Friday, August 19, 2011

Philosofossilising- Scientific Accuracy in Art

Dinosaur Revolution artist Pete Von Sholly has had enough of the uninformed preemptive criticism that the show has been taking a month before the full program airs. You can read his "rants" (more like very restrained polite counters to the nay saying) here, here, and here.

By Pete Von Sholly

This is just the latest criticism against artists by scientific "purists" I have noticed going on around the web lately. While the majority have been against "amateur" artists, seeing it now extending to professionals I think this is a very interesting and important topic we examine on this site.

What do you think? Is palaeontology, and by association those who follow the technical side of the science, becoming too judgemental towards the artistic efforts of palaeo-artists?

While it can be agreed that many artistic reconstructions often include many inaccuracies (some well known, others contained only in technical articles), how certain are we that our current understanding is absolute? Is the line between accuracy and inaccuracy as black and white as it is conveyed by advocates of the technical literature. Or is accuracy merely a probability drawn from our current understanding, and that this probability could easily dwindle with future research and discovery (just as our old understandings of the past 150 years have?). So how accurate is palaeontologic accuracy (or for that matter palaeontologic inaccuracy)?

So expect some posts, and hopefully a series of ARTicles about this issue. We would very much like to read your thoughts on this topic. If you would like to write an essay to be seen on ART Evolved, but aren't a member of this site let us know at, and we'll make it happen!

Above all definitely let us know your thoughts in the comment sections of this post, and future ARTicles on this issue.


davidmaas said...

It's eerie how the expectations for this show are echoing general discussions about how extinct creatures can be portrayed. I suspect you're trying to bait me with that comment about 'purists' trying to forbid creatives from playing in their sandbox. Ha!
I'd say the backlash is the other way around, with scientists being thin-skinned about how their work has been portrayed in past docus. I hope Revolution pushes things back in the right direction and i think it will.

From what I've seen, it seems the show will offer a relatively novel way of binding creatures into story and while it will drift into camp at times, it will have some cool segments that will speak to a wide audience.
It speaks for the show that Pete is coming out so adamantly in favor of it. That's not always a given. He's certainly allowed to rant, but I'd love to have a better picture about what sort of criticism he's addressing. Perhaps his tone is warranted, but I think it would be more favorable to stress the show's goodness rather than belittling critics (ie "you know diddley"). Does anyone know what he's responding to here?

Anyhow, look forward to seeing what you've got to say!

thepowmill said...

If the drawings are for a scientific journal/paper/presentation etc ,where accuracy is vital , in as far as has been proven to be 100% true , by scientic facts , up to this point, then they should be accurate .

Other than that , anything goes within proximity , I think.

Sometimes the 'tempests' are for others reasons eg OCD , insecurity in competive situations or "hey look at me" playground ego .

David Orr said...

I don't know what he's responding to, but if links are available, I'd like to see. I imagine it's Facebook stuff? The DML has been quiet about it. For a second, I thought it was some of my comments, though looking back I think I've always been fair and taken a "wait and see" approach. And lately, I've been so excited by what I've seen, I fear I'm drifting into hype! I used to be worried about the humor. But seeing some of it in (better) context has turned me around. The "headless" dino shot worked so much better than my imagining of it last year!

Traumador said...

David 1 (Maas)- In all honesty, you are not one of the "purists" I'm taking aim at here. My battle lies with non-artists making some pretty silly complaints and demands of us palaeo-artist folk.

I do wish Pete would include links to these critics, but I'm pretty sure I can guess the sorts of nitpicks. Sadly they pop up in many of the most popular palaeo-blogs we all read. These people have made the same complaints about every other movie and documentary ever made with a Dinosaur in it (I in fact predict they will be made against Revolution once it airs... Unless we can do something about it!)

thepowmill- I totally agree with that expectation for description art. However sadly there are those who think we all should be held to this standard (despite not having a scientist to help us out with it).

