Ken Barthelmey is the man responsible for creating the terrifying antagonistic alien species featured in Chris McKay's The Tomorrow War movie. Since the film has debuted on Prime Video this month, Barthelmey has been sharing some earlier concept designs he created for the alien creatures, named White Spikes. Check out some of his most recent uploads below:
In a recent interview with Variety, Ken also touched on what influenced his design for the White Spike aliens, to which he explained:
I remember the initial script had a battle scene at the Miami Beach that was mostly in water. Therefore, in my early sketches, I pictured the White Spikes more aquatic with tentacle-like legs. During the design process, those tentacles eventually became the two tails on the back. I also used various animal references that influenced the design.
For the head of the White Spikes, for example, I tried to incorporate various references of deep-sea fish. Especially the Viperfish was a big influence when I worked on the face.
I like to mix the anatomy of insects with mammals in my designs. For example, the small front arms are based on Mantis claws and the backplates resemble the shell of a grasshopper.
To make a good design, I think it’s important to find a good balance between realism and imagination. If you design a creature too outlandish or abstract, it will look unbelievable and silly. And vice versa. If you make a design too realistic, it will look boring.
I love seeing actual anatomy in a design, this makes it look more grounded. Using reference photos from real-life animals is a great help to accomplish that.
The goal is to come up with something new and original and avoid making it look similar to an already existing design. This is always very challenging and the hardest part of the job.
You can read the entire interview over on Variety!
Check back soon for more on The Tomorrow War and Ken Barthelmey's alien creations!
The Tomorrow War is NOW STREAMING on Prime Video!