Sign in with your E-Mail & Password

Log in to view your personalized notifications across Scified!

Alien Discussion Forums
Giger's early design for the first Alien

Giger's early design for the first Alien

11,381 Views23 RepliesAdd A Reply
Forum Topic

Dark Nebula

XenomorphStaff1168 XPOct-19-2018 1:04 PM


Concept art:

There's a complete version of the concept art above but it's in a low resolution.

It can be seen here:

Hopefully, a higher resolution will surface one day.

23 Responses to Giger's early design for the first Alien


TrilobiteMember8212 XPOct-19-2018 1:18 PM

Thanks Dark Nebula. It is interesting to see this early work. I like how the final Xenomorph came out though, especially not being able to see its eyes. That was the first thing I noticed and was the most terrifying- does it see me? Is it even looking at me? Is it staring right at me?


DeaconMember10244 XPOct-19-2018 4:27 PM

I have seen concept work 369 before, but again never in high resolution and this image in the OT i have NEVER seen this before so GREAT FIND ;)

Both of these seem a Prelude to this Concept Work

When describing the TWO Monsters that the Source i had from Feb 2015 they claimed One was based off the Necronom 4/Ultramorph the other was based off the Original Concept Design for ALIEN, but both were NOT the Xenomorph, both had some similarities to the Xenomorph but were Different. Which i assumed can only mean the one based off the Original Design cant be related to the Xenomorph Concepts.

If the Source was correct/true i wonder if they meant something similar to the OT or image i posted on this reply?  A Fresh Retake on this could have been interesting.

Thanks for the Share Dark Nebula

R.I.P Sox  01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017


DeaconMember10244 XPOct-19-2018 4:40 PM

When looking at the Deeper Description Given,  they said ONE had a more Elongated Head than the Xenomorph, the other a more Bulbous Head,  also one was Dark in color the other was Pale, and One was Transparent to a degree.

when looking at the Concept Work in the OT... i had came across some designs by Huante that are similar, the first he had released as a quick sketch quite some time ago, the other two at the time of these supposed to had been for ALIEN 5

Sorry for the Low Quality i tried to match the resolution of the 2nd image as i could only find a low resolution on of it.

They kind of incorporate elements that we see in the OT image and also ONE of the first Xenomorph Concepts which i posted in previous post.

R.I.P Sox  01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017


PraetorianStaff2414 XPOct-19-2018 8:22 PM

It's curious his early designs had large black eyes. Large eyes are typically the hallmark of nocturnal animals.

I will take the Owls and Cats as an example. In a nutshell these species have eyes designed to maximise the amount of exposure to light in the dark.

Large eyes = more surface area = more light being exposed to the eye 'sensors'

Dark = Expanded retina (light shield) = more light hitting the back 'sensors' of the eye. like a camera's aperture system.

'Sensors' at the back of the eye = rods and cones. Rods regulate light absorption, cones regulate colour sensitivity. Cats and Owls have a huge amount of rods.

Even before human came along and ruined the night sky with light pollution our night sky was suitably light enough to allow some vision for our species. Even on cloudy nights there is still some penetration of light from the stars and moon.

But looking at this image of an early Xenomorph with huge bulbous black eyes we could deduce this beast was designed to live AND SEE in some seriously dark corners of the universe.

But having eyes at all suggests it lived in an environment with SOME light to provide vision. 

BUT everything in nature is a trade-off, so having eyes when you don't need them is wasted resources, and energy that could be better used improving other senses. Thus, most creatures that live in subterranean environments per say, don't bother with eyes at all because they live in areas where light CANNOT penetrate and is pitch-black. No amount of eye diameter and Rods will help, because there is no light to absorb at all. 

We know the Xeno like darkness....we know it likes to hide out in areas where there may be a total absence of light...Alien 3 shafts, Nostromo's vents and uninhabited areas where light is not needed.

So removing the eyes is actually a huge benefit. If you dont need them and could instead use the energy to improve your sense of smell or, tactile systems eg sensitivity to vibrations, that would be MORE advantageous to your hunting ability.

Vision is an expensive adaptation, it requires significant resources, processes and energy for the body to burn through and this is supposedly the perfect organism. So Giger's genius by removing the eyes actually hugely improves the efficiency of our Starbeasty.

If you want to see a real world example of this efficiency of adaptation in play, look at the New Zealand Kiwi. It is basically a giant walking nose with tactile sensitive whiskers finely tuned to sniff out and feel invertebrates within the topsoil and leaf litter.






TrilobiteMember8212 XPOct-19-2018 9:38 PM

Interesting points IRaptus. Interestingly, many still call bats blind but they really are not- they more heavily rely on echo location that some humans have mastered out of necessity. The Xeno from AC seemed to have vision similar to ours but I would think it used echo location and other heightened senses like you mentioned.


