Saturday, October 3, 2009

me, 3D and Plateosaurus...

Hello Art Evolved! David here... I'm new to the community and new to paleoart. I thought I'd introduce myself by explaining what I see as the potential of this community and how I hope to contribute. Thanks to the admins: Peter, Glendon and Craig for welcoming me here. I know I don't have much to show yet.

I'm excited to be here because I hope participating scientists will speak up and say what's not realistic, what's speculative coolness and what's outrageous. And other artists too. Don't hesitate to suggest things or make requests! Personally, I'm not interested as much in achieving consensus as I am in visualizing alternative possibilities. For example, here's my go at plateosaurus for the challenge... I'm actually narrowing in on panphagia protos, but more on that later.

It's a wip... of course. And I'm constantly deciding things that I have insufficient knowledge of. ie.: lips. Craig's been great informing me about lips in theropods (I figured if they're such close relatives of sauropods, they'd make for good reference) and how to recognize their presence from skulls. Thanks! But I'm still not decided, so I did two versions:

(note: that's an animated gif... it should be showing the mouth in 3 poses)
What do you all think (especially you lurking experts)? If anyone has further alternatives to try out, let me know and (time allowing) I'll work 'em in.

More about me:
I'm a 3D artist specializing in non-photorealistic rendering... or npr. I see lots of potential for paleoart, as 3D has lots to offer - such as solid volumes. A render will create consistent forms and an organism can be volume-checked from different angles and eventually animated. But photoreal renders are very expensive in the sense that you have to invest in level-of-detail across the board - not just where you're interested - and there are considerable skills involved (modeling, texturing, lighting, rigging, animation) that can overwhelm an individual artist. The results also lay undo claim to being "real" - which can hardly be the goal of a scientifically respectful approach to paleology. While I love the experiential approach to many documentaries, I hope to make a hand-drawn alternative viable. An early test (low lod) can be seen here.

If you're interested in NPR, check out my blog at drip.de. I use Wordpress there and some of the formatting here is different. Tips how to create a fold, for example, are very welcome. Some commercial work can be seen at brainpets.com

14 comments:

Nima said...

I'm a fan of the first version... with the teeth sticking out.

The other version is more lizard-like, but just looking at dinosaur skulls it doesn't seem all that plausible that the upper teeth fit into the lower lips... "Saurischian" dinosaurs in general seem to have an overbite, with few exceptions.

However, I just have to ask... is this Plateosaurus for the gallery? It's great, but I thought this was a "sauropod gallery", not a "sauropod AND prosauropod gallery".

Dinorider d'Andoandor said...

Cool art!

I may want to read Darren Naish from TetZoo commenting around here too. He always speak about sauropod feet, the errors artists usually comit when they depict those creatures and stuff like that. I think that may help anybody too!

Albertonykus said...

I might be pretty behind in my sauropodomorph knowledge, but I think the first version is better. "Prosauropods" (so far, it doesn't seem to be a natural group had an overbite. So did theropods, by the way, so it's probably the saurischian ancestral condition.

And it seems that Plateosaurus is a full biped now from the latest studies.

davidmaas said...

Great stuff!

@Nima... yeah. I wondered if prosauropods fit the bill as well. I want to present him (or her?)in a lineage infographic with Panphagia protos before and Supersaurus after. Perhaps an eoraptor snapping at panphagia to show the split between close relatives theropods and sauropodmorphs. So... sauropod in a broader intro kind of way? Maybe I'll have time to do a scene of the supersaurus...

@Dinorider: I'd LOVE comments from Darren. My only complaint about Darren is that his book is taking a whole nother month to be delivered! If time were no issue I'd right now be animating a Quetzalcoatlus ala Mark Witton... I'm inspired by the way those two write and think. I'm also inispired by Andrew Farke and the openDinoProject.

@Albertonykus: full biped!? Can you link me to that? I imagined them as bipedal runners. Perhaps bipedal when children.

My interest is in how one lineage can split into two such different forms... with residual similarities. Will see what I come up with.

Albertonykus said...

I don't know if there's a copy of the paper on the Internet, but it's titled "Were the basal sauropodomorph dinosaurs Plateosaurus and Massospondylus habitual quadrupeds?" by Bonnan M. and Senter P.

I think Eoraptor isn't a theropod at the moment, by the way, seeing as it has some features that seem more basal than either theropods or sauropodomorphs. A "general saurischian", if you will.

Albertonykus said...

And the word on the street is that Guaibasaurus (or even Herrerasaurus!?) is really a basal sauropodomorph (the precise term for "prosauropod", but it's really quite a mouthful), so it seems that theropods and sauropodomorphs may not have been so different after all, at least in their earliest stages.

davidmaas said...

Thanks Alertonykus... led me to some good material about the shap of the pads on the feet. Found abstracts of the paper... more or less that they were walking backpedal... didn't find anything defining that they tended to do so more or less exclusively. will search further...

For now... wanted to sculpt on:
http://www.drip.de/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/plateo-03.jpg

Peter Bond said...

Welcome David! Love the look of your plateosaur - I agree that they probably would walk and forage on all fours, and run and reach up on their hind feet. (And cartwheel on their front feet! Hehe!)

My vote for teeth and lips would be the right image with the lips... We need a dino-lip specialist.

Also love all this basal-saurischian stuff, Albertonykus!

davidmaas said...

http://www.askabiologist.org.uk/punbb/viewtopic.php?id=3296

WooT! Mike Taylor answered my lips question. The likelihood of lips seems low. I'll sculpt some indentations in the roof of his mouth, as the lower teeth would need some space there.

Zach said...

Lip thing: One of the SVP presentations this year found that, in living amniotes, lips, cheeks, and epidermal tooth coverings space out according to number of foramina in the premax/max/dentaries.

ALL dinosaurs (sauropodomorphs included) fall well within the "epidermal" category (lizard-lips) while ornithopods and ceratopsians may have had fleshy cheeks behind their beaks.

davidmaas said...

Thanks Zach...
what do you mean with "space out" - the more holes the more fleshy substance, ie. lips?

Are you saying that the no-lips version is not likely? Lizards (I'm straining my memory right now) have a non-muscled fold extending over their teeth... would that be more likely?

davidmaas said...

Diplodicus joins the ranks (not sculpted yet):

http://www.drip.de/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/diplod_profile.jpg

Albertonykus said...

It looks like the study on lips has yet to be published officially, so just to be cautious I'd use no lips for now. Just be prepared for the possibility of change.

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