Apr 13, 2011

Hadrosaur Revamp

So a quick question to other artists (especially 3Ders). How long is it before you view any piece or model you've created as obsolete and embarrassing? For me it seems to be at max 1 year before my stuff look ridiculous. I guess that is complementary in that I'm constantly improving, but kind of sad in that I'll never be my best. My latest case study... My Mark 3 Corythosaur. I can barely bring myself to post this. Now granted even when I constructed it in 2009 I wasn't fond of it. Now it is just pathetic... It was way overdue for a make over.
Here is the new Mark 5 version. I'm so far quite proud of this one actual.

The moral of the story is one should take the time and sit down to apply their best effort every year or so.

Any feedback?


Albertonykus said...

Wow! Did it really have such a tall back?

Traumador said...

I was a little surprised by that fact too, as I thought I had my original duckbill model (the old Corythosaur is just Lance with a different colour scheme and head) with a tall enough back.

Referencing a couple skeletals, including a Gregory Paul (yeah that's right Paul I took one of your skeletals as a reference out of the Princeton Field Guide, and you know what SHUT UP! I BOUGHT that book, which last time I checked was compensation... so stop whining about not getting money from people referencing your work... sorry where was I. Oh yes :P) I was shocked by how much taller the back was than what I'd done previously.

You can see an example from a AMNH mount of a Corythosaur here(the holotype I think?)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corythosaurus

What is throwing you off as well is my guys neck being held straight out rather than held up in a natural pose. Nobody ever does them this way. Mine won't be like this for long. Just need him zombie while I finish modelling him, than I can pose him.

The proportions that are still doing my head in are the skull ones. Corythosaurus' jaw is way fatter at the front than I was expecting, and his snout is way thinner and curved than I realized. Having matched them I can see the results, this guy is definately in my top 3 models ever, but I never would have eyeballed his skull looking this way.

Matt said...

Hi Craig,

I like the colour patterning and the broad structure of your Corythosaur.
A couple of areas could use some work. The way the forelimbs meet the body is a bit abrupt. The bone meets a socket with a bunch of support musculature surrounding the meeting place to help the arm interact with the body, so there's some more volume needed.
The other thing you might like to look at are the scales. Check out some modern animals as well as skin fossils to get your scales looking more natural.(you're using a procedural at the moment?) It might take some extra time painting bump maps but it's worth it to get the natural variation and blending between different areas working, scales also interact with the broader colour of the animal.
Lastly, take a look at the eyes. People will naturally gravitate visually toward the face and eyes so it's worth spending a little time there. Note the facial structure that supports the eyes, they sit in sockets and Corythosaurs have cheekbones.(check photos of skeletons online, skeletal reconstructions have limits and don't always express the volume of the animal very well) I'm not sure whether this guy is a 'character' or is supposed to be more naturalistic? If he's naturalistic take a look at animal eyes, very few have the white of the eye showing, it's a primate thing, which suits a 'character'.
I've gone on a bit! I'm trying to pass on things I think about when doing this stuff, so I hope you haven't taken it as a negative review, just as a passing on of info!
He's really looking nice and you can definitely see the progress from your previous version!

Weapon of Mass Imagination said...

Matt- No thank you.

I was thinking many of the same things need fixing (it helps hearing it from someone else... gives me additional motivation to proceed).

The only reason I haven't jumped into these changes is the gauntlet of unknown (and thus scary) new technical techniques I need to master to achieve them...

I might stick with my skin scale technique for now. One of my interested palaeontologists rather liked my "unique" colour style (in particular my scales). However I do follow you're logic and might look into a more realistic approach at some point (part of my problem is the size of a texture needed to get smaller scales than these is quite a bit. My current body map is 5000 X 2500. Which is not small :P).

Definately looking to fix the eyes in all ways imaginable. Also hoping to add some wrinkles and folds...

Now I just have to learn how to vertex model. A mere 120 pages of the user manaual of Carrara.


Matt said...

Hey Craig,
I don't know Carrera's capabilities with texture mapping, but I was thinking you could (soft)masks to control the different areas of scales? That way you could included hand drawn or photo based textures too. You might also be able to have more natural transitions between differently textured areas.
As to vertex modeling, I don't know how Carrera handles them but find out as much as you can about 'edge looping'. It's a technique that's transferable between all 3D software as it's about choosing the paths of your polygons to make a natural flow over the features you model.
I'll often start a model with a single polygon and extrude edges to flow along the contours of the subject.
Meh, stuff the manual! Go in and play until you hit a roadblock, then check the manual, Google or Youtube!
Good luck!

optimisticpainter said...

I should proof read before I post huh?

Traumador said...

Matt- The roadblock is called Vertexs :P

After years of threatening to do it, I actually sat down and seriously played with Vertexes yesterday. Due to my proficiencies elsewhere in Carrara, I did not enjoy the experience much (Vertexes are hard :P). However I'll keep hammering away at them, as I can see their utility in organic reconstructions.

I also discovered Carrara's displacement modelling. This I had INSTANT success with (once I overcame a couple technical issues with it). So wrinkles and folds will not be an issue.

Thanks for the encouragement. I think I'll be needing more again soon :P

optimisticpainter said...

You can always try out: http://www.sculptris.com/
Or if you're fiscally able invest in Z-Brush.