David 2 (aka Orr :P)- Again it would have been nice if he'd posted the original compliants. I'm in touch with him, and I'll ask. We might be able to mobilize a mass counter attack!

On the subject of your involvement, I don't know about this show, but I'm giving you fair warning I'm taking you to task for something else ;)

I promise it won't be mean, but I do think you (and MANY others) need to understand exactly what you are asking for when you complain about the lack of CG feathers on TV Dinosaurs. Blockbuster movies can be brought to task for this, but any other productions can not and should not be held to this standard. Bonus points if you can guess what I'll be roughly saying :P

The hint is what is the difference between Pixar and Walking with Dinosaurs?

Matt Martyniuk said...

"While it can be agreed that many artistic reconstructions often include many inaccuracies (some well known, others contained only in technical articles), how certain are we that our current understanding is absolute?"

0%. There needs to be a distinction drawn, though. While no paleoart will ever be really accurate to reality, it should try to incorporate science, otherwise it's simply fantasy art. The artist shouldn't ask, "is this 100% certain to be how this animal looked and behaved in life?", but rather "does this depiction reflect the best available current evidence?".

I'm active in the image vetting process for dino articles on Wikipedia. When judging if a restoration is suitable for inclusion in a encyclopedia article about science, we draw distinctions between art that is currently understood to be inaccurate based on certain current evidence (inadmissible) and art which was thought to be correct at the time it was made (suitable for sections dealing with history and past interpretations).

A further distinction could be made between paleoartists who either out of misinterpretation, ignorance, lack of research, etc. restore an animal in an unrealistic way, and a fantasy artist who knows the depiction is unrealistic and produces it anyway for the sake of art.

Where inaccuracy or unrealistic depictions done because of budget constraints fit into this, I'm not sure. This is where we get into artist intent. If I want to animate an Archaeopteryx, but lack the budget to render feathers, am I justified in making it scaly? If it's a fantasy/science fiction program, I'd say there's no problem. If it's an educational documentary, then I'm better off simply leaving Archaeopteryx out.

Anonymous said...

These shows make such bold proclamations that it is no wonder people nitpick. If it is simply something that was said in a public forum then I think it's the artists who have the thin skins. It's like blaming the shark for prowling the ocean when you want to take a swim.

Paul W.

Pete Von Sholly said...

Kinda busy but I wanted to chime in for a sec- just as an exercise, folks, sit down and try to think up a "story" involving only dinosaurs in a prehistoric world with NO narration and see what you come up with. It's pretty challenging- and while I can understand those who would prefer an academic approach, I don't think you will get that in a television show milieu. But see how you think your ideal dinosaur show would look and feel- and if it could hold an audience's attention and tell them any kind of story. without a story or anything to relate to or identify with. It's hard to imagine anything people would watch or enjoy once they got past seeing the animals look "just right" scientifically. LAstly the humor has been way over-represented in what they've shown so far. There is plenty of pathos and drama to go around. You'll see- you may laugh AND cry.

Rick Charles said...

As an artist myself who focuses on representing paleontology to the general public through my work, I only wish for my audience to be fully informed. No, we cannot possibly reconstruct an extinct dinosaur and confidently declare it %100 accurate, albeit with ignorance. However, we can reconstruct an extinct dinosaur to be %100 accurate with what we currently know of dinosaurs through the field of paleontology itself. Yes, science progresses. New discoveries are made. What is accurate today will be inaccurate tomorrow. But we're capable of changing. We're capable of adapting with science. And that's what I expect from legitimate sources of information, because all I wish is for the general public to be well-informed on the subject. Dinosaurs, I feel, are disgustingly misrepresented in popular culture as brainless monstrosities. In most minds dinosaurs are right up there with Godzilla. I love dinosaurs, and I don't ask that everyone love them as I do but I do wish that everyone would understand them better than they do.

Angie Rodrigues said...

I'm just plain nervous, lol! First job doing this stuff, but I gave it 110%. So I think I'll be OK. Will it be perfect? No. I look at the textures on my first model and say...oh, man I want to repaint that thing, lol!

