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A Dragon's Love Story


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#1 Roger

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Posted 22 June 2011 - 09:33 PM

I am starting a new WIP thread to consolidate everything. I will be posting in this thread as opposed to my old WIP thread. Currently the working title for the film is A Dragon's Love Story. This may change - I'm mulling over one or two other titles. The story in a nutshell: A dragon was once in love with a princess that rejected him. Realizing his treasure hoard no longer brings him happiness and he is leading an empty existince, he heads out in search of a mate. He searches high and low but cannot find one. He is about to give up when he finds love where he least expects it. I imagine completed length to be about 3 to 5 minutes. Both the main characters are just about finished. My vision for the look of the film is a blend between more traditional claymation/stopmotion and CG. I will post what characters and models I have finished so far to this thread, and this thread will be the main thread for the project from here on out. I may also post some concept sketches or story boards, if I can get them to be presentable enough. I am going to try to update at least once or twice a week.
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#2 jakerupert

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Posted 22 June 2011 - 10:00 PM

Hi Roger, this sounds very interesting. I will be following this! Jake

#3 robcat2075

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Posted 25 June 2011 - 06:01 AM

Have you got the rigging solved? If you have questions, ask!
Robert Holmén
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#4 Roger

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Posted 26 June 2011 - 09:25 PM

Have you got the rigging solved? If you have questions, ask!


Don't worry, I will. My brain is shot for now, had a rough day. Going to try working on the penguin leg rig some tomorrow.
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#5 Roger

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Posted 05 July 2011 - 11:44 AM

So I have more or less finished rigging the skeleton on the penguin, I may do some smart skin or make a few adjustments but I think I have it to the point where I can start doing some animation tests. I thought I would take a break from that and get back to modeling some props, so here is a buoy that I have been working on. I need to add some more detail, obviously. Thinking rivets, appropriate textures, etc. I am also posting the photo I'm working from, I think I have gotten the essence of it, I'm not trying to duplicate it exactly.

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#6 itsjustme

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Posted 05 July 2011 - 12:48 PM

I thought I would take a break from that and get back to modeling some props, so here is a buoy that I have been working on. I need to add some more detail, obviously. Thinking rivets, appropriate textures, etc. I am also posting the photo I'm working from, I think I have gotten the essence of it, I'm not trying to duplicate it exactly.


My only suggestion...bevel, bevel bevel. Any mechanical object really needs every edge beveled to look better than an old video game object. Now that you have the basic shape, it shouldn't be too hard to add. Here is a tutorial Yves put together on bevels.

Nice start, Roger!

#7 Roger

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 09:46 PM

So my updates have not been as frequent, but I have been making more progress. Here is the penguin character, from another thread. Ironing out some minor rigging details, need to add a few other things like proper pupils:

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#8 Roger

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 09:48 PM

Some mushrooms for the forest area the dragon lives in - I also need to do a few different kinds of shrubs and some trees but its a start:

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#9 Vertexspline

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 03:55 PM

smiles...hey roger nice buoy and mushrooms.....I was actually working on some mushrooms myself today.
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#10 Roger

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Posted 04 November 2011 - 04:20 PM

smiles...hey roger nice buoy and mushrooms.....I was actually working on some mushrooms myself today.


I still need to work on the beveling for the buoy, but it is not a priority right now. As far as the mushrooms - they're not much but I'm trying to do something every day. I figured knocking out some props that could just be lathed was not a bad idea.
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#11 Roger

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Posted 04 November 2011 - 04:25 PM

So I am resculpting some parts of my dragon character that I haven't been happy with, seeing as how the penguin is just about done. I've moved the legs in a little close to the body, so they're not sticking so far out to the sides, hopefully it is looking more bipedal now. Resculpting the feet to look more like talons instead of, well, whatever the heck they looked like before :) (they were kinda bad) I'm not quite done with the snout portion of the dragon head, haven't decided whether I want to have nostrils, a mouth that opens and closes (or just a paste-on replacement type mouth) or what. I think I may rework the hands as well, although they're not as bad as the feet.

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#12 John Bigboote

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Posted 04 November 2011 - 04:51 PM

COOLIO! Your buoy looks like something I made a little while ago... at about :15 in...

#13 Roger

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Posted 04 November 2011 - 07:12 PM

That is uncanny. I wonder if we used a similar reference image?
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#14 robcat2075

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 07:33 AM

On the dragon, I think a small hint of a claw or nail at the end of the toes would add some nice detail. Hands and feet are basically wedge shapes , thicker at the base and tapering out to the end of the digits. That would help make them more natural looking.
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#15 robcat2075

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 09:10 AM

Hand profiles: handwedge.jpg
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#16 Roger

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Posted 11 November 2011 - 08:29 PM

Concept art - thought I would post some. Some of these are very rough. I like the colored pencil, though. I often think that if I were doing this as 2d animation, I would use colored pencil as opposed to cel vinyl or some digital solution.

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  • 2Dragon_001.jpg
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  • 2Dragon_003.jpg
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#17 TheSpleen

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Posted 11 November 2011 - 10:18 PM

nice work
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#18 Roger

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Posted 11 November 2011 - 10:26 PM

Thank you, I was a bit nervous about posting them.
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#19 itsjustme

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Posted 12 November 2011 - 12:25 AM

Thank you, I was a bit nervous about posting them.


