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Creating the Creature Effects of Alien Covenant

Despite the over abundance of CGI in Alien Covenant, special effects studios Creatures Inc. and Odd Studio did actually craft practical suits for the Neomorph and the Xenomorph creatures. Though I was hard pressed to spot which scenes featured the suits in the actual movie.

Nonetheless, journalist Ian Failes has posted a behind-the-scenes article all about the practical suits that were crafted for Alien Covenant on his VFXBlog. They cover how different aspects of the Xenomorph were created such as using foam for the arms and fibreglass resin for its upper body. You can find more details about the Neomorph, Facehuggers and the mummified bodies of the Engineers in his article

 Creating the Creature Effects of Alien Covenant

Continuing with the behind-the-scenes theme, there is another fantastic article on FXGuide who cover the visual effects in Alien Covenant. Most of the visual effects were done by MPC who were responsible for bringing the Neomorph and Xenomorph to life on the big screen. The Neomorph had references to the Goblin Shark with its extendable jaw and skin, as well as a Praying Mantis.

For the Xenomorph, Ridley Scott really liked the wax models from La Specola in the Museum of Natural History in Florence so that was referenced in the creature’s design. The lengthy article goes into more details about MPC’s other visual effects such as the Engineers’ city and memorable backburster scene. There’s plenty of new behind-the-scenes shots and renders that we’ve not seen before. If you’re still interested in learning more about the effects, the Art of Alien Covenant book is also available to purchase on

 Creating the Creature Effects of Alien Covenant

The Baby Xenomorph

Thanks to Ian, Omegamorph and Sabres21768 for then news. Keep a close eye on Alien vs. Predator Galaxy for the latest on Alien: Covenant! You can follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram to get the latest on your social media walls. You can also join in with fellow Alien fans on our forums!

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Comments: 64
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  1. Jenga
    There is some interesting, some good, some disappointing and some intriguing work here. My question is: Why isn't Ridley commissioning any practical (read: in clay) design work? The realism is never as strong in real-world pieces because it's not usually painted or lit etc, but more often than not, the design work is stronger. These recent movies have been suffering somewhat in terms of strong design when compared to the original.
  2. Corporal Hicks
    Couple of bts stills from Instagram -

    I've also been keeping the concept art gallery up to date so keep checking that out!
  3. AlienFanIL17
    The facehugger and alien embryos are awesome looking!!!  If those were made into paperweights or something along those lines, I would buy those in a second.
  4. bobby brown
    These are great. Especially the Neomorph. LOVE those human looking jaws.I Like them a lot better than the ones on the final design. Speaking about, I wish we would be show some of the actual final designs...
  5. skhellter
    I dunno, acrediblesource. I think the sight of Alien's jizzing cocoon material all over everyone might be a bit too comical.

    I was leaning towards the "it would've been unintentionally funny" angle...
    and then i remembered that there's a moment in
    It Follows where the lead character glimpses the "creature" forcing itself upon the corpse of a friend.
    And it's horrifying and uncomfortable...

    There's also a similarly uncomfortable scene in Possession (starring Sam Neill).

    Bottom line - The effectiveness of the "cocoon" idea depends on the writing, filmmaking, etc...
    But i actually think it could be used "well"... there IS precedent.

    I wouldnt trust Ridley with it, though.
    Maybe David Robert Mitchell.
  6. acrediblesource
    Whoever decided the cocoon material idea should be cut was a complete idiot. I think fans are waiting for things like that only not to get it every time there is a new movie.  Something visually disturbing that doesn't have to be gore.
    man....the day we get a great alien movie is the day they a new franchise of something else.
  7. Corporal Hicks
    Dane and Matt have continued to share more artwork. Keep checking out their accounts!

    Dane just shared this one earlier -;79sLX0M6txupDz6xqpnaQD9cjQGrA~-~-.bps.a.1443279082389175.1073741840.801247429925680/1482437425140007/?type=3&theater

    Another one I loved doing, anatomy of a Neomorph split open for a profile view.
    This one is pretty special to me because Adam Johansen (Creature HOD) took the illustration as an inspiration to sculpt and create an utterly incredible piece that sat in the lab, far more resolved and beautiful than I could've conceived. Probably the coolest thing in that space. Sorry for the love in, but... Damn, it was awesome!

    Couple more costume designs from Andrei Riabovitchev - - Colin has just posted some Meet Walter concepts too.

    Colin has uploaded a new article with Engineer concepts. Including this lady -
  8. Huggs
    I gotta ask, the "Gollum Morph" can we call it a Gollum Morph? The third picture in the bottom set; just what is that in it's mouth exactly? Love the design of the first two xeno's; very Pacific rim, heavy kaiju feel there. Maybe a little bit of Godzilla 1998.
  9. CainsSon
    It seems like a trend with these prequels that there is all this great "clearly better options" in the concept art. Again, Ridley Scott forgot to make the monsters do something interesting. It was the problem with the Engineers and the monsters in Covenant. A goblin shark jaw just isn't enough. The designers had great ideas and none of them were used. I dont want to blame Scott for this but whether its Scott or the studio, someone needs to get dick slapped.
    If the next film doesnt include Green Screen Giger sets they will have really just missed the damn mark, at this point.
  10. Evanus
    Yeah, I don't really like that Neomorph design either. Overall I prefer what we got onscreen. However, I wish the Xeno was less insectoid and more elegant. I'm fine with it being organic, as long as it isn't too slimy.
  11. skhellter
    Yeah.... i'm happy with the designs we got onscreen.