And I wasn't sure if I should have put shoulder spikes on the Mira's! But I was really happy that they look so different than just plain Stegosaurus and now the public will know there are others out there, lol:)

Ah, well. I think it will be fun and it was an insane ride for sure. I've never wanted something so bad before in my life. And boy did I underestimate what is involved in doing this stuff. I appreciate 30 second title cards before a show now, lol!

Definately a best effort. Hopefully the public will dig it:)

I just need to calm down though, to nervous, lol! And David Orr you are totally cool. And yes, people are allowed to critique it too. I actually will put my models up after the show and the ones I painted:)I would appreciate comments pointing out what I did wrong so I may improve for next time.

Thanks guys:)

Traumador said...

Matt- Right off the bat, feather bonus points! I'm be going into full detail on the technical and budgetary requirements of CG feathers later this week (my second of at least 3 planned essays on this topic). I do wish it were possible they could feather everything they should, but it just isn't possible. So this then ties into the greater question I'm trying to raise here...

Do we accept palaeo-art that is done with clearly out of date or "fantasy" elements as a legitimate expression of interest in the prehistoric world. Or do we, in effect, setup a conceptual police-state within palaeontology and palaeo-art and crank down on anyone not "scientific" enough...

The sad part is I'm seeing a lot of talk in the palaeo-sphere that is coming close to advocating this police-state mentality, and I hope everyone here can see the danger of it. We should be drawing people in, not alienating them with holyer than thou attitudes.

I'll stop there so I don't end up retyping the essay I'm writing on this developing attitude... So expect my full weighing in soon.

As for people I cite in my essay I'll warn you Matt, you are singled out by name... (In a VERY good way!) I LOVE your proactive and positive way of advertising the latest science to artists on your blog with artist friendly language and with visual examples for them to understand what you are saying. If the "purists" were doing it like that, I'd have nothing to complain about!

Just thought I'd let you know in advance I'm advocating you as a model of the ideal relationship between the science and art!

Traumador said...

Angie- I very much suspect Pete's complaints are not about anyone affliated with this site (do you know Pete through the production out of curiosity Angie?).

I guess being a fellow (amateur) CG artist myself, I already know the incredibly hard and tedious work that must go into those shows. I feel Pete's pain when people bad mouth CG in productions not knowing anything about how to do it themselves. I have found an attitude emerging it must be easy due to the mass break out of the technology in all realms of entertainment the past 15 years. We need to do more posts on how hard it can be to do right (I would know I'm only getting it once and a while :P)!

We'd love to hear your inside scoop on the show once you're allowed to talk about it! I'm sure compared to some producations (and yes I agree there have been some awful ones in the past!) your guys' efforts will be amazing!

Hard to imagine it being bad with so many talented palaeo enthusiast artists on the crew...

Angie Rodrigues said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David Orr said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David Orr said...

(edited for awful, confusing typo)

Well, it all comes down to money, doesn't it? Feathers are hard to do (looking forward to the upcoming posts about this, BTW), which means they're expensive to do. If anything I've ever said has seemed overly harsh about the depiction of feathers, I certainly didn't mean it that way. I understand that the money to do it right, or even well in some instances, just isn't there most of the time.

Here's the thing: feathers are a huge part of the dinosaur story that needs to be told right now. So with some forgiveness on account of them being a pain in the ass, I think it's only fair that when we write about reconstructions or docs, we note which naked dinosaurs could reasonably be surmised to have been feathered in some way. That way, folks who are curious about the show and run across our writings will learn a bit about where the science stands currently. A sort of appendix to the show, if you will.

Though I do not work in CG or any realistic fashion, I struggle with this, as well. I've been working on a set of silhouette-style icons, and feathers are definitely a pain in the ass! I want to show feathers, but occasionally veer into making them *too* feather. I mean, a bear silhouette doesn't need to have scraggly hair all round it to show it's a furry mammal. A dromaeosaur doesn't need a big fringe of feathers over its whole body. Ah... I'm probably going on to long. To put it briefly: I feel your pain, and don't expect an unreasonable amount of feathers in every CG reconstruction.

