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    C.O.W. #427 - COW/CHOW Crossover - The Parasitic Host - WIPS Thread

    C.O.W. #427 - COW/CHOW Crossover - The Parasitic Host - WIPS Thread

    For more info and details about the rules go here:
    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=110879


    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Round #427 COW/CHOW Crossover - The Parasitic Host

    Topic:

    #427 The Parasitic Host!

    Hello folks! I apologize for keeping you all in suspense. Now is the time we team up with Character Design Of the Week to bring you "Parasitic Host." I love all things parasites, mainly because the designs can be super creepy. You have the choice of making this parasitic organism either helpful or harmful. Once the Character portion is posted over in CHOW, we will provide links so you can check development seamlessly between threads. You will have two weeks to design the creature portion because this involves a character also (You will only be worrying about sketching the creature).

    I hope you have a lot of fun with this one and be sure to post all of your progress! Good luck everyone!





    Due Monday, August 6th!


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  4. #2
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    Awesome topic! I'm in.
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    Scorge... you don't need me to tell you you're awesome...

    It is a cool design though - very nice translucency! I imagine it sits over the hosts head somehow? I don't know what stage this is so I'll hold off on the crits.

    Are you doing the CHOW too?

    Funnily enough, I came across an article about you while I was trying to find out why CA was down last week. I didn't know you'd done designs for Ark. I've not played it myself, but I think I spotted some Scorge-esque designs in a promo trailer?!

    Anyway - onto the task at hand. I've just done this one sketch so far to illustrate a concept I envisioned yesterday.

    A large mollusc with segmented plating. It attaches to the arm of its victim, extending tendrils from its rear which pierce at the neck and embed into the host's nervous system. The parasite feeds opiates to the host to keep it docile and compliant; this helps prevent the host from attacking the parasite during its sleep phase - as it releases motor control over the host. It also secretes an antibiotic mucous to prevent infection where it pierces the host's skin.

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    Scroge's too goood yoo! Mythmaker, yours is coming along awesome!
    here is mine..... a parasitic worm that feeds on red blood cells and turns its host super pale.

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    Thanks Mythmaker! Yup, I designed 99% of the creatures in Ark. Ironically I've never played it either. ;P I do have some idea brewing for the Chow as well. Debating which direction to take it. Cool concept you've got going there!
    @doodleducksp: Thanks!
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    A little bit update on my parasite, trying to make it a little tighter?? I guess. I was struggling so bad with the brush like "wings"/ "appendages". here is what i have so far....

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    doodleducksp: I was playing around with paintovers on your image earlier - trying to figure out what advice to give. To be honest it's a bit of a tricky challenge you've chosen.

    I quite like the design itself, but the rendering could be more effective. It seems like you're going for a kind of microscopy style look? If I was doing this I might choose to emulate the look of a scanning electron microscope image as the captured values describe the form very well.

    Based on what you've already got though, I would try to increase the values on the parasite the give more depth to its anatomy, and selectively edit the opacity to allow more of the background to show through. It could help to break down the anatomy into logical layers e.g. the far side anatomy on one layer then any internal anatomy above that, with the near side anatomy on top - the opacity of each allowing information to pass through appropriately from the layer beneath.

    You could vary the colour to make it look more interesting and authentic. It might also be worth experimenting with filters such as 'emboss' (e.g. duplicate the creature on a fresh layer, apply the filter, then you can change the layer style to affect what's beneath - such as 'overlay').

    It might also be interesting to add some interaction - to show it attacking or attaching to something.

    Sorry to bombard you with suggestions - Just take what you feel is helpful (if anything!)

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    Thank you much Mythmaker, I am with you man. To be honest my image does not really adhere to 3d forms and it is really flat, the anatomy of the thing itself does not make any sense. The concept is suffering because it is not rooted in "realism". You are right, I was trying to go for that microscopic look. Thank you for taking the time to give me all of these wonderful suggestions, I do appreciate it sir. I will play around and try to salvage this piece as much as I can... if not then better start a new one Loll

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    Hey there doodleducksp, I saw a lot of potential in your design and decided to do a paintover as well. Hope you don't mind.

