These are the initial studies and concept sketches that I did for a new sculpture I'm currently working on for a CG Hub design challenge. The task was to create a creature that could possibly be found in the oceans of Pandora, the home of the Na'vi in James Cameron's Avatar. I wanted my creature to be the equivalent of the Leonopteryx (the big orange bird) under water. I also did some research as to what the designers on the actual movie used as influence for their designs and found that they were pulling from alot of ocean life as well as dinosaurs, cars, and Art Nouveau motifs and patterns for coloration. keeping those influences in mind I began to study ancient marine reptiles, abyssal fish, sharks, seals and jets. I also had to keep in mind the body plans already established in the movie. The majority of the animals featured had were hexapedal so figuring out how that translated to an aquatic predator was a challenge. I ended up going with the body plan in the lower left corner of the last image. At this point even though I had done a ton of drawings of the creatures head (might post those later) I still wasn't sure what I was looking for so I decided to proceed to the sculpting phase to try and work it out there.