Glendon Mellow said...

I agree with David Orr. There are ways to get around meticulously rendering every single feather, but they also end up changing the style of the image as well.

At a quick glance, look at these birds in anime. Or the wing and shoulder feathers in this painting by Diana Sudyka. There are visual tricks that can make feathers easier, if not as realistic as ILM in a Harry Potter film.

I understand why some don't want to compromise the realistic style, but low budgets can sometimes take you to interesting places. I'd rather have stylized but accurate feathers on archaeopteryx than a realistically-rendered bald archaeopteryx.

Angie Rodrigues said...

I agree with you David O.:) And no, nothing you have ever said has been overly harsh. Nothing anyone here has ever done has been anything other than good discussion.

As an artist I VERY much appreciate good critique from anyone. Especially here! I would welcome your thoughts on my models and texture paints on the dinosaurs in a minute. I learn from all of you!

Oh, and don't worry....feathers are definately there in the show;) There is one super small photo of the Troodons floating around, but I still can't tell ya guys about the others:) But they are there.

So I really wouldn't worry to much guys:) Its no big and honestly, I feel more comfortable if it didn't turn into a huge debate just yet. To much stress for everyone involved in this thing right before air;)

And I promise there is more to it than comedy and fighting Rexes too;) They are just showing you the cool and different stuff.

Feathers are a nightmare on a lower budget and I'm in favor like you guys of keeping them OUT if you have to. Cut them out of the show or keep a couple in. But we got a few in there;) They are important and people want them.

And Glendon, many thanks for that as well. You are right, it can take you to many interesting places! I got to some on this one, lol!

Anyway, yeah, I'd like if we just keep it like it is now, friendly discussion. you guys are all awesome and I really love all your thoughts and discussions. I'll be posting me dinos here for sure! :-D

And hey, I even made sure I turned those palms so they face eachother;) And measured the degree of turn in the feet of the Mira by degrees!!!! :-D

Thanks guys;)

Traumador said...

Paul W-

The issue I have with nitpicking, whether it be of major productions or individual artist's works is that it is simply to prop the nitpicker up and tear down the target (and we can lose that victim from the field, and thus hurt paleontology that much more).

In my experience those who are so critical don't tend to actually have the credentials to be considered an authority. They simply quote something they've read (there is nothing wrong with being well read, BUT that doesn't actually make you an expert in science...). Heck even if it is an actual researcher making negative statments, they need to remember what is keeping them employed!

If the public doesn't care about palaeontology, than palaeo is not going to get funding, and funny enough that causes it to disappear. The way nitpickers tear anything and everything apart one would think they don't want there to be anything made about Dinosaurs (as no production can possibly get everything right). They "love" Dinosaurs more than the rest of us, so we're not allowed in the club... BEEP that!

What are the true greats of palaeo doing? They endorse and backup tons of these "inaccuarte" productions. Scott Sampson is attached to Dinosaur Train and Dinosaur Planet. One can hardly call a show with talking cartoon Dinosaurs on a train "accurate". Yet I've seen the major positive firsthand that this show has had on a new generation of potential Dinosaur and science lovers!

ANY exporsure the public gets to prehistory is a good thing for the science. Sure tons of people will get the wrong specifics, but who cares? If it inspires them to goto a museum, pickup a book, or even watch more bad shows on the topic that is a GREAT thing as far as an palaeo supporter should be concerned!

So instead of nitpicking, use your energy to come up with something of your own to promote the science. It's what all the cool kids are doing!

Albertonykus said...

Acceptable breaks from reality aside, Dinosaur Train happens to be one of the most accurate dinosaur shows out there science wise (even if the dinosaur designs aren't always so).

Traumador said...

Albertonykus- I total agree on the quality of Dinosaur Train (DT), but we now hit on the key to my question.