    Love the movie-neomorph especially. Very much like Huante's original concept creature.. but streamlined a bit.


    horrible design.  :-X

    Too bad, they didn't use the biomechanical (and original) version of the Xenomorph design.

    Given the storyline they are aiming at... David hitting the biomech aesthetic right out of the gate would seem to be a bit.. premature?
    I like the more fleshy, insectoid Xeno we got. 
    Biomech stuff will come back in the 3rd prequel... if it ever gets made.
  12. CoalescedChaos
    I'm definitely getting a heavily The Thing and Dead Space influenced vibe from these new pics. I love both franchises so very much and would've loved to see these ugly beasties adapted to screen. I do prefer that new Neomorph render to the one we actually got. The way it's jaw extends is a lot more terrifying.

    I think it was a bad desicion (on whoever's part) to give us the Alien so soon. That reveal should be kept for the last half of the final film, however many films down the road that would've been. They should've just concentrated on David, the Goo, and his attempts at creation - Pushing us closer to ALIEN.

    As much as I love Covenant, I think it would've stood a better chance not having the release date pushed up so much. The post production could've maybe breathed a bit more.
  13. Xenomorphine
    The Alien pissing/shitting something all over its victim would have been a bit... Yeah...

    Two or three other things would have been interesting to have seen on screen, though. The multi-limbed creature's head, I really like and would have given the 'space wasp' evolutionary link much more relevance.
  14. The_Foxcatcher
    Too bad, they didn't use the biomechanical (and original) version of the Xenomorph design.

    The crews in their helmets walking through the Engineer city looks truly amazing. Too bad, they switched suits&helmets to caps, cargo pants and hiking bags!

  15. Scorpio
    Too bad Ridley didn't get enough budget to include these ideas.

    I hope the cocoon scene happens in the next film.  They went as far as previz so it's a good bet that it will.
  16. JCDenton

    This should have been the neomorph in the final cut. Good god, it's terrifying.
    Kinda reminds me of the Leech man in Return of the Swamp thing

    Actually with this design this could easily be Dead Space adaption - the main enemies are called...wait for it ....necromorphs -
  17. Omegamorph

    This should have been the neomorph in the final cut. Good god, it's terrifying.
    Kinda reminds me of the Leech man in Return of the Swamp thing
  18. Alionic

    This should have been the neomorph in the final cut. Good god, it's terrifying.
  19. Corporal Hicks
    Thanks, Rabbit! Holy shit! There's just an absolute shit-tonne of stuff in there! I had assumed a lot of it was hold-over from when it wasn't an Alien film but there's still loads tagged Paradise with Alien in there!

    Including previz for a cocoon sequence?

    Do you mean these?

    The idea of the Alien jizzing the cocoon stuff on people is a bit much, I reckon xD

    And wtf was this?!

    We need those pre-Covenant scripts!
  20. Corporal Hicks

    In the second part of our look at modern production design, KFTV talks to Chris Seagers about his experiences building sets for Ridley Scott’s sci-fi horror Alien: Covenant.

    Scott’s sci-fi follow-up pitches a crew of space travellers against the iconic xenomorph monster that the director first introduced to audiences back in 1979.

    Production was based at Fox Studios Australia in Sydney, where Seagers and his team built an immense set of the Covenant – the movie’s main spacecraft setting.

    “We spent a couple of months at the RSA (Ridley Scott Associates) offices in London brainstorming the design of the ship and how to put it together,” Seagers tells KFTV of the genesis of the Covenant spacecraft as the crew's home.

    “Ridley was very ambitious with his ideas and it turned out we didn’t have the budget to realise everything he wanted, but he thinks on his feet and is very much up for figuring out how to make it all work – he loves ingenuity.”
  21. Corporal Hicks

    My friend is close with an FX guy from Scott Free. Here's a candid Neomorph Prop used in Alien Covenant.

    Sorry, but I don't think this is from Alien: Covenant.

    It's from a fan film called BIOTIC (which states it is inspired by Covenant).

    Thanks for the correction, Sabres.

  22. Zaxxon64
    The birth of the protomorph along with the generally shoddy CG in Covenant utterly destroyed any future interest in covenant and the alien franchise for me. Abysmal in every way. ::)
  23. Corporal Hicks

    My friend is close with an FX guy from Scott Free. Here's a candid Neomorph Prop used in Alien Covenant.

    At the last minute, Ridley asked for a few more 'Mutilated Shaw' drawings from both Matt and I. In the interest of speed I did these digital paintings as quick concepts (hence the absence of Noomi Rapace's likeness). In the end RS (rightfully, so) went with Matts versions but I figured you guys might enjoy them, as I had enjoyed drawing them. Thanks everyone!

    My friend, Meaghan Leonard, who organised all the text graphics and helped manage the monumental printing effort on the film would innocently refer to this baby Neo study as - the 'Dancing Alien'... hehe
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