During my last week of work I was contacted by a museum in New Zealand putting together an exhibit about Mesozoic New Zealand. If there is a topic I'm the modern specialist in (following in the footsteps of the far more talented Geoffrey Cox) it is prehistoric New Zealand. The museum contacted me due to my recent heavy online presence of New Zealand marine reptiles, but they also wanted to use some of my (comparatively really really) old Zealandia Dinosaurs.
Now I had a surprise in store for them on the Dinosaur front. I've been working on updating all my Zealandia Dinosaurs for a book I'm in the midst of putting together on the topic. Granted I only had some of them done, and no final pieces. However the museum was thrilled with what I had to show them, and said if I just bashed them into some New Zealand looking photos they'd be very pleased (the irony is most of the photos are from dreaded Australia :P).
So over the two weeks before my trip to China I had some composites to do (and a few minor model or texturing tweaks). I'm mostly happy with my output except the Sauropod in its solo piece (but that was the 11th hour critter, and the museum didn't care it was a super old inaccurate model).
Just before the end of my trip to China I have now been contacted by a European museum about the use of my Squalodon piece. Meaning as of now I guess I'm a "real" palaeo-artist...
A quick run through of my Zealandia output.
|Zealandia Dinosaurs by myself (Craig Dylke)|
|Zealandia Hunt by myself (Craig Dylke)|
Part of this was a shader conflict I was having. The Carnosaur in the first looks so good as he is in direct comparison to the inferior Ornithopods. The instant I put that shading set in with the new Ornithopods we had a problem. You could suddenly see his shader was over 3 years old! I ended up (due to time) having to use the Gorgosaur textures on him, and while it "works" I'm still not pleased with it.
The other issue was the original Carnosaur is from my "wing it" modelling method era. This new version is properly proportioned and built to match a Carcharodontosaurid skeleton. This made the head smaller. In the original piece his head was probably 30-50% too big, and gave him a more impressive and scary maw. Here it's not as monster like. So while being more scientifically accurate and life like, some of the aesthetic appeal has been removed.
|New Zealand Ornithopod by myself (Craig Dylke)|
So this one I'm quite pleased with (though I might add footprints in the snow at some point).
|New Zealand Ankylosaur by myself (Craig Dylke)|
|New Zealand Carnosaur by myself (Craig Dylke)|
|Oceans of Zealandia by myself (Craig Dylke)|
|New Zealand Coelurosaur by myself (Craig Dylke)|
As time ran out so did the quality of my pieces. While this piece is not terrible, it is by no means good or great...
So there you go. I'm now Craig Dylke palaeo-artist at large. Whatever that means :P