Monday, December 7, 2009

potential of 3D; skeletal reconstructions

The graphic skeletal reconstructions done by artists such as Gregory Paul, Scott Hartmann, Archosaurian and Dinomaniac has always inspired me in a way that life restorations and scenic representations - as beutiful as they are - can't achieve. Creating a 3D reconstruction from these however is often frustrating. It reveals the gaps in my knowledge and often even the gaps in everyone's knowledge. So inspired to create a cleanly graphic skeletal reconstruction in 3D that offers another dimension's worth of information but without proporting to be more than what it is... a reconstruction. My goal was a clearly stylized reconstruction that 1) looks good and 2) presents the information available (but not more) in as clear a way as possible.
As the PrehistoricTimes theme is Stegosaurus and a good friend of mine's daughter loves exactly that dinosaur, I thought - I'll give it a go. 3 days later I present you with the results.

I already see loads of things I want to tweak, but I want to share this exploration and get some feedback. There are two stylistic themes, one based on the graphic skeletal reconstructions I linked earlier - and I think my favorite. Very graphic and bold. But the second has some merit as well... volume is more readable. Like? Don't like? Improvements?

Here's a close-up of the skull, mouth open. The teeth fit right into each other in the shearing motion proposed in literature. This promises to be a great way of communicating the differences and relationships between clades, and I can't wait to try my hand at animating this guy, then revealing the underlying skeleton. Of course, it needs to be rigged first....

note: put up some thoughts about the npr nature of this at my blog.