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Critter Concept

I'm needing to find something to get me excited about drawing again, so I figured I might as well poke about with an idea I've had in my head for a few weeks, now. Eventually, this will become part of a comic or web series or something; not entirely sure yet. What I do know is that I want to get the critters to look right before I do anything with them.


http://www.furaffinity.net/view/5731981/


In case you can't read my notes, or if you can but would like to know what they mean, here are the bits that I'm rather struggling, or at least am unsure about:

* I've no idea what, if anything, these critters are, beyond being some sort of mousy dog thing. If they have a species, I don't know what it is.

* I can't work out whether they should have skin or fur. While fur would make them a bit more cuddly, skin means I can get a bit more playful with face/body hair.

* Similar, 'coat' patterns. Once I put colour on him, he seems a bit boring. Like, he should have some other stuff going on, but I'm not sure. Although, how I jazz them up might depend on whether I go with skin or fur.

* Different colours (do a degree) for different characters? ie- a bit like some dogs, where you might have brown, fawn, gold, rust, blue, et cetera within the same breed.

* Somewhat fangy teeth, but otherwise human. I think.

* Claws, rather than nails on the hands.

* Near-human proportions. A bit taller and longer than a human. Rather rakish, when it comes down to it.

* Not entirely sold on the tail. Not sure what else to do with it. Definitely want a tail, though.

* Vaguely, but not quite Edwardian dress. I want something of a period style, and Victorian is terribly overdone right now. Also has the added effect of giving it a sort of Wind in the Willows feel, which I quite like.

Anything else you'd like to add?
 

Icky

is the prettiest pony~
It seems pretty good to me, so far. I would go with short fur, personally, it would just look like a deformed human to me otherwise.
 

Jw

PINEAPPLE ACCOMPLISHED
I think that some variety in skin colors is a good idea, just don't go too neon, stay neutral. Not like you'd do that though, haha

I think the skin thing is pretty interesting anyway. Maybe throw it off of "peach" skin thought to make it look a little less human-like in a way. This will keep them acceptable in people's minds without triggering some awkward "uncanny valley" type thing. maybe force he skin a bit darker brownish or something.

I honestly think the hair colors for simplicity stay the same over the body. If you're going to have a tail tuft, make it orangish too.

overall though I am liking it pretty well. I'll sleep on it and try to bring some thoughts to the table tomorrow.
 
Ew! Neon! D: Yeah, I'm very much a fan of muted, neutral palettes. They just look better. Especially for period pieces.


I see what you mean by the hair and the fluff on the tail, but the tail fluff is, I think, more akin to body hair. Like, my fella's got kind of not-quite blond hair, a ginger beard, and dark body hair. Probably make them a bit closer to samey, maybe? Basically, I'm torn.


How would you suggest throwing it off of 'peach' but still keeping it neutral? Most stuff that works for natural fur can also work for skin.

Unless I go for the blue and grey colours, but then I just look like an Avatar rip off. Which would be just as bad as neons.
 

Jw

PINEAPPLE ACCOMPLISHED
well it can stay like a skin tone, but base it kind of off of a native American/ mid-tone Hispanic complexion. That's what I meant.

the hair suggestion was just to keep things simple though. You'll have to ask around about that, but i would take the slacker's way out myself hahaha
 
Ah, yes. I see. That does make sense.


I'll see what other people say about the hair. I sort of like it, but I can see why it might throw people. Also, it may change entirely, depending on whether or not I decide to give them fur. Which I'll also have to wait and see about what other people say, because I'm amazingly torn on that.
 

Zydala

Kisses for everyone!
I like the dark hair on the tail myself, for some reason I feel like if it was orange it wouldn't... contrast enough? I mean it can still make sense... lions have dark tails most of the time and still can have lighter manes.

So far so good, I like the idea of having various markings and fur tones. I dunno if I'd change anything myself actually. They kinda remind me of jerboas? with fangs! hahaha :V
 

Roose Hurro

Lovable Curmudgeon
Banned
I'd give them short fur, like mole-fur. Short, dense, with no nap (no matter which way you rub it, it doesn't "fluff"). Perhaps some form of striping and/or banding marks on some individuals?
 

Fay V

Lost to this world
I actually have a rather similiar species (great minds think alike :3) I ended up making it skin, with color variations a bit more prominent and less like the person has a problem. Mostly occasional lighter splotches. It was just simpler to do the skin thing with hair and a tuft on the tail so I wouldn't have to work out the mechanics of fur, clothing, and so on. I think it could also work well with short fur.
 
Right. After a bit of a sleep, I came back and took a look at some of the other comments. After considering them, I've made a few adjustments (warning for nudity in picture this time).

http://www.furaffinity.net/view/5733813/

More points:


* More foot-like feet, or paws?

* Short 'mole' fur?

