Oct 1, 2009

Sinking into a new swing

The skool holidays are just what the doctor ordered. Though I have my holiday care centre "special operations" job (fill you in on this later), I've had time to unwind some of my creative tensions of late. Haven't sorted them all out, but it is nice to not have everything on the go...
I haven't made as much progress as I might have liked. Last weekend saw daylight savings time go into effect, and it has just absolutely demoed me and Lady R. The teaching lifestyle is one of routine, and it is amazing how much damage that one hour shift causes. Way more than a 20 hour bout of flying.
Now that I've sunk into the swing of things today, I'm hoping to have some big break throughs shortly.
One thing I've been plugging away on is the Brachiosaur for ART Evolved.
Considering how quickly I made the general Brachiosaur outline (5-7 minutes) from my generic Sauropod model, progress from there has been much slower since. Then again it is the details that count in the end.
My first immediate concern was the neck proportions. Having simply modified my Brontosaur (I'm calling it this, as for 1. I like that name, and 2. the original model wasn't supposed to be any particular Sauropod... so why not a Brontosaur!?!) the body end of the neck was too thin. I beefed it up, but am unsure if I want to toy around with the even thicker and fat contemporary style of say Jon Conway.
Palaeo people let me know your thoughts on this issue! (I may have an ART Evolved post coming on the topic)...
Since a key feature of any animal is its head I have focused my initial detail work on this end of the model. This is how it looked when I started... Note the huge cleft in its chin. I jokingly refer to this as the Aaron Eckhart stage of production :P

In addition to this chin issue, looking at some skull references I realized the skull and jaw were going to need a massive overhaul.

This is where I got to.

Brachiosaurus has a noticeable notch towards the back end of its skull where a raised ridge in the jawbone fits when the mouth is closed. So mine now has that... I'm hoping I got the rough measurements right.
I still need to add bottom teeth of course, but I also increased the teeth so that they came to the base of the notch. Another feature in Brachiosaurus.
Taking a break from the skull I decided to see how the new neck would pose under rigging. This is where it now "stands" (pun intended :P). As a big fan of Gregory Paul I wanted my Brachi to have a long flexible serpentine neck. Seeing it in 3D though, I'm not sure it looks stable to me. Which is causing me to waiver to a thicker Conway style neck...

Another thing I am playing with is bringing my textures up to the next level. With the added competition from Angie and Dinoraul in the realm of 3D Palaeo-art I need to bring some game to my Dinosaurs if I want to be anywhere near as good as these two.

So in addition to a new method of texturing this guy, I'm hoping to pull out some intense new modelling tricks later this week.
So stay tuned. He is no where near done, but he is certainly on his way...

In other news I've started prep work at the Uni lab again this week too. This time I'm working on a whale SKULL, and yesterday uncovered the first bit of the bone in the jacket.

Of interest to a few posts ago I was able to finally manage 5 minutes in the same room with Dr. Fordyce and show him the Squalodon. For the first time in such an assessment I got a passing grade! His feedback felt like a "C+", but that is still a pass. Hopefully taking his latest set of corrections and suggestions we'll get something the good doctor might want to use...

Anyways enough with this update. I'm off to get onto the Traumador New Zealand script, so that I can ensure all the photos for that are taken in the next month!


davidmaas said...

Looking good! I've just finished uv mapping my plateosaurus... I'll have to post that somewhere...

Are you working with uv's? Looks a bit too much like projection-mapping and procedurals... Have you dabbled with sculpting toolsets like mudbox Zbrush or 3Dpaint?

Weapon of Mass Imagination said...

David- Thanks

Can't wait to see your stuff.

As for my texturing...

Alas, it hasn't been progessing with the rest of my ablities. I have as you suspected been stuck at the projection mapping stage.

I'm all game for a 3D paint program such as mudbox or 3D paint, but I have no money at moment...

Thus I haven't researched if they will work with Carrara (as if they would work then I'd want them, but of course can't afford them!)

I've been already tormented by the latest version of Carrara (which I can't afford to upgrad too) which has a built in paint feature which might solve the issue.

For the time being my current texture map solution is a step up as I have more realistic scales in both the colour and bump channels.

Do you know of any 3D paining programs that are compatible with either Carrara or DAZ?

davidmaas said...

Not very knowledgeable of those, sorry. But I'm sure the blender community has a contigent which embraces them... blender is fantastic for converting all sorts of formats (except those blodgered by autodesk licensing). AND its free. Its quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with. I know it has painting and the up-coming version should have a fully revamped interface.
I work with modo and messiah myself, with a bit of LW left in for measure. And mudbox, when the time at the school allows me to dabble in it. Again... not liking those Autodesk licensing subscriptions.

Dinorider d'Andoandor said...

its teeth look kind of fiery!