Friday, May 6, 2011

Input on a Gorgosaurus please!

Hit another point on my Gorgosaurus where input would be lovely. Scientific and/or artistic feedback are both welcome, positive and/or negative. More views of the best available on Weapon of Mass Imagination.


Evan Boucher said...

Coming along nicely. Just a few comments. First off, I think the metatarsals seem too thin for the bulk in the other part of the legs. As a result the feet in general look too small to be able to support the weight. I'd go off your own anatomical research though, as I'm by no means an expert on theropod proportions, however you might want to double check that.

Other than that the last thing is just regarding shaders. You have quite a bit of detail in there, but what you still need in order to sell the skin texture is to play with the specular highlights a bit. The skin looks a bit like fabric, and should feel more fleshy. I like to use a phong shading model with a soft fall-off in the specular channel. Also, the teeth, tongue, cheek muscles, and eyes should look overall much wetter. I find one easy thing to do to instantly bring a character to life is to just make sure to light the eyes correctly. I like to have separate lights that only affect the cornea of the eye, to give them that nice white spec-hit. Enabling refractions on a cornea object helps also. Just some food for thought. Nice work overall though. I hope this helps :P

Taylor Reints said...

That looks AWESOME! I could only imagine some feathers on that beast!

Weapon of Mass Imagination said...

Evan- Thanks for the advice.

One of my next big steps is to learning how to specifically control UV maps. After 5 years of intense 3Ding I still haven't managed to delve into this aspect (ah the joys and limitations of being self taught). I think this will help the flesh issue as well.

I love that seperate lighting idea. To be honest the eyes are another of those big things on the to do list.

Cheers, and I'll try to tackle all these in the upcoming next round.

Taylor- Feathers were definately the next step. I'm thinking display feathers on the arms, top of the neck, and the tip of the tail.

Any suggestions on other places?

Nima said...

Well Craig, here's my idea...

1. First off, I don't agree at all with having feathers on an adult tyrannosaur. Arms, tail, doesn't matter. The arms lack quill knobs and they're so small I doubt they'd make for much of a display surface for a 4-ton animal even with feathers. Tails... I've seen far too many theropods (even ones that should be feathered) with a big tacky "fan" of feathers at the tail tip, despite the fact that it's not needed on long tails for balance control, and they have no pygostyle to anchor such a fan. Even on raptors this fan is wrong. Though theropods were indeed bird-like, and maniraptora were essentially the first generation of flightless birds, they were still very different in terms of tail anatomy and plumage from modern birds. A lot of artists forget this, including most of the people we would call "pros".

And on adult tyrannosaurs, a fan-tail is an absolute no-no. The babies may have had temporary insulation feathers. That's not grounds for having adults covered in display feathers.

2. What I would recommend changing with the Gorgosaurus (which already looks great) is to bring the pre-orbital horns angled more forward to give them that "forward leaning rhombus" shape which albertosaurs are known for.

3. Also the metatarsal segments look transversely too thin, they were actually pretty wide transversely but thin antero-posteriorly.

4.The toes also look a bit short compared to the metatarsals, I'd make them longer.

5. The final bit of advice is with the hands and wrists - IMO they look like they're rotated too far down like raptor hands. I'm pretty sure tyrannosaur hands/wrists were nowhere near that flexible, better to have them aligned with the lower arm segment.

Albertonykus said...

On tail fans in deinonychosaurs, Microraptor does preserve a tail fan on the tip of the tail (unlike the long retrices that go along the entire length of the tail as in Archaeopteryx or Jinfengopteryx): Also, lack of quill knobs doesn't denote lack of feathers, as not all modern birds have quill knobs either.

I'll agree that an actual feather fan on a tyrannosauroid tail is unsupported. (The skeletal in the description of Dilong shows a tail fan, but, although protofeathers are preserved on the top of the tail, there's no fossil evidence for it.)

As far as I'm aware there's no evidence against the presence of feathers on even adult tyrannosaurids. Although scaly and naked skin impressions are known, none of them are full-body impressions, and in any case other basal coelurosaurs such as Juravenator are also known to have been only half feathered ( Given that they had feathered ancestors I wouldn't be surprised if they had at least vestigial feathers, and some would argue that even functional insulatory feathers may not have been lost as extensively as elephants have lost their hair:

Weapon of Mass Imagination said...

Nima- Amen on the likely lack of tail fans on big coelurosaurs (especially hunters).

I also have my doubts on the arms being much good considering their comparitive size.

On the other hand, I am privy to some upcoming research, that calls into question what we think about arm feathers and who dont and do have them. I can't say anything more specific. However as it doesn't directly tie to Tyrannosaurids, I'm not sure what I think on their arms given what I know.

I DO however think they would have retained feathers somewhere. Their ancestors had them, and the likely-hood of them losing them all seems very near impossible to me (Whales still have hair for example!)

Whether they be a light coating of proto-feathers or a full on display cluster somewhere is the question. To me feathers would make the perfect display mechanism for a large predator like a Tyrannosaurid. They can be tucked away when not needed (espeically when wanting to attract LESS attention hunting), but when flared out be as outlandish as any ceratopsian headgear or hadrosaur crest.

I was thinking hte toes might be slightly too skinny, however in my reference comparisons Albertosaurines toes are a lot skinnier than Tyrannosaurines. Sadly I didn't take any "perfect" references for the Albertosaurines so the degree of this difference isn't clear to me. Will be hitting hte Tyrrell again soon, and will check it then.

Albertonykus- I agree they most likely had to have had feathers, but like Nima I don't think they had as many as their tiny ancestors. THe main reason being they'd roast to death.

The degree to which these remaining feathers were used for display remains to be seen. I personally would be surprised if they are found to have a permenant display (at least one gender... Lion males having a display structure that could concievable hinder hunting). However I can see something that could flare up and than be tucked away when not needed...

Stand by. I'll have to fire this thing together as I envision it.

Albertonykus said...

You have my full agreement that large tyrannosaurids probably had feathers, but likely less than their ancestors. I did say I find a vestigial covering at least feasible, after all. (Though if Andrea Cau is right, overheating wouldn't have been that big of a problem: One can quibble about the specifics, but I'll agree with him that a theropod is going to have less problems with a thick coat than a similarly-sized mammal with an equally thick coat.)