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Filthy ... hopper. by povorot Filthy ... hopper. by povorot
So, after that last round of crits on my stomatopod-alien, I've been fucking around with the design in my spare time, and I landed on this. The legs have been changed from sprawled out bug legs to a slimmer-profiled layout underneath and alongside the trunk of the body. The antennal scales have been kept, along with the tentacles, but the stalked stomatopod eyes have been traded in for a specialized segment with four compound eyes, giving this fella a great field of vision.
I think this design might be the one I stick with. This has all been for a story idea I've been playing with, and eventually want to work on.

For previous iterations of this critter:
[link]
[link]
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:iconhorsebatterystapleco:
HorseBatteryStapleCo Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I find it rather funny that I drew something almost identical to this in high school. Hahaha! I love this hopper of yours, though! Mine looks more like a coconut crab/horse.
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:iconpalaeorigamipete:
palaeorigamipete Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
amazing! =)
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:iconnederbird:
Nederbird Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2010
You've managed to make a great alien 'ere. Really, you have talent here. I hope your creations make into a film or game someday, or at least get a book with them in it. These things deserve it.

I have to agree with you that District 9's aliens looked too anthropomorphic, but if you ask me, it's still the best intelligent and not evil aliens that I've seen in a film.

Your previous designs I must honestly admit were a little too... shrimpy. Not that they were bad, they were good, but it look like the development team had been made up of intelligents shrimp who'd wanted to make an alien, rathen than us intelligent apes trying to make one. In short the result was pretty much the same, only the other way around.

However, with this, you've succesfully managed to get a perfect compromise between the too... not too humie nor too shrimpy and perfectly alien. Have you thought of writing a sci-fi novel someday?
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:iconragingcephalopod:
ragingcephalopod Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2009
i like this iteration much better than the others. like the others, it is recognizably crustacean, but unlike the others, its body structure is much more alien. the tentacle limbs are much more pronounced in this iteration, and the legs have a more mammalian structure that make it appear more unconventional than the others. the only recommendations that i can think of are for it to have long spines on the "shins" of the limbs (like grashoppers and crickets) , have short hairs sticking out from between the joints, and make the rear legs thicker.
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:iconchimpeetah:
Chimpeetah Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2009
I'm interested in seeing the possibilities of the flying animals in this world....what about giant volant crabs, perhaps with chitin extensions used as wings, and possibly hammer-limbs rather than tentacles, or possibly extendable tentacles used to capture prey in mid-flight.
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:iconnemo-ramjet:
nemo-ramjet Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2009
I really like the erect "centaur" stance. All those critics who point out that this does not look "crabby" enough," remember that a giant crab would really have a hard time supporting itself in any other configuration than a crawling-climbing existence, a-la giant coconut crabs.

There is one more method of running fast with a crawling arthropodian stance that I can think of. What about a giant centipede-dragon-komodo body shape?
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:iconpovorot:
povorot Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2009
Thanks, man. I actually began this design process with the coconut crab as my arthropod model - as is most likely evident by the initial versions.

I like the idea of the fast-runner with splayed legs, komodo-dragon style. I'm thinking a predator... something like a hexapod mantis-shrimp, with big smasher front arms...
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:iconnemo-ramjet:
nemo-ramjet Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2009
This body plan is really fun to play with!

Another possibility is a giant "orang-utang" crab that lives in trees and climbs around with a combination of two frontal tentacles and coconut-crab-type legs. Just for display's sake, it could have huge inflatable sacs that make a lot of noise and look shocking.

The komodo-centipede model is also useful for herbivores. A long body can contain a long gut which is useful for digesting plant matter. There could be 8 or even 10 legged "train beasts" that roam the plains like sidewinding APC's. They could have a pair of mantis shrimp-type smasher legs on the front AND the back, making them impervious against most attackers... Except the hexapod komodo-mantis shrimps of course.
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:iconpovorot:
povorot Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2009
I really like the idea of the eight-legged hammer-fisted herbivore. Part of the concept I've been working on for the hoppers, though, is that they're the descendants of a interstellar civilization that collapsed some 50-200k years ago - so the ecology of the re-wilded colonies will be comparatively limited, diversity-wise. That being said, I think there's a place for the hammer-headed herbivores, monkey-crabs, and maybe some other hopper-derived/related species. But non-hopper apex predators will be few and far between.
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:iconragingcephalopod:
ragingcephalopod Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2009
you should also throw some ambush predators in there- something that cannot move its body quickly, but can strike out rapidly from a hiding place. it could be like a hermit crab crossed with a mantis shrimp, with a front section that has 2-3 pairs of sharp raptorial appendages, a long, serpentine midsection (for rearing up and attacking) and a rear section with hooked crablike limbs and a flat, flexible abdomen for anchoring itself. its body plan could also be flattened so that it can fit in narrow crevices.
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:iconm0ai:
M0AI Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
I love the sleeker outline and the cursorial gait of this version. It works on an aesthetic level and, as you and others have said, a functional level. If a species has been around long enough to develop intelligence, it makes sense that it would also have evolved an efficient gait. Also, quadrupedal intelligent alien designs are fairly rare, and thus very interesting.
I agree with labgnome about perhaps bringing back the second pair of manipulator tentacles.
I'm very interested in seeing what you do with this! Your previous graphic novel type work has been great, so I look forward to whatever story you tell with these guys.
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:iconpovorot:
povorot Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2009
Yeah - as I replied to labgnome, I meant the antennae to be a fine set of tentacles, but I think I need to make them a little more robust.
And you've got no idea how much the vote of confidence means - you do damn fine work, man. Do you have an stories written for your ring universe?
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:iconm0ai:
M0AI Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks, man! The only stories I've written so far for my Ring universe are the ones that I've posted along with the aliens.
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:iconlabgnome:
labgnome Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2009
I will say I have positive, negative criticisms and some questions.

