Run by a group of industry professionals, Helpful Bear is a production company that specialises in the visual development for feature films and television. On the hunt for new talent, at the end of last month, Helpful Bear Productions launched a creature design contest and, after receiving over 2,000 submissions, the winners have now been chosen.
Judged by illustrator Terryl Whitlatch, best-known for her creature designs for Lucasfilm, first place went to concept artist and illustrator Katie Pfeilschiefter, for her take on mythological medieval predator of dragons, the Ichneumon.
"My main inspiration was the Egyptian mongoose," Pfeilschiefter says, "and I extrapolated from there, coating its fur with quills, giving it a venomous bite and inferring an exaggerated patagium between its front and forelegs for surviving long falls."
Second place was awarded to San Francisco-based Jan Vidra for his Mountain Dweller design, which will be turned into a 3D sculpt by modeller Aybars Turan and feature in a forthcoming issue of 3D World.