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Sketchbook: Original Species Development Art!

Not sure if this is better suited to here or the writing area, but I'm primarily a visual artist so this seems like the place ️

I'm working on getting down the lore & designs for my original species and I thought it would be fun to get it all in one place as it all develops! Here's what I have so far ~
IMG_20220330_012200.png

For their genetics, some slightly older info sheets explain the differences with the two sub-species:
1646178256.neverendingsoda_hioj272mtvrvltsw1erlurqswztyq20uclvx2rdbtdt3unajbmdkqqjfmagvm4smoco...png1646178372.neverendingsoda_buo9bwcpy8bem8cn2l6uhcr5f8pwl8f6okts1xnbjw81vv3epan0dz2wymjxwi0zjk6...png
And the final genetics explanation:
IMG_20220330_012321.png

There's some extra lore on my FA page, but there's non sexual nudity so behind the FA login wall it goes!:
 

Lioedevon427

Very tired animator
Ooo! I love seeing other peoples concept art! These guys are super cute!
 

Faustus

Well-Known Member
Genes are complex things, and a lot of people don't think about them right. There's an old idea that genes are like a blueprint, but that's not really accurate. A blueprint shows exactly what the results are going to be. Genes are more like a computer program, or a set of instructions for an Ikea wardrobe where they've forgotten to put the illustrations in. They tell the body what to do to build itself, not what to expect at the end. External factors affect this process, such as people being shorter if they don't get enough nutritious food, to give a simple example. That's why a creature is represented by two biological concepts: its *genotype* (the instructions it receives on how to build its body) and its *phenotype* (the actual end result).

Further, it's not always just one gene that's responsible for one feature. That would be way too neat. Something complex may be governed by several genes. It could be, in their case, that there's two or three genes, each of which determine the pattern for a specific colour of fur, and then separate genes that determine the colour of each pattern. The colour genes probably control the release of certain pigments, and these may mix together like paint if the genetic code warrants the release of more than one. It might even be like the RGB sliders on an art app's colour palette, with one gene or codon sequence controlling each. (At the root of it all, most genetic instructions boil down to 'make these chemicals', 'move these chemicals to this half of the cell', 'split into two or more parts', or 'stop reading, you're done'.)

Then there's random mutations, and that's when things get fun! Pretty much every human has at least one random mutation in their DNA due to the size and complexity of the genome.

I love genetics.

Anyway, these creatures specifically. They're cute enough, but I'm not sold on the apparent 'four eyes'. They don't really look like they fit into the skull and they look a bit like they're floating around in front of the hair in some places. Maybe that's intentional? If so it needs to be more obvious. As the main defining characteristic of the species, the eyes should definitely be mentioned in the text.

Other than this, they don't really have a unifying trait and the mix-and-match body parts aren't helping their identity. They risk becoming overly generic. If you look at the more popular custom species, you can see they're usually instantly recognisable. Sergals have the shark-like head, Protogen the 'Daft Punk' style face visor, Dutch Angel Dragons the nauseating levels of cute... at the moment, these guys have four eyes and the rest of them is a mix-and-match of standard species. My opinion only, but I think it's a mistake to try and be all things to all people.

Also I'm having difficulty pronouncing that name.

N.B. this is just my perspective and others' opinions may vary. The art style is very appealing regardless.
 
Genes are complex things, and a lot of people don't think about them right. There's an old idea that genes are like a blueprint, but that's not really accurate. A blueprint shows exactly what the results are going to be. Genes are more like a computer program, or a set of instructions for an Ikea wardrobe where they've forgotten to put the illustrations in. They tell the body what to do to build itself, not what to expect at the end. External factors affect this process, such as people being shorter if they don't get enough nutritious food, to give a simple example. That's why a creature is represented by two biological concepts: its *genotype* (the instructions it receives on how to build its body) and its *phenotype* (the actual end result).

Further, it's not always just one gene that's responsible for one feature. That would be way too neat. Something complex may be governed by several genes. It could be, in their case, that there's two or three genes, each of which determine the pattern for a specific colour of fur, and then separate genes that determine the colour of each pattern. The colour genes probably control the release of certain pigments, and these may mix together like paint if the genetic code warrants the release of more than one. It might even be like the RGB sliders on an art app's colour palette, with one gene or codon sequence controlling each. (At the root of it all, most genetic instructions boil down to 'make these chemicals', 'move these chemicals to this half of the cell', 'split into two or more parts', or 'stop reading, you're done'.)

Then there's random mutations, and that's when things get fun! Pretty much every human has at least one random mutation in their DNA due to the size and complexity of the genome.

I love genetics.

Anyway, these creatures specifically. They're cute enough, but I'm not sold on the apparent 'four eyes'. They don't really look like they fit into the skull and they look a bit like they're floating around in front of the hair in some places. Maybe that's intentional? If so it needs to be more obvious. As the main defining characteristic of the species, the eyes should definitely be mentioned in the text.

Other than this, they don't really have a unifying trait and the mix-and-match body parts aren't helping their identity. They risk becoming overly generic. If you look at the more popular custom species, you can see they're usually instantly recognisable. Sergals have the shark-like head, Protogen the 'Daft Punk' style face visor, Dutch Angel Dragons the nauseating levels of cute... at the moment, these guys have four eyes and the rest of them is a mix-and-match of standard species. My opinion only, but I think it's a mistake to try and be all things to all people.

Also I'm having difficulty pronouncing that name.

N.B. this is just my perspective and others' opinions may vary. The art style is very appealing regardless.
An open faced compliment sandwich huh lmao. The defining feature part is certainly what I've been struggling with properly developing thus far, since it's a species I originally penned down years ago. Thanks for the input
 

TyraWadman

The Brutally Honest Man-Child
I don't know anything about genetics but I know I like the bottom two designs on your first post. Them 'Fur skirts' are fashionable yo!
 
I don't know anything about genetics but I know I like the bottom two designs on your first post. Them 'Fur skirts' are fashionable yo!
Hah! I figure most people who'd be interested wouldn't know much about genetics either, I'm not STEM major just someone who thinks a little mix n match is fun :p

I actually ended up making a free make your own event on toyhou.se so feel free to join if you dig them!
 
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