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Wednesday
Apr142010

Ethereal Filcher

Hi guys, I finished this piece some time ago and wanted to share with you.

It's called "Ethereal Filcher" and it's a creature from D&D Monsters' Manual. When I first saw the illustration in the manual I thought it was awesome, always love it.. very bizzarre and somehow weird.

My sculpt actually differs form the original for its leg: with the help of Mike Corriero (thank you:P) it end up having a split hip joint leading to one where the original have just one leg from the top to bottom.

I'm trying to do the textures but not happy with it, so for now here is the sculpt.

Hope you like it!

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Reader Comments (5)

Great design decision to split the leg into two- I definitely agree it helps it looks way more balanced and plausible, and plausible and this thing are not easily put together, 'cause, let's face it, it's a really weird creature anatomically, and yet you definitely improved it, well done! =^)

My main critique would be the hands- anatomically they look spot on, but from a personal preference, I really like how spindly the original creature's finger design is. They may actually be thinner than they appear on the model, but due to foreshortening of this pose it's difficult to tell. If they are, then disregard. Part of what I feel makes this creature so creepy are the spindly, immaciatedly thin fingers, and I think it would be a great transition to go from the fat, bulbous body to rail-thin arms and hands, which arm-wise you've definitely got going there.

Though I'm sure you have an image, here is a link for other commenters to see the comparison:

http://www.wizards.com/dnd/images/MM35_gallery/MM35_PG104.jpg

My only other suggestion would be to revisit the "eye sockets" of the upper tubercle-like growth atop its head. I feel the outer ridge of the eye sockets is a little overdefined and appear more like they were "poked in" with a sculpting tool rather than as a gradual, organic socket depth like in the original design. I think enlarging them slightly would also indicate what I feel is the goal of the original design- the upper tube is like a remnant spinal neck with a vistigial human skull, at least what remains of it before it became this phallic growth.

Part of what's scary about this creature is that it has human and foreign elements. Take Giger's Alien as an example. It's so different, yet so similar to our anatomy. The skull under the dome is a freaky, brilliant concept. Why this wasn't continued at least in part I have yet to understand, but that familiarity yet "alien" design is what makes the creature so scary. Giger knew this and even talks about it in a documentary on how he intentionally made certain aspects more familiar and others more unusual. The fact that we can relate to something so horrifying, yet so different is truly what is subconsciously scary about it.

This is a beautiful model and it's clear you've spent a lot of time on it. I hope my crit was positive and constructive for you, because that was my intention. I think every artist has an inherent fear of coming off as "preachy and all knowing" when they crit, and I hope you don't take my suggestions in that way. I love when people crit my work since it is a chance to improve, but I also know not all crits are golden or necessarily good, but I hope my high respect for this piece is apparent. =^)

Thanks for sharing your work!

April 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJason

I really like this - a very convincing job between the muscles, bone structure and very soft feeling tissue. I might have tried a few other approaches to the additional element extruding from the head, but thats just an opinionated gut feeling.

Started with a base mesh, or Zspheres? Posed in Zbrush?

April 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJake collinge

Thanks guys for the feedbacks!
@Jason: thank you Jason, your observations are really appreciated and helpfull! I agree with you about the fingers and the opposition between the body mass and the thinner arms and fingers. Actually the foreshortening isn't playing a good job about this and if you take a look at other images of the model in my website (www.federicoscarbini.com) you can see that they are longer then they seems to be in this image. But yes, for example the addition of the fingernails was something that I thought about very much and right now I'm still wondering if it was a good choice or not.
About the upper "face", after a close review of the concept I come out thinking that it was not a face but 2 nostrils and a mouth like opening. So this is why the two little hole are not structured like eyes. Off course it still seems a face and I think it was an intention of the concept artist to give this impression, I liked and I replicated this on my model.
Btw, thank you Jason for your feedback, you nailed some of the flaws of the model I should improve to better match the concept!
@Jake: Thanks Jake! I did a mesh in Silo and then sculpted in ZB where I also posed the model.

April 19, 2010 | Registered CommenterLoden

Awesome! This was one of my favorite creatures from that particular Monster Manual. I was excited to see it here!

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