Molly Heady-Carroll

Molly Heady-Carroll

Freelance Creature Consultant

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Irish-born Molly Heady-Carroll is a 2D artist and animator based in the Netherlands who specializes in all things creatures. Always drawn to studying animals (especially reptiles), she now makes up her own as a Creature Consultant in the games and animation industry.
In 2013, Molly co-founded Arcane Circus, the game studio behind "Crap! I'm Broke" and the Kaiju-based pan media IP "Zenibeasts", whose recently released animated short “Kaiju Cutie” just blew up on YouTube. Molly freelances for clients such as Netflix, Universal Pictures, Night School Studios, BBC, Impact Gameworks, Crackshell Games and Anikey Studios. She also gives lectures about creature design at conferences all over the world and teaches at the Utrecht University of the Arts (HKU).


Molly Heady-Carroll is speaking at the following session/s

The Weird Science of Creature Design

11:00am - 11:45am
Room 2

Creature design is a weird science and YOU are the mad professor! Designing unholy abominations may be fun, but it is also hard work. There is method to the madness. Creature designers combine knowledge of real world animals and fantastic ideas with clear and communicative sketching. In this lecture, Molly Heady-Carroll will take you through the entire gruesome process of designing creatures. Her methods may be unconventional, but her creations might just be crazy enough to work. It's alive… IT'S ALIVE!

Session Takeaway

  • DESIGN: creature design requires an evaluation, ideation, prototyping and testing cycle, just like the design thinking cycle that is applied to game design. Nature also "designs" her animals in the same way. Animals are an iteratively tested solution (evolution) within a design system (ecology). Every animal is a design loop (species) that works for one of millions of very specific circumstances (niche).
  • ZOOLOGY: nature has millions of species and all are a functioning solution to fill a niche. You know they work because they exist in real life. Having an extensive knowledge of real world animals provides creature designers with a mental library of real world possibilities they can draw from for their fictional designs. Artist can do this by researching animal zoology, observation and life drawing.
  • DRAWING: focus on how well you can design imaginary animals, how well you can communicate through drawing and that you can do this fast. Clear visual communication is NOT the same thing as being good at rendering. Creating a functioning, appropriate concept comes first, polish and rendering is the polish on an already functioning foundation. It won't save a bad design.

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