Michael Habib

Dr. Michael Habib can often be found designing dragons, excavating dinosaurs, or sipping tea. He is a highly awarded professor, creature design consultant, and storyboard artist based at UCLA and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. He has worked on over 20 projects for leading studios, including BBC, CBC, Creative Differences, YouTube Originals, Amblin Entertainment, and Apple TV+.

Participant Schedule

Friday 10/14


Let it flow: creature motion in fluids

Friday 10/14 3:10PM - 4:10PM Room 207

Michael Habib

In this presentation, Dr. Michael Habib will detail some fundamentals for effectively, and rapidly, building creature anatomy and story sequences for motion in fluid environments. He will detail why fins and wings are essentially the same (and how they work), how to make a flyer launch in a way that feels compelling and real, how to deal with the buoyancy for swimmers, and more! Dr. Habib will cover how to ground your builds in real physics and anatomy, so that you can apply the concepts to any build in any environment. Exemplars will be shared from one of Dr. Habib’s latest projects: Prehistoric Planet, from BBC Studios. As a finale, Dr. Habib will do a speed storyboard demo of a marine dragon, taking cues from the audience in terms of the look and behavior to be boarded.

Sunday 10/16


Night Flyers: Building Bat-like Creatures

Sunday 10/16 10:50AM - 11:50AM Room 212

Michael Habib

From vampires to the wings of dragons, bats are a popular source of inspiration for visual storytelling. Making compelling bat-like creatures can be especially challenging, because bats have numerous unique anatomical features. Dr. Michael Habib will give a brief overview of the wonderful diversity of form and visual inspiration available in the world of living Chiroptera (bats!) and discuss some of the key anatomical elements in bats that any creature designer should know. Dr. Habib will then unveil a series of bat-inspired creatures, illustrated by internationally acclaimed creature designer, Terryl Whitlatch. He will give an in-depth account of how he and Terryl collaborated to create these weird and wonderful creatures – including bringing along some real bat skeletons used in the “making of”.