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Author Topic: Alien Mouth Anatomy Discussion  (Read 1069 times)


Killveous
Nov 25, 2017, 08:08:38 PM
Reply #31 on: Nov 25, 2017, 08:08:38 PM
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but other times FOX will just commandeer fan work and use it without compensation or consent (such as using SM's star chart in the backgrounds of the Anthology blu-ray, and some other example that I can't recall the particulars of offhand).
Hey, thanks for the heads up. I never really post my images at fullres due to having my work stolen and traced n stuff before (also my work being used in a roosterteeth video once haha). But I will be very keen to keep any of my art quite downsized and watermarked here if it is something I spent more time on... which leads me to the next bit; 
 
I had a book project lined up for this coming year but due to work expanding in a different direction I may want to do Xeno stuff in my spare time instead. What I really want is some extremely detailed anatomy images that cut deep into the Alien and take a real scientific stab at it and voice my own theories. I would love to do images in the style of Stubbs or Ellenberger (examples attached below) but utilise the more futuristic aesthetic I pickpocketed for these quick digital mocks ups which is a combination of Giger's and Cobb's work seen here which I loved finding on this sites archives!;




I was kinda mucking about and having a giggle for the most part but if people do like this sort of stuff then I sure will give it my all. 
I can understand people really adoring the in depth details and cutaways into ships, machinery, weaponry; Like Xenomrph said the Blueprint book is coming out. But no one seems overly keen to cut into a Xenomorph and see what they can find (maybe because it takes away the mystery?)

I do have a lot more questions to ask on these forums, especially considering the reproductive cycle concerning how eggs are formed among other things and everyone's been super positive and helpfulfinding info to share from all sorts of sauces for me to pull on.
 
I recently brought an old Alien the Archive book off ebay- but if anyone wants to trade me a WYR book for some alien or pred art then direct message me lol, otherwise gotta save my pennies again haha 🙂


genocyber
Nov 25, 2017, 08:11:40 PM
Reply #32 on: Nov 25, 2017, 08:11:40 PM
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Wouldn't it make sense that the long head holds the length of the tongue rather than the throat. Such a force thrusts forward rather than coming up from the throat.


Xenomrph
Nov 26, 2017, 01:53:58 AM
Reply #33 on: Nov 26, 2017, 01:53:58 AM
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I can understand people really adoring the in depth details and cutaways into ships, machinery, weaponry; Like Xenomrph said the Blueprint book is coming out. But no one seems overly keen to cut into a Xenomorph and see what they can find (maybe because it takes away the mystery?)
I think a lot of it is because it takes away the mystery. The USCM Tech Manual has a whole chapter about exploring Alien biology, but the end result of the chapter is that no one knows anything new and stuff is more confusing than when it started. That wasn't done by accident.
Likewise, the comic series 'Aliens: Labyrinth' literally has a scene where they dissect an Alien's head and talk about its biology, but then later in the story the Aliens are shown doing totally insane shit to Church's family that turns everything upside-down.

I think a lot of the reason why people reacted poorly to 'Alien: Covenant's idea that David may have "invented" the Xenomorph is that it ruins the mystery - it takes the Alien, an unknowable space-beast with impossible biology, and turns it into something anyone could create in a lab given the proper tools. Sure, the specifics of the Black Goo and how or why it does what it does are still huge question marks, but it still undermines the Alien in the same way that a caveman conquering fire does - the caveman might not understand the specific chemical and physical processes behind the creation of fire, but the fire is still less scary and mysterious because he knows he can create it at will.

I'm not saying a detailed art book exploring Alien biology is a bad idea - the Anchorpoint Essays is a cool website, after all, and talking about this stuff can be interesting and lead to neat creative tangents. There's just a really difficult and really important balancing act of showcasing the Alien's incredible and mysterious biology without compromising that mystery and turning it into the Veterinary Anatomy Coloring Book.

Not to mention, there's a lot of technical challenges - these are ultimately fictional creatures, and their designs and abilities vary from movie to movie (and that's if you restrict yourself to only the movies). That's often due to deliberate storytelling reasons, or technical limitations of the props, or visual design decisions. You can spend the rest of your life trying to reconcile the changes from movie to movie, but broad, sweeping generalizations like "it came from a dog" or "they're older" or "they're genetic aberrations due to cloning" to try and explain every change tend to fall apart under any sort of close scrutiny, not to mention it assumes 'Alien' is the "pure" baseline and everything else deviates from it, and not the other way around.
So would this hypothetical biology book only look at the Alien design from one movie? If it looks at multiple movies, does it even bother trying to reconcile the differences? If anything, I think it should play those differences up, emphasizing that the Alien doesn't have a singular set design.

