Aug 15, 2011

The Lighting Challenge... Pre-lighting 1

So my lighting experts have challenged me to test lighting within a scene. Who am I to argue with them? So here I go.

I figure I can make a nice portfolio piece along the way. I will be continuing with my previous lighting variable experiments (well really just posting them, as I've already done most of the work anyways... having taken the effort to render them all I figure I'd finish up my public documentation of the results to make it worth my time).

So here is step one of my lighting test ground so far. Of course this is just the Dinosaurs so far. In the final piece there will be ground, plants, and of course LIGHTING! Elements like camera angle, the orientation and position of the Dinosaurs, and even number of Dinosaurs can all be changed. This is the point from which I am planning to build the scene up, and I will take you along for the process.

The scene will be a Gorgosaurus ambushing a family group of Styracosaurs. Unlike most pieces that see such an event playing out as the Tyrannosaurid versing an adult Ceratopsian, I don't want my Gorgosaurus in this unlikely duel. I just don't see how this would be beneficial for the Tyrannosaur (that alone survivable most of the time). To me they'd be going for sick adults when available (which won't always be guaranteed), but usually a smaller young member of a herd.

I'm also playing with less popular social theories than those that are usually presented. While it is likely Ceratopsian and Tyrannosaurids lived in social situations some of the time, there is no reason to believe this was always the case or the norm. If anything recent (more cautioned) research is starting to indicate while Dinosaurs possessed some complicated social behaviour, they were probably not as complex as modern mammals. Which implies there were many times social interactions were rarer or more volatile than the original Dino renaissance envisioned.

I've been quite interested in how the massive bonebeds in Alberta are interpreted as massive seasonal migrations by Brinkman, Ryan, and Eberth (east to west rather than north south if you're wondering). They present a scenario in which the Ceratopisans were living most of the time along the coast and would seasonally move inland. The reasons are not determinable at moment, but food availability or breeding seem the most likely. To me it calls into question just how concrete their sociality really was, as there is nothing to say the giant herds were full time. At the end of the migration is makes more sense the animals would disperse.

So to demonstrate this casual sociality I have the adult bolting at the first sign of danger. I've heard some interesting unpublished research suggesting adult (Ornithischian) Dinosaurs might not have been as supportive of parents as we've been thinking. This might be a bit extreme, but who can prove me wrong?

As for the Gorgosaurus I'm debating whether I want it with a hunting partner. I'm more inclined to think mother Tyrannosaurids would tolerate their kids hanging around rather than another adult. Their bird relatives, but very primitive ones.

Anyways thoughts or commentary?


optimisticpainter said...

Hey Craig, like the poses and animals, looking good!
When you come to lighting make sure you have *something* in the background, even if it's not your final background.
Starting on white has been recognized as detrimental to getting your values right since the early days of painting.
Good luck!

Albertonykus said...

Good for you on avoiding paleo art cliches!

Raptor Lewis said...

I agree with Albertonykus on venturing beyond the clich├ęs, but I have a question regarding "Sue's" discovery back in early 1990s. I once read that an adult was found alongside "her" as well as a couple of juveniles (or, perhaps, I'm mistaking that for a painting I saw in the same book that artist creatively placed the juveniles with them as well as the adult. Sorry, it's been awhile since I'd read the book.) So, my question is, would that be the norm for some tyrannosaur species other than Tyrannosaurus or was that just a rare occurence, if you follow me? Sorry about my wording. I suppose this was kind of a spur of the moment question. Thanks, anyways. (Looking great, by the way.)