When we think of aliens, we usually conjure up images of green-skinned aliens or knobby-fingered creatures like E.T., but one artist let his imagination run wild with a series of 80 digitally-rendered aliens that are probably more realistic – and certainly more appealing – than the sci-fi fantasy. UI/UX designer and 3D artist Zhang Chenxi developed an art series titled “Unknown x Unknown” in which he explored what other forms these intergalactic beings could take – and the results are far from creepy.

alien digital illustrations, 3D modeling, 3D aliens, artist designs colorful aliens, Zhang Chenxi, unknown x unknown aliens, maxon cinema 4D, 3D modeling aliens

alien digital illustrations, 3D modeling, 3D aliens, artist designs colorful aliens, Zhang Chenxi, unknown x unknown aliens, maxon cinema 4D, 3D modeling aliens

Zhang Chenxi’s digital illustrations are bursting with color and so much detail you could almost believe these were photographs of deep sea creatures or animals lurking in the Amazon rainforest. The little critters feature bright antennae, soft and squishy tentacles, fungi-like qualities and beads at the tips of their extremities. Some seem inspired by succulents, sea anemone, squids and insects while others are as completely odd as they are mesmerizing.

alien digital illustrations, 3D modeling, 3D aliens, artist designs colorful aliens, Zhang Chenxi, unknown x unknown aliens, maxon cinema 4D, 3D modeling aliens

alien digital illustrations, 3D modeling, 3D aliens, artist designs colorful aliens, Zhang Chenxi, unknown x unknown aliens, maxon cinema 4D, 3D modeling aliens

Related: Jill Bliss’ stunning arrangements capture the magical beauty of mushrooms

To bring his visions to life, Chenxi used MAXON Cinema 4D, a software program that allows artists to do 3D modeling, animation and graphics rendering. First he sketches his ideas on paper and then works his concept through Cinema 4D before rendering in Octane. He just finished the series of 80 renderings, but you can see his entire collection on Instagram and high-resolution versions on his Behance portfolio.

+ Zhang Chenxi

Via Colossal

alien digital illustrations, 3D modeling, 3D aliens, artist designs colorful aliens, Zhang Chenxi, unknown x unknown aliens, maxon cinema 4D, 3D modeling aliens

alien digital illustrations, 3D modeling, 3D aliens, artist designs colorful aliens, Zhang Chenxi, unknown x unknown aliens, maxon cinema 4D, 3D modeling aliens

alien digital illustrations, 3D modeling, 3D aliens, artist designs colorful aliens, Zhang Chenxi, unknown x unknown aliens, maxon cinema 4D, 3D modeling aliens