The book is out of print, but if you can track down a copy of the Warhammer40k reference book Xenology, I highly recommend it. Aside from the artwork being super cool and the meta-narrative being a lot of fun, it does a great job of doing what I think a good "Alien Biology" reference book should do - it explains some things in purely biological terms that are understandable, but has a lot of surprises and unexplainable stuff that still keep the alien races interesting. If I were putting together an Alien Biology book, I'd absolutely use "Xenology" as the benchmark in terms of tone and content.



Killveous
Nov 26, 2017, 09:48:08 PM
Reply #35 on: Nov 26, 2017, 09:48:08 PM
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Thanks Xenomrph; yeah, I totally get where you are coming from. I view the Xenomorph as an animal to be studied rather than a metaphorical space creature that has no rules our boundaries which is the way the first film plays out. It's a cryptic legitimate monster and many people want it to stay that way. 
I am not that way inclined, I want to know, I want to look at it, and I like looking at pretty pictures which explain possible ways things work. Which is why I really enjoyed a lot of the 40K lore actually haha. 

Oddly enough I own a few books for it, though not the one you pointed out. The one I had was for the Space Marines and how they are developed from normality into war machines with all these new upgrades and like, a special organ that lets them understand the area better by eating native animals- stuff like that! I love that sort of stuff so much! And my mindset for this project followed along those sorts of lines. It would be a scientific journal of sorts, with many illustrations by our 'Scientist Author' with the story slowly coming to light the further into the journal you go. By the time you get to the end it is less intricate illustrations of Alien parts, variations between breeds, life cycle progress- etc etc, and more a horrorscape of conceptual work that ends abruptly without a real conclusion.

I have a few ideas planned out and it would focus on around six individual Xenomorphs of different breeds that are available. This allows me to draw lots of illustrations showing different crests, hands, feet, tails, all those details which varies between films and comics that I find most interesting. 
There would be many references noting these are just the creatures available- that there are likely more and may have completely different biology to the ones studied (and these are all Xenos birthed from the same human hosts- again, limiting huger variations). 

This would be my disclaimer as to why 'Oh but this doesn't have the Alien from the genocide comics!' Or so and so Alien from other works; because our Scientist Author writing the journal has not seen those ones 😉  I duno if that would work but it would allow me to just draw the ones I want and have good references to fall back on.
I would though need to ask a LOT more questions about certain things; I should def make further threads focusing on the back tubes, the Queens Egg Sac and the actual head crest and brains. Just to see what the general consensus is for them, every ones been super helpful and helped me solidify a better idea of how I think the mouth parts could work. :)

You're treading very close to heresy.  >:(
wink wink nudge nudge


Xenomrph
Nov 27, 2017, 03:52:12 AM
Reply #36 on: Nov 27, 2017, 03:52:12 AM
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Quote
Thanks Xenomrph; yeah, I totally get where you are coming from. I view the Xenomorph as an animal to be studied rather than a metaphorical space creature that has no rules our boundaries which is the way the first film plays out. It's a cryptic legitimate monster and many people want it to stay that way.
I am not that way inclined, I want to know, I want to look at it, and I like looking at pretty pictures which explain possible ways things work. Which is why I really enjoyed a lot of the 40K lore actually haha.
It's worth pointing out that the Xenomorph only has "rules" insofar as they're useful to the storyteller at the time. A good practical example is Alien acid (and the USCM Tech Manual tackles this exact topic - and we're talking about a book that only dealt with 2 movies at the time). How strong is Alien acid, and what can it do? These properties vary from movie to movie (and sometimes, within the same movie) to suit the situation at hand. The acid is only as capable as the storyteller needs it to be at that exact moment.

Re: 40k, I'm a big fan of 40k's lore, and there's a ton of inconsistencies and apparent contradictions within it, but Games Workshop has a really interesting and entertaining in-built way to handwave it all: when they want to change something (like, say, the entire Necron backstory when they got a new codex), they just... do it. When fans ask which one is true, the answer is "they're both true". When fans say "but that doesn't make sense", GW's answer has been "the Warp works in mysterious ways, also Imperium record-keeping has always been garbage."

