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What is creature design? We all have a notion—mostly consisting of evocative images of otherworldly beings galloping, swimming, flying, and often attacking the hero of an epic film or story. But what makes a creature believable? In the follow-up to her best seller, Animals Real and Imagined: The Fantasy of What Is and What Might Be, world-renowned artist Terryl Whitlatch reveals the secret behind believable creature design: anatomy.
Anatomy is the cornerstone of successful creature design, whether the creature is real or imaginary. Accurate anatomy is often the key to suspension of disbelief, allowing you to draw imaginary creatures that viewers will believe in.
We invite you to delve into the intricate workings of numerous animal anatomies—and the beauty they possess—in the Science of Creature Design: Understanding Animal Anatomy. Whitlatch’s delightful and charismatic illustrations will inform and thrill readers with every turn of the page. She shares valuable techniques reaped from years working for Lucasfilm and Walt Disney Feature Animation, and on such films as Jumanji, Brother Bear, and The Polar Express. In addition, Whitlatch possesses an endless love for real animals that continues to inspire her fantastic imaginary creatures, which have captivated audiences around the world.
Designing a captivating creature simply for it to exist against a white background and going no further is a purely academic exercise. Designing a creature that can survive in a world, interact with its own and other species, and go on to make an impact, is designing with intent. This is the end goal of creature design and what you will witness in this latest book from industry expert Terryl Whitlatch.
With decades of experience in the entertainment industry, developing creatures for Star Wars: Episode I—The Phantom Menace and Beowulf, among other films, Whitlatch offers an abundance of valuable advice throughout the Principles of Creature Design. For Whitlatch, there’s no limit to what can be imagined with an open mind, though the journey may not always be an easy one. It’s what she calls “chasing the unicorn.” We will surely enjoy joining her on her journey, filled with creatures so vivid, whimsical, and elaborate that we will wish—or wonder if—they are real.
Animals Real and Imagined: A fantastic visual voyage into the world of animals, both real and imagined. There is no end to the diverse and unique creatures that Terryl Whitlatch creates for us with her solid knowledge of anatomy and boundless imagination. Especially intriguing are the 100s of anatomical notes that are dispersed among her sketches, educating and enlightening us to the foundation of living bodies and their mechanics.
Terryl Whitlatch is an accomplished, scientific, and academically trained illustrator who extensively studied vertebrate zoology and animal anatomy. She has worked for various zoos and museums in the US and The World Wildlife Fund as Senior consultant for Wildlife Art and Animal Anatomy. She is considered to be one of the top creature designers and animal anatomists working in the field today. In a career spanning over 25 years, Terryl has many projects to her credit, including Star Wards: The Phantom Menace, Star Wars: The Special Edition, Jumanji 1 and 2, Men in Black, Brother Bear, Dragonheart, Alvin and the Chipmunks, Curious George, The Polar Express, and Beowulf. For over seven years, Terryl worked for Lucasfilm Ltd., Industrial Light & Magic and George Lucas’ JAK Films. Her unique combination of illustration skills are comprehensive knowledge of animal anatomy and movement are essential components in the design, anatomy and physical animations aspects of believable creature creation.