Hey there! I wanted to share some of the work I did for 'The Maze Runner', a film adaptation based on James Dashner's best selling novel.
My main involvement was to design the scary creatures called 'Grievers'. I also worked with film director Wes Ball on several maze designs and other very interesting stuff.
First Test Design (All Painted) At the very beginning it was planned to make the Grievers as big robotic machines.
However I had already created this Test Design, before I got the job, which showed the hybrid creature idea from the novel.
I presented the design to Wes and he loved it. We collaborated on a few changes and attachments afterwards in order to enhance the final Griever design.
Slugs and coconut crabs were a huge influence for me in finding the overall body shape. The head was a bit tricky, since in the book they have no face, only a big ugly mouth. It's basically a mixture of caterpillars, bulldogs and even piranhas.
Griever Torso In the novel, the Grievers are described as huge bulbous slugs. It was pretty challenging to turn a cute slug into a bloodthirsty beast. Additionally I tried to come up with an interesting anatomy but which is still based on these animals.
Some pencil sketches of the Griever head with sensors.
Pose Sketches I did plenty of these different pose sketches, which illustrated how the creature could move. The wizards from Method Studios enhanced the movements to perfection.
Mechanical Tail Wes already had many cool action scenes in his mind, therefore he asked me to add a mechanical scorpion tail into the Design.
I also made the body structure much lower on the ground and adjusted the little arms along with some other details.
Light Dots Since we see the Grievers mostly in the dark, Wes wanted to find a way to illuminate them with some kind of 'light dots' and sensors. This is one of a few options that I had sent to him. One idea was to put these lights underneath the slightly translucent skin which would constantly move in one direction.
Griever Anatomy 3D Concept.
Lurking Griever After the design was almost done, Wes asked me to create an illustration showing a Griever inside the maze.
This was at the same time my first maze concept.
Climbing Up This keyframe shows Thomas trying to escape a Griever by climbing up a wall.
Griever Key The kids find this 'Black Box' device in the squashed Griever body, so my idea here was to put it into a soft organic shell.
Squashed Griever Concept.
Pencil Sketch of the 'Griever Hole' entrance.
Courtyard The challenge was to come up with an hiding place in the maze...
Cranks This was originally my take on the 'Changing', based on the book descriptions. The design got used right away for the Cranks, which is basically the same in the film.
Final Beetle Blade Design They didn't end up in the film, but I had a blast working on them. There were a few cool scenes in the script. Wes described them as the 'observation cameras' from the maze. I attempted to make the design very functional.
Beetle Blade Sketches Even though they are robotic, I tried to give them a scary organic look. They have a translucent shell from where we can see the machinery inside its body.
Early Beetle Blade Variations I had much fun working on these. At the very beginning we was thinking about making them bio-mechanical, similar to the Grievers. Wes wanted something like a mutated and scary looking sowbug.