    Quite a few things happened here of note obviously, first being that I flipped the image. I might have read what you had in mind wrong, but something about that lower right section was calling to me. Hehe
    Amorphic forms are really tricky because you have to give them some semblance of order or else it won't read right. What you have is definitely there, but there didn't seem to be a priority to which end dominated. I checked out a bunch of parasite macro shots and noticed that even in nature creatures tend to have a symmetry or front and back, or at least what appears to a head and tail. With that in mind it was just a matter of painting and trying to find the creature through volume and light. And in my crazy mixed up process, details can get a bit heavy, so once I get them in I decide what can be sacrificed in order to 1. Give the eye a place to rest in between, and 2. Accentuate important areas without over doing it.
    As for the color, well, I like your concept of a parasite that makes the host pale, has some potential for sure. I'm just a big fan of color.
    Anyway, I'm not sure if this will help you or not, but if even the smallest part of it does then I'm happy. If you ever have any questions or if you just plain hate this then please let me know. Haha Looking forward to seeing where you go with it!
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    Scorge / Dave,

    This is sooo Incredible! Thank you so much for taking the time to give me a super helpful critique and an incredible paint over..... I was smiling like a dumb person for a good 10 minutes, I am Happy, you made my day man hahaha!!! I just can't believe that this just happened. you have to know that I am a big fan of yours Dave. You are one of the Creature guys that I look up to..... Thank you man, I really appreciate it.

    Sorry for fan-boying Dave,
    You are on point on everything that you have said. I was not able to make a decision on the hierarchy of the design of the creature because I was confused with the concept? I guess? I should have begin with a proper sketch and some kind of a goal on what kind of properties/ characteristic of the creature that I want to show... instead I winged it from the beginning. One thing that I was aiming to do but got everyone confused was that, the upper left section of the parasite was supposed to be his head, but that got lost because of the confusing design. I got to fix that for sure, making the head read a lot better. Volume and Light is also one of the major weakness that I have in creating/ designing believable creature and characters, I was going to ask you if you have any tips/practice for me to get a good grasp and to understand these two things.

    The paint over was done beautifully. I am loving the analogous colors scheme to the piece man, Its so good and very fitting with the background. The design of the creature is very sound and believable man. Awesome.... It's gonna be hard to reach this level of polish and rendering man hahahahaha. wish me luck guys.

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    doodleducksp: I did read the top left as the head as you intended - mainly because of the brain and the proboscis-like mouth, and the sweep of the fins. I think it was more confusing in the earlier version as the tail looks a bit like an open maw.

    I think standard microscopy tends to look quite flat (it's sat on a slide with light through it after all)- so perhaps not the best thing to reference if you're trying to create a more dimensional look.

    I think the rendering in Scorge's sexy reworking is more reminiscent of deep-sea creatures with bio-luminescence (also reminds me of a nebula!), so that's what I'd be looking at for reference if you want to try and emulate the style. Maybe also design work such as the aliens in The Abyss.

    As for practising volume and light - If you struggle with something then start simple; In this case you could practice painting simple 3D shapes in greyscale - e.g. a sphere, cube or cylinder. Mark where you want your light source to be so you can keep track (you can draw lines radiating outwards to help visualise). You could also draw the contours of where you think the light will fall on your object before you paint the values in.

    Of course - drawing and painting from real life will be invaluable for this - so maybe some simple still-life arrangements to start - with a single light source. Plaster casts are commonly used for this kind of focussed study.

    I've done a quick paintover of your image in greyscale to help demonstrate how you can create form from the flatness using values. I've ignored transparency/translucency to keep it simple.

    Hope that helps. Are you having another go at it?

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    @doodleducksp: Shucks, thanks! Means a lot to me to hear that. Creature design is what I love.
    Mythmaker's suggestions work very well.
    Here's some samples of the images that would help with reference.
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    @Mythmaker , Scorge

    Thank you so much for taking the time to help me guys, I appreciate it. Let's do this!

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    Oh lawdy, looks like a critta party!
    Scorge: Monster piece from you on both your original and the paint over you were so nice to do for doodleducksp. Concepts are always on point and really loving how your using your colors these days. Awesome work and I wouldn't expect anything less from the creature king himself. Was happy to see the water bear in the references, those things are the real die hards of the universe,lol.

    Mythmaker: Nice to see you in here and great value layout you have going. That thing looks like it's going to be really hard to get off once it gets on something. Looking forward to some color as always. Also, your Dying Dryad came out great again man, real nice edits for the final.

    doodleducksp: Real nice start and looks like the guys got you covered in here. Looking forward to the adjustments. Keep up the good work.


    Here's my cheerful little fella, just having fun letting loose with some creative free time much needed from the workload...
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    doodleducksp: Go for it dude! ;D

    By the way; I just thought I should clarify that Dave and Bobby are the experts on creature design - I don't have much experience in this area, so bear that in mind!

    Legend: There you are! - I thought it was a bit odd you hadn't posted anything!

