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Thread: What Do Idirans Look Like?

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    Default What Do Idirans Look Like?

    Idirans because they appear in Consider Phlebas are the first in a line of aliens in the Cultureverse and they're quite hard to draw.

    It's mainly because there isn't a summary description, bits of their anatomy are revealed throughout the book or they're described doing stuff which makes you rethink how bits of them should be.

    You can sort of get a handle on most of their bits but not their legs. The legs are described as 'a tripod of thick legs' and there's nothing at all on their configuration or how they move although there might be a clue when Xoxarle carries Balveda (depending on which way she's facing).

    I had a go with a design that had a central front leg which one critic helpfully described as a 'ridiculously well hung guy with toes poking out of his johnson'.

    Andrew j Short's version (check out the animated clip in the forum) works very well biomechanically although it's quite animal like albeit Xoxarle isn't wearing clothes and Big Orange did an Idiran head which I thought was pretty good.

    Affronters and Chelgrians are pretty easy in comparison.
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    I always had them down in my head as quite hairy almost Yak like beings. I've been told from the descriptions in the books that this can't be the case, but that's still what I see in my minds eye. I seem to recall one dying (prob in CP) & it's drying blood stuck it's hair to the floor, I think that's where my view came from.

    I think I see the 3rd leg being at the back too.

    Some interesting stuff here:
    http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=idi...ih=673#imgrc=_

    This one looks nice:


    I alwasy like this drawing too (though it's to spindley)
    Last edited by Deep Black; 28-02-2013 at 01:22 PM.
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    The Idiran on top looks awesome !!! Tough , strong, menacingly sentient .
    The third leg is correctly placed and it even has the vestigial third arm in the front. Simply amazing !!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelatorre View Post
    The third leg is correctly placed and it even has the vestigial third arm in the front.
    I prefer the two legs front, one leg back configuration as it makes more sense to imagine and model but in terms of drawing an Idiran is it 'correct'? After all while the lack of information concerning the Idiran is useful the same cannot be said for the Chelgrian from Look To Windward. This is another tripedal being described as having a fused midlimb, that's two legs back, one leg front, it's also supposed to be able to climb trees...
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelatorre View Post
    The Idiran on top looks awesome !!! Tough , strong, menacingly sentient .
    The third leg is correctly placed and it even has the vestigial third arm in the front. Simply amazing !!!
    I like the way it looks, but I am not sure if the head works. The front eyes are supposed to be on the "edges" of the saddle shaped head, wherever that is. I always pictured it a bit like the head of the hammerhead shark, eyes wide apart, placed on the corners. (Granted there are some edges close to the eyes in that picture, too, but then our human eyes could be said to be close to our edges, too...).

    Also, front eyes sort of implies that there is at least one eye to some other direction. Wikipedia claims Idirans have four eyes, but I do not know any exact quote for that. Quayanorl in Consider Phlebas loses his eyes (plural) when he gets shot in the face several times, but that leaves him with one eye remaining, so he would have started out with at least three eyes. Regardless of the precise number, the low frontal head placement of the Idiran in the picture makes it difficult to place any additional non-frontal eyes in a position where they might be useful. Thus I think a more free-standing head like in the other picture is more suitable (that one's head is far too big though, it is supposed to be roughly the size of three human heads).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Conscious Bob View Post
    You can sort of get a handle on most of their bits but not their legs. The legs are described as 'a tripod of thick legs' and there's nothing at all on their configuration or how they move although there might be a clue when Xoxarle carries Balveda (depending on which way she's facing).
    There is a little bit more towards the end in Consider Phlebas: "He stood looking at the Idiran, gazing from Xoxarle's three feet with their three slab toes and round ankle collars, over his padded-looking knees, the massive girdle of pelvic plates and the flat chest, up to the section leader's great saddle-head, the broad face tipped and looking down at the human beneath."

    So a lot of (keratin) plating, but still nothing on configuration or motion. Given the vestigial front arm I favour a front leg, but you never know.

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    Wow Deep Black, fantastic image contribution there. Where did you get that gem? must be tucked away somewhere dark or be recent enough because I don't remember seeing it on my travels to find reference material for my Idiran Project. Beautiful painting but I would agree with coral beach that some of the obstacles thrown up by TMH were kindof ignored in the quest to make the face something close to human, makes the two high points look like beefy ears instead of a part of the skull.

    Coral Beach brought up the two parts of the book I looked to the most for reference when thinking about the anatomy. The head needed to have eyes on each side near the edge and more than simply one set, I ended up giving mine 3 sets (The number 3 just felt right really, and 2 sets just looked wrong, too close to making him look like a head with a face on each side.). The biggest point I took from the big description of him tied up is that his toes are substantial, almost as if he had "Hooves" which is one of the first mentions of the species one of the geriatrics mentioning people getting ground under Idiran hooves. For some reason including the beautifully painted piece Deep Black found, the feet are resting on relatively spindely toes, as if they snuck around instead of charged around.

    As for the limb configuration; Aesthetically it looks better to have 2 legs on the front, and there is no reason why the triangle of limbs should not have been able to grow in the inverse between the top and bottom of the creature, if you think as far back as to consider the lower creatures that the Idirans would evolve from for balance and ease of movement to reach the ground with the elevated limbs having the front arm with the ability to reach the ground in the gap between the front 2 legs makes sense from an evolutionary standpoint to me. Expanding on that the articulation of a fully formed Idiran would be impaired without the ability to bend forward to the ground while having a massive leg to deal with(logically the opposing one foot will need to be atleast slightly larger than the other to to bear the weight of the body during its forward movement.), It would make sitting easier to explain though Iain never said sitting in normal seats would ever be easy for tripods.

    The other outstanding issue is the colour scheme, I went with the colouring of an armadillo lizard essentially because when researching creatures with keratin all over their bodies it stood out and I liked the feel of having him with such desert warm colours contrasting the setting in the tunnels of Schars world emphasising the creatures intensity. referring back to the concept Deep Black posted (Cant seem to let my thoughts wander from it) they opted for a white translucent Giger-esque Alien feel which works too, but alot of stuff would work really TMH had nothing to say on that note.
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    There's a problem for the two legs front configuration when it comes to sitting, Xoralundra's chair is described as having a backrest which logically means, if he has a rear leg, he's going to be uncomfortable. Horza although humanoid can also lean back in his Idiran chair which indicates that it's a conventional design.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew j Short View Post
    Wow Deep Black, fantastic image contribution there. Where did you get that gem? must be tucked away somewhere dark or be recent enough because I don't remember seeing it on my travels to find reference material for my Idiran Project.
    I claim no credit & have no idea of it's age or origin. It just came up on a google image search...
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    Andrew Strong's excellent interpretation could conceivably allow for this, if the rear leg can be tucked under the body so that it projects forward when sitting down. An un-natural posture, perhaps, but maybe no less un-natural than a human sitting in an armchair as opposed to squatting on his haunches.

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