about creature design because it provides a foundation for the creatures I create; it gives my creature a breath of realism that makes the potential for their existence in this world plausible.