    Thanks for the feedback. I think I was mostly happy with the dryad, but I ran out of steam at the end. I felt it could have done with brightening up a bit, and a bit longer to tighten up the detail. Actually, I think it was another case where I was too focused on the painting and not enough on the character design (which is the main point of the exercise after all).

    I think perhaps you too are very quick to launch into painting and could maybe do with spending more time in the planning/designing/drawing first? That's how it seems from what I've observed anyway - what do you think about it?

    I always feel it's much harder to fix drawing problems later on once you're dealing with form and colour - and things can easily become distorted as paint gets pushed around to fix issues. I've been trying to be more patient and disciplined for years, but I keep falling into the same trap regardless!

    Anyway - Focusing on your creature: I think it's an effective composition, and it has energy - I can feel the movement of the creature through space towards me. I like the open serrated maw - it looks intimidating.

    I think the downside of having the head square-on is it makes it harder to describe the anatomy dimensionally; I mean you are largely dependent on the values to sell the form without the perspective cues you'd get from having it turned at an angle. The body section behind the head seems to be coming down at too extreme an angle - like maybe the sections should be curving down more (then close together to describe the foreshortening)?

    It doesn't help that the lighting seems a bit inconsistent, and in fact doesn't really make sense in context of the environment. Having said that - I can see you have thought about it because you've brought some reds into the colouring of the skin. Off the top of my head - I wonder if it's worth looking at scorge's Hell Ant painting as an example - I seem to remember that had a strong red palette?

    As for my own creature - I've been a bit stuck as I felt my design was a bit lacking, and kind of safe as it's not that far removed from the tree-jumper I painted last year. I also felt like the CHOW part wouldn't be very interesting. Seeing what scorge has done with the theme has really pushed me to rethink how I'm approaching it.

    I've got a start on another design that I'm happier with, but just want to nail the form more clearly before I post an update.

    Keep it up guys! And if anyone else is thinking about it - jump in!!!

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  32. #16
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    Mythmaker: Yes! I actually dropped a little something in the DSG2679, just dikn around trying new thangs,lol. Other than that just life keeping me busy, been eating and crushing the gym more.


    Yeah I think you're Dryad came out real dope man, I was really liking the conclusion of things there. I think we all run out of steam eventually after staring at these images for hours on end; hell I look like I watched 3 Stephen King movies back to back with my eyes all glossed over and shyt. Yeah it is easy to get caught up in the artsy fartsy crap, but I'm all about the imagery personally. I mean I know this is concept art and it's a 50/50 venture to make the hundred, but often don't think out my concepts enough either and just try to really go hard on the visual aspects because that is what benefits me most for my occupation in art.


    For sure, I jump right into painting half the time, sometimes I don't even work a sketch or anything, I just start scribbling and slugging away at it. I just like to work fast paced and chaotic. Yeah you can't polish a turd so the foundation is everything. I have issues with proportions and not being symmetric enough. I'm trying to work on that more. It usually takes me rocking the image out and then looking at it with fresh eyes and noticing all my fukups; and then there is the shyt I don't notice, or just straight up don't give a shyt and neglect because I'm over it.


    Glad you like the motion and jaw of my little dude there, I like still images that have motion to them, hence my graffiti background where that was the whole idea with the letters, was getting them to flow and move. I think shyt always looks great at a 3/4 view but sometimes, I want to try and the square on deal, it helps with the symmetry issues I'm trying better to overcome. I think I just need to draw a shyt ton of portraits and that should do the trick, seems to be what every other artist does to nip form, proportions, perspective, etc, in the butt. Yeah I definitely winged the body on this one, I was all about the head on this one. As far as the lighting goes I was getting imaginary per usual and thinking maybe the light is coming from whatever device is filming it or something, definitely thought about it, was just breaking the rules and going for something visually interesting not politcally correct.


    Lol, dude I can't keep up with Scorge in any way shape or form man, he is a master of his craft. I look at his stuff to just admire it, but I don't try to think too deeply about his stuff and how he did it cause I used to and it honestly got me nowhere but thinking myself inside out and confused. Scorge is well rounded in all the fundamentals of image making, from the initial drawing / forms, to the values, edges, color, lighting, effects, all that, he's really got it all, and then don't get me started on his creature anatomy knowledge and ability to reference well, jesus,smh, lol, what a juggernaut. I remember the Hell Ant piece to and the shyt was just simply rad.


