Friday, July 22, 2011

Tupandactylus II

Continuing on my Tupandactylus, I fixed up the model, created some UV's, rigged, and skinned the critter. The key for the rig was making it so it would be able to work both in the air, and in the pterosaur quadrupedal stance. I think it works rather well.

Next I'm going to do some animation to test the rig further, and make any minor adjustments I may need in the skin weighting before I get to texturing and 'pycnofiber' generation (via the fur tools).


Monday, July 11, 2011

Tupandactylus I

For an individual portfolio-building project at work, I've decided to build a full creature in Houdini; doing everything from modeling to animating to rendering. I've also taken this opportunity to do something I've wanted to do for quite some time: build a pterosaur. More specifically, the  tapejarid, Tupandactylus imperator.

To prep, I've been doing a lot of reading about pterosaur anatomy; mostly Dr. David Unwin's Pterosaurs: from Deep Time, as well as from other sources such as and portions of various papers and websites. Due to the lack of time I have to complete this, I'm obviously not going to hit the books nearly as hard as I did for my Master's Thesis. I just have been casually reading and using my modeling sessions as a way of testing my understanding. It's been fun so far. I want it to be authentic enough, and true to the animal without killing myself over every minor anatomical detail.

Here are some images of what I have thus far. So far I've completed the base model (much more detail will eventually be sculpted in), and I've laid out the bones which will be used for the control rig.

First the model:

...and the bone layout:

I took my time with the model to try to make sure I was able to create it in a way that would work for both the flying and walking motions. Being conscious of this, before spending the time in connecting the model to the bones, I first adjusted the skeleton into a quadrupedal stance to make sure the dimensions of the animal would work.

This has been a fun project so far, and I'm excited to get a working rig. Painting the skin texture and adding the "pycnofibres" should be fun as well :P

As always, comments, suggestions, feedback, etc. are welcome!