Despite the great science they deliever, visually the Dinosaurs in DT are NOT scientifical accurate at all. According to some "purists" I've read, this should make DT completely unacceptable...

Yet I've never come across any purists taking on DT specifically. They pick on palaeo-art that contain "fantasy elements" (as palaeo-art isn't allowed free reign on imagination apparently). Now correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't Dinosaurs that talk, ride a time travelling train, and sing very catchy songs as fantastic as anything one could do to a Dinosaur.

Why is this tolerated?

Because outside of their pure visual, we can agree DT's characters serve a greater purpose for the science.

Why can't an inaccurate piece of palaeo-art serve a similar purpose beyond its nuts and bolts? There is more to do with snagging people's interest than straight up scienctific eduaction (not that this isn't important later on).

I'd argue terrible movies are as important to palaeontology as Charles Knight or Gregory Paul. Valley of Gwangi was as big a draw to palaeontology for me as any scientifically accurate thing I've seen before or since.

One shouldn't underestimate the power of made up nonsense. The terror, awe, and pure awesomeness injected amongst some light science can be just as powerful(I say light science as they would have to have gotten some things right for us to recognize them as Dinosaurs) .

Reality can be boring and frankly uninteresting. Fiction and fantasy makes things more fun.

Why would we want to remove the fun from palaeontology?

Stu Pond said...

One day, all those feathers will be on dinosaurs . . . but the technology available for smaller studios is not conducive to plugging into the production pipeline at the moment. I predict in three or four years we'll see feathers everywhere as it becomes possible to build a workflow that allows feathers etc within a reasonable time. In fact, this counts for a whole raft of other minor technologies and techniques that would make working in CGI more effective and allow more and more complex models, textures and environments.

As an artist, you're never going to please everybody, but you must be scientifically accurate if you're presenting something as based on science. It's comes with the territory that you're going to get some criticism, especially on a high-profile project such a this. For one thing, it can be very difficult to get some people to visualise how something will look rendered and moving; artists are visual creatures and that's not a trait shared by everyone, so allowances have to be made. For another thing, by it's nature any art is subjective. You can be as scientifically accurate as is humanly possible but there is still the filter of interpretation, be it artistic or intellectual (the two aren't, of course mutually exclusive). This isn't necessarily a bad thing, it's what people hire scientific visualisers like us for but you will never, ever reach a consensus regarding any type of speculation. In other words, it's bloody easy to sit and pick holes, and no-one has the full facts.

I won't whinge on about the ever-declining respect which artists and designers are held in these days, but in many cases they don't do themselves any favours and the field is replete with hacks and wanabees, and that's not going to change.

This is a quote from the author James Lee Burke, and although I don't agree with him about where talent comes from, I'm behind the sentiment 100%. The programme looks great, and had I worked on it I would as happy as a pig in shit.

Never give up. I believe that talent comes from a hand outside us and that it is given to us for a reason. Never let the naysayers get you down. Write one day at a time and write for one reason only, to make the world in some fashion a better place. Eventually, every artist learns the following lesson: take pride in rejection and excoriation. The boos always come from the cheap seats. You stay on that old-time rock and roll and grin and walk the cannon smoke and let go of the world. It will drive your critics insane.

James Lee Burke

Matt Martyniuk said...

"Albertonykus- I total agree on the quality of Dinosaur Train (DT), but we now hit on the key to my question."

Thirded on how great DT is. But this gets back to my point about intent. It's pointless to nitpick DT because this is a cartoon. It's not purporting to depict photorealistic dinosaurs. It's a fantasy show that educates children, like Sesame Street. It is not a documentary, and I wouldn't classify the designs as paleoart--rather, fantasy or comic art, the same way Loony Tunes is not wildlife art.

