The Shadow Over Innsmouth

Hey zBrushCentral, I’ve been away quite some time during a stint as a UI artist.
I’m doing my best to get back in step with my creature design and concept work, so I
grabbed Bryan Wynia’s TOD on CGSociety. I’m following his pipeline for a full creature
development cycle, and here’s my first week results! He has you start with multiple
quick sculpts based on the concept, and then do paintovers.

I posted my reference sheet as well, and some key phrases I honed in on from the story.
The Shadow Over Innsmouth is a short story by H.P Lovecraft, the gist of it being there’s a
town where the citizens made some pact with demons, and slowly turn into fishy/froggy sea
demons over time to serve Cthulu. I thought it was a great pick to do a concept of, it’s got a lot
of room to riff on a classic man/fish, ‘creature from the black lagoon’ archetype.

I’m really hoping to get some help narrowing down which the best one is for the final piece, I have
a few I’m leaning towards already, and I’m sure I see a few throwaways. Thank you in advance for
your feedback, and I hope you like the work!


These are my initial 6 sculpts, with renders grabbed out of zBrush.

These are my photoshop Paintovers, I had to split it into 2 parts for file size. At the start, I was spending about an hour on each of these, but
by the 3rd row, I was moving twice as fast. Bryan does a great job in his teaching of getting you to focus only on what’s important at any give
stage of the design. He asked for 25 iterations,
so I tried to do a few extra to really get the most out of learning the pipeline.

Thanks for taking a look, I’ve got an art test to do this week, but after that’s done,
I’ll be moving on to week 2 of the training, so when I get through that I’ll have more work to show!







really really like the paintovers…it’s inspiring a lot, some of them are great!

I should’ve just put this in the first post, but here’s my first round of cuts. I think
3rd row #1 can probably go, I like him but it reminds me of the aliens from War of the Worlds too much.
Maybe the whole first row can go too, although I like some of the froglike qualities, they don’t seem to
have as much presence.




Very cool! I actually dig the last one the best visually. Perhaps the muscles (?) leading up to his mouth aren’t practical and wouldn’t animate well, but I still like it the best visually. They are all cool designs though!

The very last one is quite the best.

Very ambitious to do 6 base sculpts. Took the class my self in 2011.
I like the last one, great potential in that one! :+1:

Thanks for the input guys! I’m glad there seems to be a clear favorite so far.
For that guy, my intent was that the tissue stretching from his jaw to clavicle
was supposed to be half-formed gills, kind of indicating the space between his
head and shoulders was slowly fusing into a fishier torpedo shape.

I made a sheet of my three favorites, although I’m pretty sure it will be the center guy.
I really liked the greasy haired quality of the one on the right, and the frog-demon look
of the first. I thought they came good, if I wanted to direct them in a more human leaning
direction than monstrous. I’ve been trying to imagine them in 1920’s clothing, lurking around
a decrepit, shady old fishing town under oil lamps or something. The way Innsmouth is described
kind of reminds me of the world of Dishonored. I made a darkened version because I wanted to see
them in a scarier, more graphical light. It helped me decide, each was was unsettling in its own way.




Stunning sketches!! Keep up the good work!
Best regards,

Thanks for taking a look Selwy, I’ve been following your work for quite a while!
Thanks for the great compliment!!

I keep getting pulled off working on this for travel and what not, but I will finish!

I’d like to keep noodling on this sculpt, but again I’m trying to respect
the pipeline of the class and limit myself to what’s laid out…so moving on!
Overall I think I’m pretty happy, he’s got a nice chilling stare from the front
and I am feeling the look of him from his left.

I’m starting to feel like with a crazy Lovecraft headdress and evil as **** Dagon robes this
guy could be a contender for High Priest of Innsmouth.
Here is the completed sculpt, and I’ll be moving onto polypainting next.