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Making Of 'Zenoth, Alien From Jupiter'

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Date Added: 17th January 2011


I think that every man, once in his life, takes sometime to wonder about extraterrestrial beings; it's quite normal, I guess. The most frequent questions are most likely, 'What would they look like?' and 'How would they relate to us?' - Two very basic questions and yet an infinite number of answers. Science-fiction has already outlined a very detailed archetype of alien beings, their forms and their behaviour, so we already have a familiarity with this kind of subject from what has been said and shown to us. It is very difficult to go against something we are used to, and I was very aware of this before starting the project; I didn't want to go crazy with originality, I simply wanted to create my own personal view of an alien without shifting too much from the popular essence of them.

I imagined them as creatures, neither good nor bad,just living beings; they have a different social structure, a different way of communication and different ways to feel things and emotions. Take a predator like a lion:it's not a bad animal because it kills other creatures to survive; it's just inits DNA. This is the same for Zenoth: he comes to Earth to eliminate humans because they need our planet for survival - just for this reason, and no other.There is no chance to communicate with him; he simply doesn't care about us in the same manner as we don't care about ants. He's not curious, he doesn't feelanything, and his mission is purely to eliminate us. He's not bad because hekills humans, and there's no reason to eliminate us because of something wrong we did as human beings. We're just in the wrong place at the wrong time!


I was very confident about the humanoid form (4 limbsand a head) just because if we are the most "advanced" creatures on this planet then there must be a reason for us to be made like this, and I think that our features would be the best mode of choice for more advanced beings. The skeletal and muscular system is a "deformation" of the human's, they have alarger chest being supported by stronger muscles anchored to the spinal bones that have a more complex and stronger structure then our own. The pelvic bone has been rotated a bit, and a "spoon"-like form has been given to it to better support the heavy chest. Likewise, the legs and their muscles have been adapted to the new structure, although the base muscular system is very similar to the human one in "mechanical" terms. The head is perhaps the most original part of the whole alien, as you can see from my preliminary sketches (Fig.01). I imagined him to have a mouth; later I decided to cut the mouth off his face because of a careful consideration about their behaviour. I didn't want that humans to think they could talk with them or to believe that there could besome sort of communication. No way! Zenoth is not here to have a talk, be friendly or to try to understand how humans are, this is not how he is supposed to behave. I very much liked his big ears right from the beginning, perhaps just because it makes him looking a little more animal-like.

Fig. 01


The modelling process started as usual with a simplebase mesh (Fig.02) that was basically an adaptation of a human one; I just quickly remodelled the parts that I needed to be different (head, feet). I took this low-res mesh into ZBrush and started sculpted, focusing on balance,rhythm, gesture and volumes. During this phase I used the Move, Standard,Inflat and Clay tubes brushes, sculpting in every subdivision level until I could not stress the mesh anymore. This way I avoided focusing on details too earlyon in the model. This is very important because you want to lay down volumes in "layers" of complexity, you just cannot push the Subdivide button and startgoing crazy with wrinkles. If you do this, you'll lose the major volumes andyour details may appear like a bump, instead of being generated from a particular, underlying structure.

Fig. 02

continued on next page >

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