I like some of the changes in this one. The gait seems more "developed" for a terrestrial organism, and I like the sleeker body design. I also like the larger eyes, and that's they're set inside the head-segment. I like that the re-positioning of the eyes and legs makes it look more "alien" and less "crustacean".

I like that you kept the signaling antenna-scales, of the second, and re-introduced antenna present in the first. I think they give a good sense of the organism's sensory and communication organs.

I would say I liked the four-tentacled designs of the previous versions, and the pincers on the first as possible secondary manipulator appendages. I'm a little concerned about the ability to manipulate and make tools with only two manipulator tentacles. it strikes me as being rather inefficient and ineffective as a tool-user when compared with humans, the Avisapien dinosauroids that you and Nemo have designed, and the movie Poleepkwa AKA: "prawns" from District 9.

I'll also say I'm not to fond of the "angry face" made by the configuration of the four eyes, but that's more of an aesthetic concern, than a functional one. Perhaps you could make one pair noticeably smaller or larger then the other.

I would also ask if you consider some of the previous incarnations of this "prawn" as other species indigenous to it's homeworld or even part of its own evolutionary linage?

How do the signaling scales work on the "hopper-prawn"? Are they primary or secondary communication organs? Do they also use auditory and/or chemical signals to communicate?

Do you plan on integrating the non-human text or any of the the other aspects of District 9 into the species? Do you plan on integrating any of the producers comments on Poleepkwa biology or culture into this species?
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:iconpovorot:
povorot Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2009
Well, first of all, d-9 was my starting point – but it’s no longer what I’m working from. These hoppers are completely unrelated, for the most part, culturally etc from the d-9 prawns.
I’m glad you liked the new bauplan – I spent a bit of time on this one. I understand the complaint to the front view of the eyes – the ‘angry eyes’ – but I’ve got more positive responses to the eye layout then not, so I’m gonna keep ‘em. With the signal scales, I was thinking of the critters being almost exclusively visual communicators, like stomatopods or cephalopods. Maybe, again like stomatopods, that could communicate on several different wavelengths of light – linear, circular polarized light, etc. – using their scales and sharp vision.
As for the tentacles, I meant the inner set of antennae to be tentacles proper, just a smaller, finer set. They’d be for grooming, feeding, fine tool use… should they be bigger?
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:iconlabgnome:
labgnome Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2009
The crew had described some interesting ideas about Poleepkwa biology and culture, including social hierarchy and reproductive process. However I'm also all for seeing where this line of creativity will lead you. I definitely like the eyes set inside the head segment instead of on stalks, but that's really just a minor aesthetic issue.

Some clarification on the physics at hand. Different colors are different wavelengths of light, polarization is something different entirely. Circular and linear are references to different types of light polarizations, not wavelengths. Due to the properties of light waves they can actually be oriented in different directions and this is polarization. Circular light is light that has its polarization rotated a complete 360 degrees, while linear light is polarized along a single plane with a constant angle of polarization, and intermediate forms of polarization between these two are known as elliptical polarization.

Stomatopods have eyes that are sensitive to not only different wavelengths, but can detect different polarizations as well, and have a range that extends well into the infra-red and ultra-violet range. Bees are another example of organisms that are sensitive to polarization, however they see mostly in the ultra-violet and aren't believed to be sensitive to color. Being sensitive to polarization however allows them to use the sun to navigate, as differences in the polarization tell them what direction they are headed relative to the sun.

My primary concern with the "finer set" is that they look ill equipped to do much in the way of lifting, even small objects, maybe a bit too fine, they honestly looked like long antenna to me in most of the sketches, so I assumed they were only meant to be sensory organs. If you intend them to be tentacles proper, then I'd definitely suggest making them thicker.