If a program touts itself as a documentary that is intended to depict scientifically accurate dinosaurs, it is entering a whole different arena and should be subject to a much higher standard. DT is not claiming to depict accurate dinosaurs. WWD was, and it failed on several points. If for whatever reasons a documentary is knowingly fudging the science, but continues to advertise itself as state-of-the-science, scientifically accurate, yada yada, ell, that's a flat-out false advertising and is counter-productive to the educational value of the documentary.

Matt Martyniuk said...

For the record, DR seems to be an interesting case because while it features photorealistic dinosaurs, it doesn't appear to be advertised as a documentary the way WWD is. The adds are emphasizing the 'fun'. This definitely looks like a plaeoart show by paleoartists for paleoartists. The sense of humor is the scientifically-plausible kind you might find in a lot of dA submissions. It's heavily inspired by a graphic novel. I'd say this definitely gets a pass, and enters the 'not completely scientifically rigorous, but emphasizing the crazy/interesting/fun parts of the science' area.

Traumador said...

I am noticing documentaries are a big part of the critiscm of Pete's worries. Just because it is a documentary does it have to be true?

I call on my my favourite line from my Politics Communication class by the great Marshall Mcluhan "The medium is the message"

In this he means, when looking at any form of communication, the form it takes is often as important (if not more so) than the content that is contained within the medium.

What effect does publishing an idea in different forms have on the audiences preconceptions before they even get to the idea?

How would you approach someone claiming to have solved the meaning of life if they published it in A. a comic book B. a newpaper C. a celeb gossip mag D. scientific paper...

The medium is part of the key here.

Are documentaries anymore factual than the 6 oclock news? Is there something about TV that makes it factual, or have we been taught it is? Do TV shows, networks, or producters have an agenda? Is anything we watch on TV actually based in or on reality, or is it just what we think reality should be like?

I put forth the notion that TV is solely there for entertainment, and that it should be taken with a very heavy dose of salt...

Angie Rodrigues said...

I just wanna chime in and say thanks guys for keeping the discussion a friendly one:) Really appreciate it from y'all!

Some great thoughts and quotes and such. I love this group! I always feel at home on AE. Wonderful community.

davidmaas said...

The feathers discussion is classic. I can't imagine me being swayed by any mastery of story-telling or slickness of production. It's just ass-first to approach the problem this way.

There are options to make feathers manageable within budget - most immediately via stylistic treatment. And lookey there... that PR poster that's been generating so much positive energy? It's heavily stylized. Quick-cut to the actual program and that's all been retracted behind a photo-real world - making that graphic hook little more than a hook. No plus points there.

That's a definitive sign that this isn't going to be about scientific representation as much as entertainment, and I'm willing to roll with that. Well, swallow it and roll with it. I don't think 'entertainment' and 'budget' excuses design decisions like this - but rather are a sign of misplaced criteria from the get-go.

And Pete - I don't think these things are mutually exclusive. (You tend to paint the picture this way: either entertaining or scientifically correct.)

Glendon Mellow said...

David Maas said: "I don't think these things are mutually exclusive. (You tend to paint the picture this way: either entertaining or scientifically correct.)"

Yes. This +1000.

Sean Craven said...

There is an active, vocal stream of anti-intellectualism in the entertainment world, especially once money starts getting involved. Financing something like this? Very, very difficult.

I'm grateful even for the crappy dinosaur shows. But man, it would be nice to see enough funding delivered to do a few minutes of really high-end work here and there specifically for academic purposes.

Pete Von Sholly said...

I must have given the wrong impression somewhere. We tried very hard to stay within the bounds of what real animals might really do (knowing we wouldn't be perfect and that some anthropomorphism would inevitably creep in) to make something that was entertaining AND scientifically accurate. The wackier stuff seems to have gotten a lot of play up front but again, there is plenty of drama and pathos in the show too. All I really wanted to say was I wished people would give the show a chance before deciding how well we did (or did not) based on such a tiny glimpse. I shouldn't have worried about a few comments I didn't care for I guess. And please, if you don't like what I may have had to say, don't hold it against the team, or Discovery and let it mar your enjoyment of the show! My comments only represent me! All in all I think we walked a pretty good balanced path and created stories science types and ordinary folks will both enjoy- and stories you will want to watch again and again, not just because they look cool but because you get hooked into them and can relate.

