Underwater forest dweller

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    Underwater forest dweller

    Attempting to create a creature that would dwell underwater, in a kelp forest type place, for most of the year. It eats mostly kelp and other vegetation and during the breeding season moves to the beach to raise its young whose gills dont work well enough to last in the deep seas until 6 weeks old. During the breeding season they eat mostly shrimp, mollusks, and sea slugs. The males have battles with their horns over mates. Females and young tend to stick together more often then males.
    ---------------

    Anyway the beast started out as a 'waterdog' now its a water goat/ottery thing. Still trying to figure out how to make him look good. I kinda want to change the head but i also wanted him to be 'goatlike' I remember while hanging out on the farm those eyes were just so awesome to look into.
    THis is what i have so far. In the end i want to have the creature and then another painting of a 'herd' in the kelp forest, and maybe a mother and the offspring together.

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    Last edited by Wingal; March 15th, 2012 at 10:25 PM. Reason: was way too big
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  3. #2
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    Might make the kelp leaves smaller

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    Well... I don't really see or get the goat parts. It looks still more like an otter with a dog's head attached to it, and the horns are more like that of a ram, not a goat. Aside the eyes (that you can't really see that well anyway) there's nothing that says "goat" in the anatomy, and I don't really see how they use those horns to fight, especially since otters aren't really known for high velocity headbutts (and water tends to take some of the punch away, so I can't really see the horns to work like they do in ground battles, and you can't really poke or stab others with those horns either...) and those horns probably eat away even more of the aerodynamic (waterdynamic?) form of the creature which probably makes moving fast in the water even harder.

    Also if they have gills, would the hair clog them? I mean hairy water creatures are generally hairy so that water doesn't get to their skin and I don't know how well that would work since they would still have to intake water and there probably would be exposed skin in the gill area.

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    It actually doesn't have fur, and the muzzle and eyes were the more goatish parts. I could change the horns or at least the story of the horns. I dont know if you are critiquing the story or the actually thing. I dont really care that much about the story, can always remake one after its done. Otters can reach speed up to about 9 mph, while mountain goats can reach about 14 mph (though not so much on a mountain). I think going 9 mph is good enough to do some damage, I mean you wouldn't run into a wall or a person at 9mph and not expect to get hurt or at least dazed. Though i dont expect them to go exactly otter speed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wingal View Post
    It actually doesn't have fur, and the muzzle and eyes were the more goatish parts.
    Ah okay, the texture on the body is what confused me to think that it has hair. As for the muzzle, well, it still looks very much like a cartoony dog to me, especially with the dog nose, the "kitty mouth" and and higher brow ridge, none which are very present in goat heads (or with otters either really, they lack that sort of brow and their nose is shaped differently).


    I dont know if you are critiquing the story or the actually thing. I dont really care that much about the story, can always remake one after its done. Otters can reach speed up to about 9 mph, while mountain goats can reach about 14 mph (though not so much on a mountain). I think going 9 mph is good enough to do some damage
    Well, kinda both, since the horns do still look kinda "tacked on", and aside the mating thing, I don't know why that animal would need horns like that underwater. Unless they really do attack by ramming things with their head, but is their neck/head really adjusted that so they don't break themselves when they speed against something? And wouldn't it be easier to just swim away?
    And yeah, otters can get to good speeds, but I would guess that speed requires some time to get into and some something like that it would be really easy to just quickly evade and strike the opponent with their big legs. Headbutting with ground animals is generally done in very close range:

    And well, I just personally don't see how that would work like that in a space where you can't push (no contact to the ground to keep your place) and where you can suddenly avoid up and down.
    I think you can make them work, but personally I'd try to get some other reasoning for them or make them less large so that they would curl better along the head.

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    Hey wing looks good, i suggest getting some underwater ref for the environment.

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    Thanks Tinybird! Ill try to make them smaller. I imagined them fighting kinda the way dophins do at first then once the opponent was pushed in a more vulnerable position a scratching and fighting chase type of thing. Sure they can walk away but they wont get what they want.


    Update. I did something stupid. I did save as a png and didnt save the psd UGH!

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    Alrighty you asked for it mon amie. =P

    I assume this is a WIP so these points may all be moot but I feel like the kelp-like plants are pretty loose and undefined compared to the actual creature/character. One of them even seems to just stop, floating detached and it makes me feel like this is set in a wide open ocean and the plants are just debris . I don't think that's what you were going for.

    The lighting is good, I quite like how it fits with the underwater setting. I think a little more dramatic shadows again on the planets would help bring it home. The background i'm not sure. In reality I think it makes sense that it would be vague, hazy and lacking in any real definition so I think keep it that way.

    The hair of your critter is oddly plastic for underwater, it seems stiff and unmoving, I realize actual otters and the like have very oily fur and so they don't move but the way it looks I think you meant for it to be more like human hair. Loose and flowing.

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    Good start, but I have to say that for an 'underwater dweller' - gilled and spending only six weeks a year on land - the design still seems much too terrestrial to me. The description sounds much more aquatically adapted than something like seals and sealions, but the visual concept doesn't.

    And if it has gills, how does it and it's young survive six weeks on land? Does it have lungs too?

    The dog-head-on-otter look is bothering me because the impression seems too lithe (though not optimally hydrodynamic*) and predatory for a herbivore, supplementing it's tough kelp diet (= more stationary chewing) with mostly slow-moving seafood. Does it need to be fast, to avoid predators for instance? Do you want to express that through otterlike flexibility or more streamlined, fishlike speed? In any case I think a little streamlining about the hindquarters in your main drawing, may be in order. Also, unless you want to change the diet and keep the doglike aspect, it could maybe use a extra injection of goatishness too.

    I agree that the bulky, curling ram horns kind of mess up the streamlining. If you keep them, seems they might be better suited to a slow approach and a final close lunge and sparring with the forequarters, rather than a long, colliding-steam-engines run-up. Which is what sheep tend to do anyway, particularly in the vid Tinybird posted.

    ("Finally, a series that gives you everything you really want to see - fighting! Mating! Hunting! Attacking! Wild America is a must for anyone who calls himself a hunter, fisherman, or wildlife lover... Big game and small game! Game birds and waterfowl! It's all here in Wild America!" That's bloody depressing. I'll stick with David Attenborough, thanks.)

    *Tinybird:

    Edit: all typed out before the last update. It could still go a bit further though, in my view.

    Last edited by Vermis; March 16th, 2012 at 12:08 PM.
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    So I changed him. Hes not cool and cute anymore; fat, ugly, slow, lazy, and with low defense cause it makes more sense :V. I actually like him because hes kinda like a slug and I like slugs. Better? second one has a shell on him cause Im trying to figure out a way for it not to be just a meat sack for predators. Might add some type of glands...

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