I will say I'm also in favor of them having antenna as well as tentacles, as they can be organs of small and hearing which these creatures will presumably need.
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:iconm0ai:
M0AI Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
"Do you plan on integrating any of the producers comments on Poleepkwa biology or culture into this species?"

I'm curious about this. Do you have a link to the interview (or whatever) that contains these comments?
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:iconlabgnome:
labgnome Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2009
There is a Poleepkwa FAQ on the MNU Spreads Lies facebook page, with replies from the crew about the Poleepkwa species [link] There are also some other pages I've seen but the information seems to be pretty consistent.

In general the Poleepkwa are eusocial and sexless. They are possibly asexual or self-fertalizing (considered a more likely possibility by some) and do not need to mate with a partner to produce an offspring. Their caste system seems to have a hierarchy of workers, leaders, generals and a queen at the top. Though not explicitly stated their may also be a Poleepkwa soldier caste or set of castes, that would not have been present on a civilian vessel like the Johannesburg ship.

The Johannesburg ship was a resource gatherer, and had Poleepkwa ranking up to generals and probably at least one queen on board. They had been infected with a disease (probably viral) that had wiped out the members of their command castes, however the members of the hardier worker caste had survived. The central character of Christopher is the first of the leadership level caste produced by the District 9 Poleepkwa colony. His "son" seems to be a member of the leader caste as well. What causes this isn't mentioned, but it is implied that eventually the colony will produce other leader Poleepkwa, eventually resulting in "generals" and "queens" being born on Earth.

They are also implied to have been a technological species for millions of years. They don't have a concept of individual ownership or property, but may have a collective one. They possess a strong overwhelming "hive instinct" that suppresses intra-species violence. They are more carnivorous than humans. Their writing system is phonetic, and do have a sense of individual identity, though possibly more limited than a human's.
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:iconm0ai:
M0AI Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
Fascinating. Thanks for taking the time to write this out for me!
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:iconlabgnome:
labgnome Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2009
No prob, happy to oblige, they actually put a significant amount of thought into the movie, witch is something I appreciate.
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:iconlaughing-dove:
Laughing-Dove Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2009
HELL YEAH!
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:iconpovorot:
povorot Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2009
Thanks - that's the response I was looking for...
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:iconlaughing-dove:
Laughing-Dove Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2009
It's very cool. Very alien~
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:iconchimpeetah:
Chimpeetah Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2009
Awesome design, although it does look more antilopine than I would think a sentient 'crab' would, at first I thought it was one of this worlds many herbivores...But it still deserves a round of applause ^_^
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:iconpovorot:
povorot Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2009
Well, I've kind of abandoned the marine-life heritage for this, and started to concentrate more on an exo-skeletal low-grav look. It's not really about making a good alien "prawn" now - it's about trying to design a good arthropod-like alien that's unique and as "alien" as I can. The more cursorial stance/layout is trying to reflect that.
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:iconchimpeetah:
Chimpeetah Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2009
Cool, and now thinking about it, it sets this species apart. No one thinks of an antilopine body design when conceptualizing a sentient alien. I wonder how this would affect their clothing designs and technology...Though for the clothing, I was thinking of sheer hoodies, silk saddle-like throws on their backs, maybe something akin to scarves going across their mid-section and 'neck'. Anyway I cannot wait to see the rest of the native fauna on this planet !
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:iconrayn-hammer:
Rayn-Hammer Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
I need to know this stories plot!!!!!
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:iconsocial-animal:
Social-Animal Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2009
Also, I'm totally in love with the tentacle manipulating arms.
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:iconpovorot:
povorot Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2009
I know - I've been obsessed with them since I started this project.
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:iconsocial-animal:
Social-Animal Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2009
Awesome, I think this design is definitely an improvement over your previous ones.

The profile definitely is evocative of a vibrant evolutionary history. Plains-dwelling pursuit hunters who developed technology? That's just what the "run cycle" shot in the upper left hand corner reminds me of. Good shit man.
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:iconwhalewithlegs:
whalewithlegs Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2009  Student General Artist
I should have added, but forgot, that perhaps the front legs can rotate back at the elbow, and the hind legs at the hip, giving the option of also having a stance more like the filthy prawn's. I think that was a really strong point. Ironically, combining the prawn-type carapace with a more doglike gait makes it seem more familiar to me than otherwise. Either way, great design, man. I've been really enjoying this whole series.
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:iconpovorot:
povorot Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2009
Well, the sheer inefficiency of the crab-style gait kind of pushed me towards the more cursorial build. I was disliking the crab-style leg layout for two main reasons - the previously mentioned reason, and the fact that nearly all arthropods on earth have that type of sprawling gait, making it that much closer in look to an earth critter. I don't mind the familiarity, though - as long as it's not just a bug you're reminded of.
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:iconwhalewithlegs:
whalewithlegs Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2009  Student General Artist
I like it. Doesn't have the punch of the original, but does have a punch of a different kind.
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