PraetorianStaff2414 XPOct-19-2018 10:16 PM

I agree dk the 'vision' of the protomorph in AC did seem like they were trying to portray a form of echo location.

Dark Nebula

XenomorphStaff1168 XPOct-20-2018 4:56 AM

There were lots of designs and ideas prior to the final design we got. Lots of things were scrapped due to technical reasons.

If I recall correctly, the big chap was originally supposed to be translucent. From what I also heard, the idea was that you were supposed to see its veins, organs etc if a flashlight shined through it, but the idea was eventually scrapped because it was complicated to do at the time and the guy wearing the suit could be seen. So, they went with the black suit. Idk if they tried anything with puppeteering.

In the big chap's dome were also supposed to be ****roaches or maggots moving around, but the problem was that the bugs would die of heat really fast so that was also scrapped.

NECA already did the 7'' figure of the translucent big chap suit. I'd love to see NECA do other concept figures including Giger's early concept designs for the alien.


XenomorphMember1304 XPOct-20-2018 6:22 AM

Nice find Dark Nebula,

Really insect like....Truly would've been a 'bug hunt'.

Very glad they opted toward the humanoid version...IMHO, better story telling if it's Engineered from human DNA/construct.

I Moon Girl

ChestbursterMember611 XPOct-20-2018 4:04 PM

What are Giger's designs made with?  Does he use graphite? Charcoal? Sculpting? Ink? Airbrush?

I guess I could look it up too, but I thought I'd ask here anyways.

I'd been wondering how he got his very detailed and elaborate work to come across looking perfect and, in some cases, like a photo.  Maybe he takes pictures of his sculptures?  I know he does at least some work on 2D surfaces.


TrilobiteMember8212 XPOct-20-2018 9:36 PM

Dark Nebula I prized that transparent Xeno to a forum member and can say that it looks much better than the ad pics depict (I should have bought another for home display but didn't). Here it is up close:


XenomorphMember1300 XPOct-21-2018 12:22 AM

Still, it can't beat this one:

"He survived, he’s now in Disneyland in Orlando, and no way am I going back there. How did he end up in Disneyland? I saw him in Disneyland, Jesus Christ!"


TrilobiteMember8212 XPOct-21-2018 8:40 PM

Two things. 1- it is not the original transparent model, but 2- it is superior to NECA figures I have seen or have. Depends on one's budget I suppose.


XenomorphMember1300 XPOct-22-2018 5:13 AM

Damn, I paid £108 last year for mine, now it is at least twice more expensive. That's the biggest and fastest price hike I know. Disney, take note! 

"He survived, he’s now in Disneyland in Orlando, and no way am I going back there. How did he end up in Disneyland? I saw him in Disneyland, Jesus Christ!"


DeaconMember10244 XPOct-22-2018 7:47 AM

Indeed i find that having NO Eyes does make the Xenomorph and related Organisms more ALIEN and intimidating but i also think some of the concepts that have KIND OF Eyes are also very effective.

We can see with Prometheus/Alien Engineers some of the concepts there and especially the ULTRAMORPH we have alternatives were we have the NO Eyes/kind of Eyes and the LARGE Black Eye variants. And some other concepts made after Prometheus and including Alien Covenant do tease they had contemplated using the Dark Eyes design that appears in the OT Photo.

I am not 100% convinced in this design though, as far as the EYES go.

Regarding the Transparent Xenomorph that certainly would have been beyond the Special Effects of the time to do any JUSTICE but i feel Modern Special Effects could pull off a Transparent or Semi-Transparent Organism.

Hopefully we could ONE day see the introduction to some more Transparent Organisms within the Franchise.

R.I.P Sox  01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017


DeaconMember10244 XPOct-22-2018 7:57 AM

I DONT-WANT to have to make a NEW Topic if it can be avoided.... so i will Hijack this one ;)

Well what i will ask i feel is just as suited to expand on this Topic than Create a New One ;)

WHAT.... unused Concepts from the Franchise (which does-not have to include the Prequels, and it can include HR Gigers works) would you love to SEE used on Screen in Future, feel free to draw on some Fan Art if you feel some of those are what you would like to see.

I am a MASSIVE Fan of the One Ultramorph Concept below.

So what would you like to see?  It could even be something based on some of HR Gigers works, so for example if you would like to have seen a Fresh/Modern take on one of his concepts then which one?

And while on Subject to the EYES...  I find the Ultramorph with NO eyes to be more interesting than the alternative WITH.

Sorry if i have Hijacked the Thread Guys.

R.I.P Sox  01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017

Dark Nebula

XenomorphStaff1168 XPOct-22-2018 8:01 AM

I'm pretty sure the proto-xenomorph at birth was transparent. Its organs and bones are visible.

