Friday, October 3, 2014

Dungeon & Dragons Monster Manual - Fire Bat - Redesign

More monsters, RAWR! Today's monster redesign that I created for the 5th Edition Monster Manual is the very HAWT Fire Bat. Here is how the final concept turned out...

Fire Bat - Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manual - Redesign
© 2014 Wizards of the Coast

A Fire Bat... a bat on fire... FIRE bat... fire BAT... fibatre... Sometimes when approaching a monster the name so permanently controls the basic being and look of that monster that you can go in circles. While there was no real need to reinvent the wheel with the Fire Bat I did want to give it a fresh spin compared to the previous incarnations. ...which were a big bat shaped fire elemental. Here are how the thumbnail concepts that I submitted turned out...

Fire Bat - Thumbnails
© 2014 Wizards of the Coast

Not surprisingly, I came up with a lot of bat shaped fire elementals. FIRE BAT! In a last ditch effort, an act of desperation, or a stroke of inspiration I thought to add some bones. Good thing too... I would have hated to be stuck in perpetual redesign of the Fire Bat. Without adding those bone I could be sitting here even now on my 5047th round of Fire Bat revisions trying to make it cool. The bones saved the day and I was asked to do a more detailed thumbnail to make sure the anatomy and bones looked realistic and accurate to a real bat. Good thing for me... I own a bat skeleton! With some observation and reference I worked up a more fleshed out thumbnail...

Fire Bat - Anatomical thumbnail
© 2014 Wizards of the Coast

This more fleshed out thumbnail was approved and it was time to draw. With my bat skeleton in hand it was time to get drawing. Here is how the final drawing for the Fire Bat turned out...

Fire Bat - Drawing
9 x 12
Pencil on Paper
© 2014 Wizards of the Coast

There was not a whole lot of difference between the anatomical thumbnail and the final drawing except the drawing was on paper and is a whole lot cleaner and tighter. But it is part of my process so I make sure to follow my steps to create a finished product that I am happy with. The drawing was approved without comment and I moved onto the final color comp...

Fire Bat - Final Redsign
© 2014 Wizards of the Coast

The final color redesign was approved without comment and another monster was squared away. My biggest concern for the final version was that the fire read well and that the skeleton looked burnt. Maybe I did that, maybe I didn't... but it was approved. All I knew is that I needed to move onto the next monster...

A HUGE THANKS to Jon Schindehette for all the monsters and direction during the design phase of 5th Edition!

That is all for another exciting week on the blog, see you back here on Monday for another new monster! Until then...

For more samples of my work or to contact me regarding my availability head over to my website: