Today began with early render tests and an image by ~MALvit in my reader, immediately offering both motive and means for today’s rant. Dinosaurs emerging from eggs so spacious that they come complete with room service and a wet bar. I have nothing against the occasional easter egg graphic, but there seems to be a wanton meme involving luxury, large size eggs.
render done, rant over. images from MALvit and here. Want more of these? Say something.
I’ve been optimizing my massive 3D scene, so today’s rant is likely going to be short on time. That’s okay, because there’s not a lot to say about sock mouths. You know what I’m talking about… that beak tip emerging from a fleshy sleeve that stretches when the beastie opens its mouth and hopefully stretches back when it closes it, lest it be bitten off. I drew a quick version way back when.
Nothing turns me off faster than thi-
What’s that? A dinosaur’s been discovered!? It has a sock mouth!? Foot-in-mouth moment after the fold…
Okay… today’s render rant is dedicated to the massive foreshortening made popular – of course – by Luis Rey. I couldn’t find an online image to share, but I did find this by sputatrix:
I actually like this more than lots of Luis’ foreshortened beasties because its so graphic and the head is so wantonly broken that it looks like a logo. And sputatrix is obviously an amazing artist (click his image here to go to his gallery) as is Luis (if my rants continue you may notice that I adore his scribbles … and am not a fan of his photoshopped color work.) No matter. Beautiful stuff. But… this foreshorten-at-all-costs just screams at me like an oh-so-cool art director at an advertising agency who’s just that decisively wee bit uncertain about his/her abilities that it has to cross the line. If you know what I mean.
In a rare departure from my wantonly destructive rants, here’s an example of an extreme foreshortening that I find very successful. The extreme has a purpose, as it places the antenna thin the context of its wearer while allowing you to get up close and comfortable with those teeny-weenie sensory pores.
As always, image leads to source.
Render done. Rant over.
I’m going to launch on some rants. And I’m going to start off on Stephen Brusatte’s highly recommendable book Dinosaur Paleobiology. It is a great overview and wonderfully written. So why would I rant about it? For one thing, it shows how I don’t take my rants so seriously. (I’m grumpy and only have time to write until the next render is ready.) For another, the thing I’m going to rant about toady happens to me all the time. You get caught up in a term and use it beyond all further meaning. It’s become a meme. In the chapter on dinosaur diets, Stephen mentions how most theropods are carnivores. Only few have specialized diets. Then he repeats this formula repeatedly. “They ate plants or subsisted on a more specialized diet.” And I stop reading the otherwise wonderfully written book and think…
what does that mean?
He repeats the term enough for me to know per exclusion that a specialized diet is not one consisting of meat, plants, bones or fish. Of course I’m thinking – ‘Alvasuars!’ But this is a rant and I’m in no mood to be forgiving. The wierdest usage comes when he uses the term directly after describing Tyrannosaurs as such a pure meat -eater that they could be termed hyper-carnivores. What’s more specialized than that!?
Render done. Rant over.
In another instance of graphics research overlapping with biology, here’s some very cool research on rapid movement tracking. Where’s the biology, you ask? Well, many may be dreaming of football-tracking goal-or-not-goal implementations, I think this will be much cooler when used to film bats and birds doing their thing.
I’ve been and will continue to be struggling under a massive work load. So posts will continue to be scarce for another few weeks. So much to write about though…
Perhaps it’s just my current level of stress, but there seems to be a surge in blog comment riddles that successfully question my humanity. The one shown here is a rather tame example, but one that I captured. Is that a ‘c’ or an ‘o’? I’ve got a decent background in typography and couldn’t answer with certainty… and as I said, this one is rather easy compared with others. I even decided to switch to the audio version. At first I thought it would read out the word in the image… as an assistant. Instead, it babbles multiple levels of word strings unrelated to this image or any other. I’ve taken to listening to them… they have an oddly soothing effect, a nostalgic train-of-thought echo of my fading humanity.