A zombie (Haitian French: zombi, Haitian Creole: zonbi) is a fictional undead being created through the reanimation of a human corpse. Zombies are most commonly found in horror and fantasy genre works. The term comes from Haitian folklore, where a zombie is a dead body reanimated through various methods, most commonly magic. Modern depictions of zombies do not necessarily involve magic but often invoke science fictional methods such as radiation, mental diseases, viruses, scientific accidents, etc. – Wikipedia
Story of the Zombie.
There are many different types of zombies, often portrayed in films, games and stories. The type of zombie depends on the way the corpse was reanimated.
Magic: Zombies are a standard in Creole folklore, where a practisioner of Voodoo (Witch doctor or Voodoo Priest) is able to ressurect the dead by the use of magic. They don’t have a mind of their own and are always controlled by the practisioner, much like a puppet on strings.
Curses: In older movies and folklore, the story of cursed grounds are the cause of zombies. Whenever someone would be burried within these soils, they would soon rise up to be on their undead way. Again, these zombies are slow and lethargic, grabby hands that only want to feed on human flesh.
Radiation: Throughout the years, the stories of zombies have developed and different types have emerged from fantasy lore. Radiation zombies are often people who were exposed to high amounts of radiation which eventually fried their brains, making them mindless zombies who are very aggressive and much faster than the classic slow zombie.
Infection: Films such as 28 days later show a new type of zombie: The infected. Here, a bite isn’t the only way to be infected by a zombie but a simple drop of blood can turn the victim into a crazed and highly agressive undead. A mutated form of rabies is often the cause of the infection, leaving the zombie to do everything and anything to infect the uneffected to a point they will even projectile vomit blood at their victims with the hopes to infect them.
Disease: Several films and tv series have shown a new type of zombie, the ones carrying a disease. Often there is a way to cure the ones carrying the disease before they become a zombie. However, the tv serie “The Walking Dead” plays on a even newer type of disease that can even be seen as a genetic mutation where when a person dies, they will be risen as a zombie. These zombies often travel in groups are slow, but determine and have the classic ‘brainless’ zombie mind where all they want is kill to feed.
There are so many zombie stories nowadays, in Dawn of the Dead’s sequal the zombies start to have a mind of their own and figure out how to use a gun.
For my design I wanted to have a quick moving zombie, so perhaps one that’s exposed to radiation or infection, however I do want it to have some intelligence, seeing as it will be facing off against a robot hand. With the background knowledge set in place, I’ve tweeked the design and removed the arm, elevated the hand so it’ll be a design like The thing from the Adam’s family.
Designing the Zombie Hand.
I wanted a few things clear on my zombie hand: That it was clearly human, that the design would give the character and ofcourse movement and that the features would show that it was a ‘veteran’ zombie hand in the pit of the arena. To achieve this goal I’ve removed two nails from the hand whilst the others are either short and bend outwards or chipped, showing that it has been moving around on the finger tips for a long period of time.
I am basing the movement of the Zombie hand and the Robot hand on spiders. Spiders give a good idea of how you can move the fingers and the smaller they are the more robotic they start to move. So the larger the spider, the slower and calculating they move. I’m also taking some reference from a video I found of an octopus which gives a good idea how I’ll balance the wrist on the hand, aka weight distribution.