Odd studios chestburster rod puppet:

Lots of marine animals at younger stages are transparent, so they could easily avoid predators while they're still young. Their body changes texture and becomes opaque as they get older. 

Dark Nebula

XenomorphStaff1168 XPOct-22-2018 8:06 AM

@I Moon Girl Giger used an airbrush.

It's quite impressive.


PraetorianStaff2414 XPOct-22-2018 11:07 PM

Bring in the Palatine - The 'berserker' Empress Royal Guards!


TrilobiteMember8212 XPOct-23-2018 11:50 PM

NECA could do a decent transparent/translucent  Xeno. After all, it produced this:


DeaconMember10244 XPOct-24-2018 8:56 AM

Certainly Dark Nebula

Some good points, and indeed the Protomorph Chest Buster we do see it was somewhat Transparent... i think this design did HIGHLIGHT something interesting....

Davids Xenomorph appears to have a Internal Skeleton and not a Exo-Skeletal design that it appeared the Bio-Mechanical Xenomorphs from the Franchise had, which especially with the Queen had a more Scorpion/Ant Exo-skeleton Aesthetic to them.

"Bring in the Palatine - The 'berserker' Empress Royal Guards!"

I think this depends on HOW we look at the Xenomorph, but then i guess as a Bio-Weapon or Creation by David, we could make room for the Organism to EVOLVE and have different kinds of Xenomorphs for different Roles.

I mentioned just in this Topic Blomkamp Mutated Alien 5 Xenomorph

About the Function of Smaller additional Arms on Xenomorphs could be for a specific Role for some Xenomorphs regarding the Tending/Protecting of the Eggs and moving them.

I think adding some Aesthetic of the Royal Guards to that Blomkamp Design could be interesting.

R.I.P Sox  01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017


NeomorphMember1559 XPOct-31-2018 11:17 AM

I just wonder how it would be able to eat with a tongue like that. It doesn’t look very utilitarian but maybe that adds to the alien-ness of it.


DeaconMember10244 XPNov-01-2018 6:17 PM

It does appear to have some-kind of Drill part to it, how does it EAT?  If we assume they require to Consume Food for Energy, then maybe we need to look at the ACID Blood and ask is ONLY the Blood Corrosive?

So looking at that design as far as the Mouth-parts go, who knows if the Organism uses this the same way a Mosquito uses its Proboscis to obtain Blood from a Organism.  The Xenomorph in Question could use that Drill-Part to Borrow into a Organism/Food Source and maybe Inject Saliva that has Acid Qualities to it, that then breaks down Body Matter so it can be sucked up by that Mouth-part.

Much like a Fly does ;)

R.I.P Sox  01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017


PraetorianMember3381 XPNov-28-2018 12:31 PM

Great concept art. Thank you.

Add A Reply
Log in to Post
Enter Your E-Mail
Enter Your Password

Stay Logged In
Scified Network
Godzilla-Movies.comHosted Community
JurassicWorld3.netHosted Community
Alien-Covenant.comHosted Community
Hosted Community
Predator4-Movie.comHosted Community
New Alien: Covenant Forum Topics
Highest Forum Ranks Unlocked
86% To Next Rank
61% To Next Rank
61% To Next Rank
87% To Next Rank
Michelle Johnston
Michelle Johnston
76% To Next Rank
Latest Alien Fandom Activity
Maxtailored started a new discussion: Ready to get it on! on the Alien: Covenant forum
GregSmack started a new discussion: 3D project on the Alien: Covenant forum
Get this Prometheus sweater!
Alien Sweater

Alien: Covenant is a sequel to 2012's Prometheus as well as a prequel to 1979's ALIEN. Alien fans looking to know more about Alien: Covenant should check back often. is an information resource for film enthusiasts looking to learn more about the upcoming blockbuster Alien: Covenant. Providing the latest official and accurate information on Alien: Covenant, this website contains links to every set video, viral video, commercial, trailer, poster, movie still and screenshot available. This site is an extension of the Alien & Predator Fandom on Scified - a central hub for fans of Alien and Prometheus looking to stay up-to-date on the latest news. Images used are property of their respective owners. Alien: Covenant, Prometheus and its associated names, logos and images are property of 20th Century Fox and are in no way owned by Scified and its related entities. This is a fan-created website for the purpose of informing and exciting fans for Alien: Covenant's release. If you have any questions about this site, its content or the Scified Network in general, feel free to contact Scified directly.

Scified is an entertainment media network covering the latest news on the most popular, upcoming science fiction movies, games and television. All content is property of unless otherwise stated. Images and names of content we promote, discuss, review or report are property of their respective owners. Scified is independantly owned and operated by a team of dedicated sci-fi movie fans, who strive to provide the best information and community experience for other like-minded sci-fi movie enthusiasts.

© 2022