Nothing to be nervous about, Roger. As long as it gets the idea across, it has done its' job.

Looks like it will be a fun project!

#20 kwhitaker

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Posted 12 November 2011 - 01:03 AM

"Concept art - thought I would post some. Some of these are very rough." Very nice concept art, very dear to my heart, mushrooms dragons witches,and such, it will be a fun project!
[/font]

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#21 Vertexspline

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Posted 12 November 2011 - 05:03 AM

Roger ---hey the concept art looks cool. And I get the ideas you are thinking about --so nice job. Looks like cool a fun project to work on. And I understand how you feel about posting things here. I have to admit it seems a little intimidating ---(I have not posted anything myself ). And sometimes wonder if it would not be better to have a new user WIP folder where less polished , less accomplished things could be shown and folks might feel a little more at ease doing so. For I think less WIPS get posted right now for the fear factor of feeling not ready for prime time as it were. But let me say --you are , so keep us informed of how this project grows and thanks for Posting!
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#22 TheSpleen

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Posted 12 November 2011 - 08:48 AM

Roger ---hey the concept art looks cool. And I get the ideas you are thinking about --so nice job. Looks like cool a fun project to work on. And I understand how you feel about posting things here. I have to admit it seems a little intimidating ---(I have not posted anything myself ).

And sometimes wonder if it would not be better to have a new user WIP folder where less polished , less accomplished things could be shown and folks might feel a little more at ease doing so. For I think less WIPS get posted right now for the fear factor of feeling not ready for prime time as it were.

But let me say --you are , so keep us informed of how this project grows and thanks for Posting!

If you don't post it, you'll never get crits.
and likewise never get praise.
We need both.
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And in turn others as well will laugh too."

#23 mouseman

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Posted 12 November 2011 - 12:26 PM

If you don't post it, you'll never get crits.
and likewise never get praise.
We need both.

True, true! This is a learning environment. We're all really here to help each other get where we want to be. And everyone tries to be respectful of those making the effort to learn and improve.
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#24 Rodney

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Posted 12 November 2011 - 01:47 PM

The concept art is a great way to move forward. I'm really liking what you've posted.
It helps us to see more clearly where you are going.

I often think that if I were doing this as 2d animation, I would use colored pencil as opposed to cel vinyl or some digital solution.


Perhaps you can pursue some of that style via your renderings!

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#25 Vertexspline

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Posted 12 November 2011 - 06:41 PM

Gene and Chris-----smiles I understand -and actually do find this forum to be extremely helpful and respectful with everyones work which is really nice . And I agree that this should be a place to help those who seek help to get better and I am all for that.
------ Rich

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#26 TheSpleen

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Posted 12 November 2011 - 07:33 PM

Gene and Chris-----smiles I understand -and actually do find this forum to be extremely helpful and respectful with everyones work which is really nice . And I agree that this should be a place to help those who seek help to get better and I am all for that.

These forums are part of what sold me on AM
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And in turn others as well will laugh too."

#27 Roger

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Posted 13 November 2011 - 09:12 PM

Fixing my dragon's feet. The toes look better and I have a bit of a nail or claw at the end. I still need to adjust the sizes of the toes relative to each other, they still look off. Big toe should probably be shorter than the middle toe, but still longer than the little toe. And I think I need to make the little toe not quite so thick. I think these are a significant improvement over the original feet, which were quite bony or segmented looking. I also need to adjust them to get more of the wedge shape that Robcat was talking about, but I think this is a promising start. Well, for the 2nd time I've done it :P

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#28 Rodney

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Posted 13 November 2011 - 09:20 PM

That looks like success to me! :)

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#29 Roger

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 09:59 PM

I'm working on modifying the hand on my dragon, it looks pretty bad. I have raised parts of the back of the hand to suggest tendons, as far as the fingers go I think I need to make the knuckles less pronounced and maybe cut down on the number of spline rings that are making up the fingers. I think I have way too many right now. I'm also going to add claws to the ends of the fingers.

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#30 Roger

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 10:19 PM

I think this hand looks a lot better. I want to refine the palm a bit more and I would like to get more of a suggestion of knuckles on the fingers, but I think this looks much better than the overly segmented looking hand from before. I have also added claws to it.

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#31 Roger

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Posted 18 November 2011 - 06:56 PM

Anyone have any ideas as to how to best add depth to the sides of this chest? I extruded a shape to make up the base and walls, but have not come up with a satisfactory way to cap off the ends.

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#32 robcat2075

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Posted 18 November 2011 - 08:48 PM

I think a cuticle flap around the claw would help, and make the claw pretty stubby so it doesn't look dangerous. On the chest, why not just model another slab to put on the side?
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#33 Roger

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Posted 18 November 2011 - 08:50 PM

Well I think I figured out a solution to my problem: extrude the parts of the chest that make up the side one more time, and then manually insert the connecting splines to close it off. Now my problem is that since I didn't build any bevels into the chest, it looks way too knife-edged. Maybe if I go back to the drawing board and bevel the corners of the shape that makes up the side, I'll get the look I am going for.

