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

w.i.p.; what 3D has to offer

I’m working on numerous overlapping ideas at the same time, which is sometimes helpful, sometimes not. Here is a work in progress preview of a project I hope to unleash on you all in due time. Archie O. is the star of this character-driven educational animation – and here he is in both a fairly final skeletal form and an initial visual life reconstruction form. Despite the early phase of development, there’s already a lot of work in this.

First off, the model has been and will be further directed by a specialist. That person will be revealed soon, but his name has a reserved place of honor in the “stamp of approval” – assuring visual accreditation and making the decision-making processes more transparent.

Second, I’ve been playing with ideas about how skeletal reconstructions can be made more meaningful via 3D technologies. (Go to Scott Hartman’s triptych overview for a history of skeletal reconstructions in general.) One idea is a differentiation of soft tissues. Here, I’ve made the feather shapes transparent so as to not completely obscure the proposed outline of muscle and skin. This might be a useful way of distinguishing the animal’s base volume fromĀ  fur volumes, feathers and spikes.

He’s also rotating. And in a static pose. I know, boring. I imagine various degrees of interactivity depending on medium, ie. a slider to progress from standing pose to walk to run. Or a navigable orbit mode to explore vantage points and zoom in on specific parts of the skeleton. Which brings us to my attempts to create geometry that works at these various levels of detail. Not easy.

Feedback welcome!

There are 3 Comments to this article

Traumador the Tyrannosaur says:

Good luck on the eventual rigging. My head is hurting just imagining it with you nice feathers.

Love the concept, and the current level of progress.

I think my only thing (personal taste) is the beak colour makes him sort of cartoony. Maybe even just a darker shade of yellow would help

d maas says:

Hi Craig, I agree with you on both the ‘beak’ color and the headache. ^.^
My approach with the latter is to rely on morphs – as I can model better than I can rig, much better. At the moment I’m overhauling all his proportions. I mussed up.

And he will be a bit cartoony in animation. I’m very anxious to see how that comes across. I’ll be walking the line.

d maas says:

Revised the proportions… now – in comparison – this guy looks like a dwarf.

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