This creature was originally envisioned as a randomly-appearing hazard in an
exploratory, virtual deep-sea cavern environment.
Modeled and animated with Alias Wavefront's Power Animator; composited with Adobe After Effects. Unfortunately, I only have a small version of the animation, so it is best viewed at the embedded resolution.
Original sketch. This fish is a culmination of favorite fish parts: coelacanth, deep-sea angler,
various fleshier prehistoric lobe-finned and armored fish, the multiple gills of a shark,
and the membrane-like fleshiness of the axolotyl or 'water dog', a type of salamander.
Tail textures: transparency and bump map (left),
and amult map (right) for translucence.
Pectoral fin texture map created by layering scans of reindeer moss and rock with lichens.
Mouse over the unshaded models for wireframe views.
Green wire indicates where construction history was maintained,
allowing for dilating pupils, flexing fins, and wavering gills.
The fully-textured model was composited into the cavern environment with After Effects.
The little school of fish that dart through are Photoshop illustrations animated on motion paths
with perspective and shadows via After Effects.
The cave wall texture is from a high resolution scan of a big, chunky rock that had roots growing on its underside.
The briny current of particles and the air bubbles (barely visible in the QuickTime movie) were created via Final Effects plug-in.