Quote
I have a few ideas planned out and it would focus on around six individual Xenomorphs of different breeds that are available. This allows me to draw lots of illustrations showing different crests, hands, feet, tails, all those details which varies between films and comics that I find most interesting.
There would be many references noting these are just the creatures available- that there are likely more and may have completely different biology to the ones studied (and these are all Xenos birthed from the same human hosts- again, limiting huger variations).
If the premise is that it's all being drawn by someone who is first-hand dissecting the Aliens, it would make sense to perhaps depict different Alien designs that are coincidentally similar to the ones we see in the movies, even if the "scientist author" isn't necessarily aware of it. For instance, the scientist author couldn't literally dissect the Alien variations seen in 'Alien Resurrection', because all of those particular Aliens were contained to the USM Auriga. You could certainly still depict that variation in the book if you wanted to, it just calls into question how and why the scientist author was able to come across them - the easy explanation would be "they're just a visual variation of Alien that can naturally occur", a conclusion supported by the two AvP movies, but the ramification is that any notions of those Alien's design being influenced by "genetic tampering" gets throw out the window.

Which brings up a broader point - where and how is this scientist author getting all these Aliens to dissect and draw in the first place? :P
If you wanted a REALLY easy hand-wave for that, have the scientist author be none other than Dr. Church from 'Aliens: Labyrinth', a man with a dedicated research lab for studying and dissecting Aliens. Frame the narrative of the dissections prior to and throughout the events of 'Aliens: Labyrinth', as Church's research gets progressively crazier right up until the end. Right out of the gate you'd have a baked-in reason for why the scientist author is doing this research, as well as his (unhinged) mental state that lets him get progressively more erratic as the story continues.


Killveous
Nov 28, 2017, 02:42:24 PM
Reply #37 on: Nov 28, 2017, 02:42:24 PM
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I've been logging over everything I would like to illustrate and turns out it is a very huge list and there are a lot of complete mysteries to some of the design elements that were put there for aesthetic, make no real sense anatomically. There will def be a lot of holes and a lot of "I have no facts about what this does, and neither does anyone else- even the creatures don't know how to utilise it" in anything I make. Though, for those I will make threads for to see some ideas other people have which might be super useful. 

As for things like the inconsistencies between movies (like the bloods potency!) I think a lot of that can be chalked up between breed variations. These are all part of the same species (and all can interbreed) but they vary wildly from each other (even with the exact same host). Comparable to Huskys and Greyhounds. Despite all the differences they can still have viable offspring. Something along those lines. 

I was into 40k when I was little (and I still love making little models when/if I ever have spare time again!) and yeah, the inconsistencies were just told to me as 'It's all variations in reality warps and you can totally pick whichever stories you like best and use that for your armies!' Which is awesome. Like you say; one armies encounter may be varied from another's and they may come to a totally new conclusion about the enemy's layout and fighting strategies only to fight another battle with the same sort of enemy only for them to act and look drastically different (because in the real world you were fighting your friends Sams Nids which are bright pink and the next day fighting Georges Nids whom had black and green colours and of course, George and Sam have much different plans and figures available).

My plans would be to adopt that for this story; a selection of Xenomorph breeds which would be named and distinguishable from each other within the narrative- but we as the audience know that one is clearly the original Xenomorph design from 79 and then another one being like the Xenomorph from the modern Alien Isolation. Both of them would have their speculative parts looked at and documented (such as the feet up close which is a good example of how these vastly differ between the breeds). 

As for our speculative in story author; I am yet to read the comics (my friend is sending me a whole bunch of their books over at xmas, with this one included) so I can't say much on our illustrious Doctors deductions yet ;) I'd like to maybe touch lightly on them in notes but for the actual author, it needs to be someone we don't know who is spending hours illustrating this diary book thing some marine perhaps finds and then logs. 

I guess the main reason I would want to do it is because I want a reference library of pretty and very clear pictures of Xenomorph parts lol. And I can string them together under a pretence it's a diary with a understated story in the footnotes and chocolate wrapper doodles that people can also stipulate on and maybe deduce who or what the author is.

I'm on a pencil illustration at the moment, so hopefully I can see if that is the style to go for and if people like it (and if it is clear enough ahah). 


Omegamorph
Dec 04, 2017, 06:14:03 AM
Reply #38 on: Dec 04, 2017, 06:14:03 AM
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By the way, props for the most interesting thread in this section in ages. Also delicious art here, Killveous. Looking forward to see more of your project.


 

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