Peter Bond said...

I agree with Pete and Angie that we should wait until we see the show in its entirety before we give summary judgment. Sure the headless bit is a bit strange, but it's hilarious! Have we ever seen anything like that before? I think not!

I look forward to forming an opinion once it airs.

I must add that it is a unique pleasure to be able to have conversations with artists and scientists who worked on this show! I am fairly certain the paleoblogshere (and all it's communication potential) wasn't really around during WWD, so it is a treat that it is during DR!

Sean Craven said...

I just went back and looked at my comment and realized how it read. Sorry!

I am very much looking forward to Dinosaur Revolutions; I exchanged emails at one point with a really good paleo artist about a project that I think is probably this one.

I gave him a wish list, and he said they had already decided to do all the things I suggested, except some involving marine reptiles -- he said water was more expensive than feathers, interestingly.

When I said I enjoyed even the crappy shows, I meant just that, not that this looks to be crappy. Quite the opposite.

But I have done a little tiny bit of work in the entertainment world -- web cartoons, during the brief, confused period when people thought web cartoons were going to be a thing -- and man.

There are people with money who make decisions? And some of them act like stupidity was a close personal friend who had once pulled them from a burning building.

This came to mind because I once had to explain to one of them why I was loaning books like The Dinosauria and Dinosaurs: The Encyclopedia to the animation department, in conjunction with a review of Jurassic Park III. You'd think the cut-off point for speech would be more clearly defined.

So no crappy or anti-intellectual implications intended; I eagerly await Dinosaur Revolutions; I probably will bitch about the dinosaurs roaring too much at the wrong time, because that's what I do.

And I also have a copy of The Flying Fuck. I can read it any time I want.

Pete Von Sholly said...

An "FF" reader??? My brother! :)
Dave Krentz fought the over-roaring factor as hard as he could. When this is all over we can talk about more behind the scenes fun!

davidmaas said...

Pete: don't worry about my comments. I'm looking forward to seeing the show, whenever I am granted the opportunity from the medial boondocks of Germany. I work in vfx and animation and I appreciate the fact that you're propagating the series... this is not the norm. Usually the opposite is true.
It is difficult to argue the merits of leaving feathers out of the mix. Just leave it. No feathers - shit. Defend the high ground and leave the bogs to the mosquitos :-)

Angie Rodrigues said...

You guys are all awesome:) Really:)

This is an excellenet discussion and I'm about to go read the other posts as well.

Yeah, on DR a lot of paleoartists got to do stuff without restraint. Even the fighting Cryos is in homage to Charles R. Knights painting.

I didn't get to do any stories:( But I got my vision in there via colors and design. I wanted to make such pretty dinosaurs:)

Always though on my models I strived for accuracy. As best I could for sure, down to how many degrees the feet on Miragaia should be turned.

I think if anything DR will give a different take on prehistoric animals. I really like that. Some over anthro'd stuff got in there, but I actually found it really cool to be sucked into stories of the animals instead of being removed and told about them. Its just different, not better or worse.

When I saw some of the stories boards I asked where they got that idea. And then someone would pull up a video of reindeer seeking out magic mushrooms or lions killing hyenas for no other reason than to kill them and just leave them to rot.

Nature is weird, lol!

I still love tradtional styled docs though. Basically, if it has dinosaurs I love it:)

But yeah, most of all I loved playing in my artist sand box. I've done a few more dinosaur color designs for other projects and I was in a cage. Keep the color to the crests and make them grey. Large animals were dull. Everything needs to be camoflauged.

So, even if the science world may not dig it to much, I really had fun as an artist:)

Not everything is perfect, unfortunately its still TV, but its a best effort.

But as always, feel free to judge it on all merits, good and bad. :)

Thanks guys so much. You really are all awesome.