An Inside Look at how Zoo World Animals are Made

Happy Wednesday, Zookeepers. We have a special treat for you today: a step-by-step look at how animals are created for Zoo World.

Before a zoo animal can be bought, placed, bred and trained, first it needs art! Zoo World’s talented art team kindly sent us a how-to from when they created the White Mountain Goat (from December’s Holidays promotion.) It’s everything you wanted to know about shading a goat’s beard, but were afraid to ask.

Read on to see how an animal goes from sketchpad to Zoo pad!

Sketch of the White Mountain Goat with a Scarf

First, the Artist sketches the animal. The idea can come from many places, including holiday imagery, new themes, or creative strokes of insight. This sketch is then imported into Adobe Flash. From there, it begins to take shape.


Step by Step filling in of the Goat Sketch

For each part of the animal, the artist starts with a simple rectangle. The artist then transforms that rectangle to fit the shape of the head, blocking in details (like the beard) as necessary. The white dot visible in the third picture is a pivot point, which comes into play once the animal is animated.


Shading for the Goat's Head

With the head blocked in, it’s time to add several layers of shading.


Details getting filled in on the Goat's head

Once shaded, the artist begins adding details like the eyes, nose and horns. Each of these can require individual shading, done the same way as the head – note the trapezoid that will become the goat’s wet nose.


Completed Mountain Goat Face

It’s a face! Awwww.


Mountain Goat's Body Details getting filled in

The artist then repeats the process for each part of the body, including the neck, torso and legs. In the Mountain Goat’s case, this also includes the collar and sleigh bell. And, of course, the all-important tail.


Finished Mountain Goat, with Shadow

All set! With the animal repositioned over the original sketch, now it’s time to add the shadow.


Completed White Mountain Goat in Zoo World

Finished! The new animal is ready to be added to Zoo World. First, though, completed animals still need cages (the habitat they live in) and Random Facts, as well as details like breedability, rarity and animal type.

That’s all there is to it! If you’d like to participate in the animal creation process, be sure to check out our forums every Friday, when we post new concept art in our Question of the Day. The concept art that gets the most votes becomes a new Zoo World animal!

23 responses to “An Inside Look at how Zoo World Animals are Made

  1. this is awesome….what a work….
    very nice to see how they’re made
    hold on with your paints and game….
    i play it (and others) every day

    thank so much for all the hard work

  2. Tnx for this, that’s pretty neat, I always wished I could draw, but sadly, I can’t even draw a stick figure w/o a ruler, & even then its a mess :p~

  3. I was told that I would be good at drawing flies……….

  4. It’s easy to forget what efforts are made so we players can have fun.

    Thanks for sharing!

  5. great job loved it

  6. This is very interesting, but it would be even more interesting to know how many folks actually work to create all the animals we get to play with, and how those folks come up with new animal ideas… Do they just flip through a book of animals of the world? Where does the inspiration for thes animals really come from? Thanks!

  7. This was really cool. I’d like to see how they animate the animals next. I always wondered how people “draw” on a computer, but I guess it makes more sense that they draw the animal by hand and then “scan” it. Please continue to share things like this with us. I’m a teacher and plan on letting my students know what I learned today!

  8. Thank you for all your hard work!

  9. thanks for all of the hard work…it’s hard to make some animals cute…like snakes and reptiles but you manage to do that…I play the game every day so I appreciate your efforts to keep it interesting

  10. The Organization Friends for a New Life like your pic!

  11. good job thanks

  12. I love playing zoo world so don’t get me wrong! But thanks for the 5 minutes it took to computer animate an already drawn animal! Goofing around with photoshop amoungst others it would take 20mins tops! So why are we not seeing more new animals and NEW FEED animals? There are plenty of animals you computer animate! Just a question!

    • Hey Sam, I don’t know about you, but it takes me more than 5 minutes to draw an animal with a pencil! I’m sure there is a lot more going on with the concept & design of the animal before he actually gets created as an asset for the game and then animated!!! I’m sure they are working hard to create more animals for you as fast as they can.

  13. This is great. i would like you to add a Scarlet Ibis, River Otter, Imperial Moth and Cecropia Moth. Thanks

  14. What a fun look “inside!” Thanks for sharing this!

  15. Katalin Cannarella

    This is very cool! To all the artists, keep up the great work! Thank you!

  16. Pingback: Tweets that mention An Inside Look at how Zoo World Animals are Made | The Official Zoo World Blog -- Topsy.com

  17. margaret crawford

    this is great to see the process n how it works but please can one of the devs consider taking a look at introducing a scottish haggis for us all the festivals celebrated n scotlands national days are never recognised there is a topic on the forum n has been for the last 7 months please will u at least have a look thanx ❤ xx

  18. Great so why the hell can’t they put my butter fly back in a tree, instead on a sand hill.

  19. Can you please bring out more insects that are uncommon that people don’t see very much? Also, some of the sea creatures that live in the deepest oceans. I would really love to see a boxed jellyfish, a man o war, and maybe some insect eating plants. Teach people about these exotic creatures instead of all the silly animated cartoon animals. This is supposed to be a zoo and it’s turning out to be just a silly game. You have to power to educate millions of people. It’s supposed to be all about wildlife. “ZOO WORLD” Please go back to the real deal! Thank you

  20. Just wish they wouldn’t put light background on a light animal – like the Leopard on the Prowl. When it’s that tiny you can hardly see it.

  21. For Easter what about some fancy chickens like Dutch Crested Fowl,Silky Bantam,Belgian Bearded,Araucana,Belgian d’Uccle, or Houdan, or maybe a Lop Eared Bunny!Just thought i would give you a few ideas. Thanks for all the animals you draw!

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