* Added more body hair. Also lightened and dulled its colour a bit.

* Fur and hair not the same colour for everyone. Changes up depending on character.

* Spots? Not on everyone?

* Added paw pads on hands and feet.

* Facial hair on males: Jaw only.
 

Jw

PINEAPPLE ACCOMPLISHED
I think that if you're going to have facial hair (beards) on the male characters, it would look better if they were not very sparse and more in-tune with the body hair color. The straggly hairs honestly just look like the don't add much to the head's shape and you're missing out on some really cool opportunity for a lot of character differentiation. That being said, just a few characters with beards like this is fine considering some guys cannot grow a full beard to save their life.

I actually am liking the differentiated colors now with the addition of more little tufts here and there. Helps make it look more acceptable and adds to the consistency. Keep in mind these areas are going to be clothed more often (I assume), so again the beard solution might come in handy down the road.

I think the skin tone is more acceptable now and is not competing with the idea "this is human/this is dog/ this is mouse", and is more of a stand-alone species. And I like the spots, but remember to keep it manageable. You could even make them into "freckles" for younger characters. But no, they should not be a requirement. Maybe a particular skin-tone will be more likely to have spots.

For paw pads, I think you need to refine the forums underneath a little bit, but you can still keep the overall colors. Otters are a good example of how to make it work.

(DAWW)

Well, those are my thoughts for now.
 
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Oh, totally, on the facial hair. The shading was more just to sort of show where it is, since it's mostly just a quick edit of the first image.

I like the idea of the spots being a bit like freckles. Probably have the fairer tones more likely to have them. Or something. And doing them's really just a matter of saving an image to use as an overlay. That's what I did with this one; I've got a .sai file full of different spot patterns that I paste on, and then just erase where I don't want them.


Also, otter!


Paw pads are always such a strange issue for me when introduced to hands and more human-like feet. I've never really been a fan of the split-up pads, just because they seem, I don't know. More in the way? Bah, I don't know.
 

Jw

PINEAPPLE ACCOMPLISHED
Paw pads are always such a strange issue for me when introduced to hands and more human-like feet. I've never really been a fan of the split-up pads, just because they seem, I don't know. More in the way? Bah, I don't know.
They are and honestly I hate them on my characters immensely. Still though, it IS a solution, and otters, ferrets and other kinds of lutrae tend to have very uniform paws with little paddings. IMO, keep it simple and use the "7" shape like humans have and go from there. you can mix up the toes a bit so they look more animalistic, but the feet make for a good (relatively) simple structure.

But I totally understand you. Feet and I do battle all the time, no matter how much i practice them. They ALWAYS look deformed to me.
 
Yeah, full on paws on a bipedal plantigrade also bother the hell out of me. I don't know why. I tend to prefer a human foot with more paw-like toes. Otherwise, yeah. It just looks ridiculous.
 

Roose Hurro

Lovable Curmudgeon
Banned
* More foot-like feet, or paws?

With the way you're going, more foot-like, perhaps. Though what you have so far seems fine for a plantigrade creature.

* Short 'mole' fur?

Yes. Though I like the areas of longer hair/fur you have on your updated image. One thing about mole fur, if you're worried about how to handle fur against clothing: Since molefur has no nap, as I indicated, clothing would have no real effect on its look, especially as short as it would be, to boot.

* Added more body hair. Also lightened and dulled its colour a bit.

Color looks fine.

* Fur and hair not the same colour for everyone. Changes up depending on character.

Yes, changes up, depending on character. Just like human hair color can vary. With fur all over their bodies, this also brings up the possibility of an individual artificially coloring their body fur.

* Spots? Not on everyone?

Indeed, not on everyone. You could also, as I suggested, try some striping/banding, to see how it looks. For those marks, I'd stick with puting them on the limbs, rather than anywhere on the body (except, perhaps, the neck).

* Added paw pads on hands and feet.

Looks fine, though Jw's suggestions are good to consider.

* Facial hair on males: Jaw only.

Sounds like a plan.
 
Indeed, not on everyone. You could also, as I suggested, try some striping/banding, to see how it looks. For those marks, I'd stick with puting them on the limbs, rather than anywhere on the body (except, perhaps, the neck).

I don't know; I don't really fancy stripes. Everyone has them. Zebras, loads of different cats, plenty of marsupials. You don't get a whole lot of spots.
 

Roose Hurro

Lovable Curmudgeon
Banned
I don't know; I don't really fancy stripes. Everyone has them. Zebras, loads of different cats, plenty of marsupials. You don't get a whole lot of spots.

True, but it certainly can't hurt to at least see what they may look like, and make a decision from there. You could always do the "stripes" as chevrons, along with the spots. Nothing says you can't have spots and perhaps a few individuals with some other types of markings. Or two-tone body fur.
 
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