Fire-breathing Lizard

Posted Thursday, May 1, 2008, 4:09 PM

While I'm taking time off a real paid job, I am using this opportunity to beef up my 3D modelling skills. I've never been very good at texturing or lighting, and animation is almost entirely new to me, but I have been making 3D models for a long time, and it seems to be what I've ended up best at. I'm particularly enjoying character modelling, which surprises me as I wouldn't have guessed so before I started doing it.

Every time I see an opportunity to try a new challenge, to make something I've never made before, I tend to leap into it and work really hard, but soon enough my enthusiasm starts to fade away, and then I end up not completing it. That's a pretty bad way to operate, and something I need to sort out. Having said that, if I'm doing the work for another person, especially when I have been given a deadline, that's different - I'll rise to the challenge and honour my commitments. But if it's just for me, I tend to waver and procrastinate.

Something I've been wanting to build for a long time is a dragon, and before I started organic modelling I thought the best way for me to make one that was within my skills was to make it a robotic mechanical dragon. Which would've been pretty cool, I think. But my organic and subpatch modelling skills have emerged recently, and I found the opportunity, so for the past few days I have been working on an organic dragon. I did get interrupted by other priorities for a while there, but it's now coming along well. I completed the wings and tail today, and I decided to put it into context, so have composited it onto a landscape background. I had made this backdrop a couple of weeks ago, using it as a matte painting exercise, and it's looking pretty good I think, and even better with the dragon in place.

Eventually I plan to animate this guy flying around, which I'll do once the model's all complete (you may have noticed he has no legs yet). Though I'm going to try and avoid having to rig it for animating, because it's a time consuming and confounding process that probably isn't worth the effort in this particular case. I'll try morph targets instead, though that may not be the best method either.

Wish me luck!

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