    Yeah, I was going to say that if you're not feeling your design than void it and restart man. I'd rather restart and have a really bad ass wip, than have a shitty end piece that I dislike or hate. I'll be looking forward to what you conjure up. As for now I think I'm going to dive into the CHOW and see if I can throw something together over there. I have no idea what I'm going to do that pertains to my parasite, but whatever I still whip something up....Cheers and good seeing you on here as always, and know I take all that you mention in mind, I just gotta get more disciplined and motivated I guess and dump double the time into what I'm doing. See that is my biggest issue is time, so I start rushing and throwing shyt together and well, things get sloppy and wonky some, but as long as it's somewhat functional then I'm happy, also don't forget I work a lot from imagination because I create more freely like that, I hate being chained to a reference or references.

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  34. #17
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    Some humble beginnings. I'm thinking either the creature has some soporific effect, or maybe that some cult worships such beasts and considers having one suck the life out of you a honourable experience ( would be quite easy to remove otherwise.) As such I want it to be potentially beautiful whilst still a little bit icky. Probably a little of both. Anyway here is what I have so far.

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  36. #18
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    Moirae: Nice thumbs! 3 looks very cool.

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    Hiya guys, I want to share what I have been working on. Taking as much as I can from the awesome critiques that was given to me by Dave and Mythmaker. I gravitated towards the translucent deep waters critters for better or for worse. I feel like it is not in my skill level yet to emulate translucency, cause I have not quite grasp lighting and volume tbh.... but I decided to just roll with it. Some people that are close to me like the previous one better LOL, but for sure I like this one better .Thanks again for the feed back guys. I would like to show you guys a couple version of my parasite, The Double Tailed Ghost Wyrm that feeds on red blood cell and make its host pale as a ghost. The tail could use a little more love.. but I am ready to move on. Hope you guys like it.

    Regular Version
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    After a Meal
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    After A Fat Boi Meal.. greedy son of a gun..
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  40. #20
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    I have extended the deadline for the character creation side of this challenge, so there is still time to run over to chow and design a host for your parasite. http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...parasitic-host

    doodleducksoup: Here is how I paint bubbles, or other shiny transparent things, it involves painting a opaque version and then turning down the opacity and painting over it again. Hope it helps.
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    @Moirae,

    ahh, I see. Thank you sir

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  44. #22
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    Hey! - How are things going? Sorry for not posting sooner, but I was busy having an art crisis...

    I realised the new design I was painting wasn't working, so I started again from scratch a couple of days ago. I nearly gave up again yesterday but managed to push through and get something done. Hopefully it looks vaguely plausible?

    Sorry I can't give feedback at the minute - my brain is tired from noodling

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  46. #23
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    Here's mine then, might be a bit late. Didn't turn out quite how I was expecting, looks a bit like a deranged pokemon. Acrylic on paper.

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  48. #24
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    Cool design Moirae! You seem to do well with the acrylics too.

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  50. #25
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    Mythmaker: Re-energize friend and awesome entry. Really like the color palette on this alone. Very cool parasite indeed. Very cool back ground also, I like those green circles with the line green outline, very cool.

    Moirae: I love that man, I think that is super cool and I don't know if that is a face on top for sure or what, but the way it's arranged makes it look cute and beautiful, yet fierce; super cool mood combo and ups the creepy factor for sure. This is done traditionally I see from what Mythmaker mentions? Very, very cool for sure. This inspires me to come off the computer and possible rock a C.O.W. traditionally as well and acrylics I love to work in too =) I like that Tiffany mint color square in the back ground there, very cool for the design and over all presentation. Have you considered maybe like a gray violet cast shadow to make the creature look like it's floating off the page?

  51. #26
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    Lege1: Traditional media illustrators seem to be a dying breed, do anything you can to keep paint and paper alive! That was a little face, and what lead me to suggest it looks like a demented pokemon... As I said earlier I wanted these things to be worshipped, and have one suck the life out of you a great honour, so I made a little face like it was singing sweet music and a little halo thing too. Came out a little blurry though, I may have to scan it in at a higher resolution. Drop shadow could work too, I will give it a go.
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  52. #27
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    Haven't been around in a while, thought I would sketch something real quick. Occulyte, plucks out an eyeball and replaces the eye, it hooks into the nervous system and will actually function as the host's eye. Eventually laying eggs in the socket and dying.
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  56. #29
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    Moirae: Traditional media illustrators are for sure a dying breed. The only handful I even know of or follow, are Jesper Ejsing, Donato Giancola, Gabrielle Dell'Otto, and of course Alex Ross, I think there may be a few others dabbling brushes like magic wands to forge magic cards, but other than that......yeah.....lol Great job again, I really like your creature and I think that cast shadow could really make the cute lil fella pop right off the page. POP! PAP! lol

  57. #30
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    Great work everyone. It was fun to see the progress and I'll be posting a new topic later tonight.

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