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The Gnomon Workshop has launched Introduction to Creature Design, a new series of tutorials on professional creature design workflows recorded by Lost In Space concept artist Kyle Brown.

Volume 1, which comprises over three and a half hours of video training, focuses on the use of digital sketching to explore ideas, refinining early concepts into a finished creature design.

Volume 2 provides over four hours of training on colouring creature concepts in Photoshop.

Volume 1: Develop an efficient sketching workflow for exploring creature design ideas
Brown begins by setting out the considerations that underpin the design of creatures for film, TV, games and advertising projects: how big, small, dangerous, or strong should the creature be? What environment will it be occupying, and what role does it play in it? Will it have any unique skills or traits?

He then discusses the importance of using photographic references even for fantasy creatures, sparking off ideas rooted in believable real-world anatomy and physiology.

Brown moves on to set out a typical design ideation workflow, exploring possible silhouettes using simple two-value construction, then adding secondary forms during thumbnailing.

The training then explores how to flesh out the initial thumbnails into more resolved sketches, varying the shape and design language to create multiple iterations of the creature.

To complete the workshop, Brown demonstrates how the final design is translated into a three-quarter pose for the presentation — either for a client, or for a personal portfolio.


Volume 2: Bring your concept sketches to life with colour and texture
In the second workshop, Brown revisits his original references for the creature design, using them to explore how to apply colour and texture to the initial monochrome sketches.

Taking the final concept from Volume 1, he reveals how to rapidly ideate different combinations of colours and materials, discussing how real-world textures can help achieve photorealistic results.

He then sets out efficient workflows for generating additional colour options for the design, and discusses how to present multiple versions of a concept to a client for feedback.

Having introduced the core workflows, Brown then designs a new creature from start to finish, using techniques from both volumes, and focusing on a non-destructive workflow.

Along the way, he discusses each design decision he makes, both successful ideas and mistakes.

A final bonus chapter showcases Brown’s own techniques for designing armour and weapons.

About the artist
Kyle Brown has worked as a concept artist in film, broadcast and game development, on projects including Ready Player One, Netflix’s reboot of Lost in Space, and Star Citizen.

Outside his professional work, he teaches creature design at Gnomon, as well as character development and digital sculpting.

Pricing and availability
Introduction to Creature Design: Volume 1 and Volume 2 are available via an online subscription to The Gnomon Workshop, providing access to over 300 tutorials. Subscriptions cost $49/month or $490/year.

Read more about Introduction to Creature Design: Volume 1 on The Gnomon Workshop’s website

Read more about Introduction to Creature Design: Volume 2 on The Gnomon Workshop’s website


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