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david's really interesting pages | palaeoart, animation and stuff
david's really interesting pages | palaeoart, animation and stuff

Run, don’t walk…

Continued from earlier… now a run…


the same run at 1/8 regular speed:

google & artist credit


Over at SciAm’s Symbiartic, Kalliopi Monoyios addresses an interesting case of derivative artwork representing the carbon cycle. It’s most revealing to overlay these images directly: all I’ve done is scale the figures to fit each other. I have no knowledge of the processes or artists involved – I’d rather point to a google search feature that helps in identifying imagery.


If you drag/drop an image from anywhere onto the input bar of google image search, it will present a swarth of 1) instances where that exact image can be found throughout the net and 2) a wild assortment of imagery that has nothing to do the source image except that they share the same palette to an degree that can only be called uncanny. If I find an interesting, uncredited image and would like to know who created it, I often use this feature. It’s also interesting to see where your own imagery is popping up. An all-round good tool to have as a modern illustrator.

The 3d-ish carbon cycle image cited above is apparently credited to Nasa (though not with absolute clarity).

walk, don’t run…


and here the same walk at 1/4 regular speed:

Updated work on the study Biomechanics of locomotion in Asian elephants by Genin, Willems, Cavagna, Lair & Heglund. I’m getting a better grip on the staggered footfall patterns and the forces which are driving them forward, visible in body lunges particularly in the treadmill versions.

Another paper of direct relevance is The movements of limb segments and joints during locomotion in African and Asian elephants by Ren, Butler, Miller, Paxton, Schwerda, Fischer and Hutchinson. That has much more detail on each individual joint.

Genin et al.; digesting static images


In my quest to truly understand gaits, I’ve dove into the study Biomechanics of locomotion in Asian elephants by Genin, Willems, Cavagna, Lair & Heglund. The graphic below is from the paper, and you can see that they are interested in calculating the forces on each of the joints. While that is interesting, I’m after the visual effect as represented in a walk cycle. So I took that bottom image and created an animated gif. It should run at .2 seconds a frame on most current computers, which would be in keeping with the given speed for this gait. I’ve doubled the walk so that – on the left – the elephant is stationary, on the right the ground position is. I want to do both gaits and eventually develop a system so that the footfall pattern can determine a non-linear, hand-animated sequence.

This sequence will – hopefully – be based on a simulation that Heinrich is trying to squeeze into his busy schedule, so that it would be specific for Kentrosaurus. Rock’n’roll.




Heinrich sent me this link and I’ve been geeking out on the different visualizations of these hooves ever since. Dr. Christoph von Horst creates plastination sheets of really interesting quality…


Allow me to get positive! After praising David Krentz and Angie Rodriguez for their dinosaur work on Dinosaur Revolution, allow me to move on to something far more exoskeletal: echinoderms.

Christopher Mah is doing some great stuff over at his Echinoblog and deserves a healthy dose of praise. I’m a regular there and once you read his stuff, you will be too. Very refreshing to see passionate, well-articulated reports about these animals that I otherwise (except for the occasional crinoid) wouldn’t think all too much about. He manages to place them within an exciting context of ecosystems, evolution and freakiness – in a word, cool.


Dan Varner (via DML) points out this very fine screen shot from Dinosaur Revolution by David Krentz. Amidst the many negative critiques the show has received, its almost universally praised for the quality of its models and their shading. An image such as this really does show what’s been achieved.

Edit: rereading this, the composition and mood comes off way too short. Intended message: this image is all-round fantastic!


Rick de Mott has an interesting review of Contagion over at AWN. In the context of dinosaur documentaries pandering to entertainment expectations, it’s an interesting thought that much of entertainment panders to this as well. Which is why its so run-of-the-mill. Contagion seems to be an exception…

This isn’t an alarmist thriller where scientists have to hijack helicopter in order to save loved ones. In a world where pseudo-science is rampant, this is a light in the dark. A champion for science and those that believe in it. The film makes you wonder if de-funding the CDC is more dangerous than de-funding the Pentagon. Disease kills more people worldwide than terrorism.

Sick Saurier

Florian Witzmann and Oliver Hampe find Paget sickness in dinosaurs… and create a very interesting cross-section graphic, apparently from a ct scan. German version at Spiegel (hit the image) or a google translation.


Robin Ebser, a friend in Scwhabenland just sent me photos of a dinosaur exhibit in Ludwigsburg – where I lived and worked the last 5 years. Every year they have a themed pumpkin show, apparently it’s one of the largest worldwide. Of course, they waited until I left before making a dinosaur theme. Interesting: the name plates cite a cooperation with the Sauriermuseum Aathal. Revolution this!
After the fold: T-rex (of course), Sauropelta, Triceratops, Stegosaurus, a sauropod, Hadrosaurus, Dimetrodon, Dunkleosteus, a lizardĀ  and a… something. Thanks Robin!
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