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#34 Roger

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Posted 18 November 2011 - 09:02 PM

I think you are right about the cuticle, and the claws probably are too long. I wish I could figure out what it is about the hand that is still bothering me.
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#35 robcat2075

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Posted 18 November 2011 - 09:25 PM

I think you are right about the cuticle, and the claws probably are too long. I wish I could figure out what it is about the hand that is still bothering me.


I was really thinking the claws should be only on the feet and leave the hands with more conventional fingers or find some way to suggest claws on a conventional finger shape..


Also, hand fingers shouldn't be all the same length or it makes teh hand look very board-like. Try making the middle longest and the pinkie smallest
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#36 Roger

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Posted 19 November 2011 - 07:34 PM

I know it is difficult to tell from that pic, but I did attempt to mimic normal finger length. Part of it is the angle of the pic, and the other part is that while there are differences in finger length, they need to be more pronounced. Here is a screenshot of the tweaks I made. I do think this one looks better but it is still a bit funky.

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#37 robcat2075

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Posted 19 November 2011 - 07:45 PM

I do think this one looks better but it is still a bit funky.


It does still look odd. What you might do... dig up some reference of cartoon dragons, nice ones not evil ones, and see how the artist dealt the problem. there might even be model sheets out there you could study. Cartoon dinosaurs might be useful here too.
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#38 Roger

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Posted 19 November 2011 - 08:13 PM

Yeah, that reminds me, I have a funny story to tell you about googling for reference images.
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#39 Roger

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Posted 19 November 2011 - 08:24 PM

Here is a test rendering of the treasure chest. I used the grid wizard and pulled the points to come up with a large mass of gold, which I will then put maybe a dozen or so coin models on top of (along with jewels, etc). Or would it be better to model one coin, duplicate it 500 times and use Newton physics to dump them in the box? Seems like that would be a lot of overhead to calculate. The gold looks ok (its actually the default brass material from the AM library) but the wood material doesn't look much like wood. I think I'm going to have to experiment with that some more.

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#40 Roger

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Posted 19 November 2011 - 08:52 PM

Ok, I have beveled the chest but I can't really use the same tactic I used last time to cap the ends off - if I try to use a spline to join the two topmost inner points on the end, the spline automatically curves. If I try to peak that spline, it removes the bevel from the area where I want it. There must be a better way to do this. Too bad you can't model a boxy item and then run an "autobevel" or something.

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#41 robcat2075

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Posted 20 November 2011 - 06:44 AM

On the chest, I'd recommend constructing it like a real chest, with separate boards for the bottom and sides. After you make one, with bevels, you could copy and paste it. Gold coins... you wouldn't' have to fill the entire chest. Put in a false bottom that is almost at the top and then Newton-drop enough cons to cover that.
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#42 Wildsided

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Posted 20 November 2011 - 06:51 AM

I think this hand looks a lot better. I want to refine the palm a bit more and I would like to get more of a suggestion of knuckles on the fingers, but I think this looks much better than the overly segmented looking hand from before. I have also added claws to it.


Both hands look good roger, being honest though I preferred the 'knoblyness' of the first ones, had a bony jointed feel to them. I think they'd look great with claws attached

#43 mouseman

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Posted 20 November 2011 - 02:22 PM

One suggestion about the claws ... it might help if they are flatter ... not as tall as they are wide. Also, if the appendages are more than vestigial, they need to be useful for grabbing on to things without getting in the way, such as prey or a branch, etc. The individual fingers/talons as well as the palm should be more flat-shaped on the gripping side than on the outer side.
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#44 Roger

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 05:56 PM

Working on the chest again tonight, trying to see if I can get it looking closer to how I want it to look. I have modeled each panel of the chest separately, currently they are just sort of jammed together. I probably need to connect them with splines to the other panels, but not sure of the best way to do that.
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#45 Roger

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 06:48 PM

Somehow I ended up with a double-post, not sure how that happened. Here is a screenshot:

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#46 robcat2075

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 07:16 PM

What sort of a chest is this? A pirate chest?
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#47 robcat2075

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 02:04 PM

Something like this with separately modeled boards would be easier to drop materials on and get a look as if it were made of wooden planks. Chest.jpg
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#48 Roger

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 09:25 AM

Yes, it is a treasure chest/pirate chest type thing. I see what you are saying now - model each board separately, then piece it together. I was just modelling the side and bottom panels, but that wasn't working quite like I thought it would. I was planning on using a texture to indicate separate boards. I'll probably need to do nails, too so that it will look like it is actually held together by something. I'll give that a try tonight.
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#49 robcat2075

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 10:08 AM

I was looking Treasure chest images... the classic chests seem to have a metal corner piece that holds the boards together, and I guess the nails or screws go through that. I wonder why wooden chests don't rot and decay when they are buried in the ground?
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#50 Roger

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Posted 07 December 2011 - 11:04 AM

I think that buried treasure chests are one of those movie cliches that have been around so long no one really thinks about them. Even covered in tar or something, I can't imagine wood would last too long in the ground.
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