How to get into the CS design mindset?

Posted 10 days, 8 hours ago (Edited 10 days, 8 hours ago) by chelonianmobile

I really, truly love all the weird and wonderful CS designs with fantastical features, but when I try to design one myself, I find myself trying too hard to make it make realistic sense. Like, I adore Ice Cream Cows, but when I try to design a creature like that, I just think "how the heck does this genetically work? wouldn't it be horribly messy?" Does anyone have any tips for letting go of that mindset? Getting more into the whimsical? Or, alternatively, making a species which looks whimsical but DOES make realistic sense?

chelonianmobile

Not really sure what I can do with that.

chelonianmobile

If it helps, here are some of my sketches: https://www.deviantart.com/chels-adopts I intend to make them a little higher-quality than MS Paint once I've settled on the basic look.

chelonianmobile

Going through other people's species and picking out specific examples which appeal and which I can picture applying to my guys, and I'm ending up with a sort of androgynous punky-grungy look for a modern setting, will adapt and explore what they'd be like in another milieu. The original inspiration was sort of generic medieval/folklorish but I want to try out other takes on the theme.

chelonianmobile

Okay, food theme's too cutesy for what I want here, which is a pain because it's at least a really easy way to get nice-looking colour schemes. Now I have to work harder for those >:(

chelonianmobile

Okay, I have a much better grasp of theme now. What'd you advise I take from it?

chelonianmobile

Here are some concept designs, with animal face, human face, and a human design in the same style for comparison - if I do go with human faces I still want them to be a bit otherworldly/stylised.

23rpq9d.png

I think they need some kind of marking/quirk around the belly area to balance them out a bit. ETA: I'm kind of leaning towards the animal look, but I had the idea of their "ruler" class being able to pass for human and if they're humanoid they can cross over with a lot more other species... Shapeshifters? Regional variation?

chelonianmobile

They aren't very distinctive yet, just regular anthros with weird feet. I do have the caste system but when one only sees one individual member of the species that isn't visible. Problem when a species is based strongly on a particular real creature, I guess? I need a way to improve that. Okay, time to do some research, I guess. What should I be looking out for in other species? I can see "oh they have X feature" easily enough but I think I need to practice seeing how it relates to the species concept as described by Camphorous.

chelonianmobile

Maybe if I have them stand like raptors too that'd be a slight improvement (like, leaning forward and balancing with the tail).