Feathered T-Rex

polycounter lvl 4
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samnwck polycounter lvl 4
Current progress:


So I'm setting out on trying to make a realistic T-Rex with feathers and all. Here's the first anatomy pass. Let me know if any of the landmarks look wrong sized or anything like that.




References:




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  • samnwck
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    samnwck polycounter lvl 4
    Current progress:



    When the time comes for adding feathers this is the mark I'm looking to hit: 

    The thing that I've been wracking my brain about is how to keep the T-Rex looking menacing while having feathers and I think this piece illustrates that mark well. 
  • samnwck
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    samnwck polycounter lvl 4
    In keeping with the theme of trying to keep this as realistic as possible here's where I think the head will be left at. 




  • artofmars
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    artofmars polycounter lvl 3
    Looking great! make sure that the major forms standout more than the smaller details.
  • samnwck
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    samnwck polycounter lvl 4
    Good advice! I am still fleshing out landmarks and all of that, might've been a bit premature with the neck wrinkles but I'm still planning on adding a lot more.




  • samnwck
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    samnwck polycounter lvl 4
    Still trucking away on this, still trying to nail the look of the head just right... Let me know your thoughts




  • samnwck
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    samnwck polycounter lvl 4
    Had to redo some of the proportions based on some feedback I received today and modified the head a bit more 




  • samnwck
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    samnwck polycounter lvl 4
    Picking this up, I think I'm ready to start making up displacement maps for him for some micro detail.


  • lotet
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    lotet quad damage
    always love me some dinosaurs, so far Its looking good!  are you gonna go for feather wing like arms or the more old school tiny stick arms?
  • FreneticPonies
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    FreneticPonies polycounter lvl 3
    The T-rex didn't have feathers, outdated, oh noes!  :'( 

    Your model is looking good though, keep it up!
  • samnwck
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    samnwck polycounter lvl 4
    Hey thanks for the thoughts guys. The arms I'm planning to cover with feathers, but as far as their length I think I'm keeping that pretty much the way it is, but maybe have some feathers that hang down off of it a bit.

    Dang I hadn't read that about the feathers (I actually find paleontology really interesting and try to keep up with current thinking), I mean it's not really too much of a big deal either way. Just wanted to try to still make the t rex look fierce with the feathers and they said it's possible they still had some plumage on their back which was where most of the density was going to be. 
  • Tectonic
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    Tectonic polycounter lvl 5
    I think the trick to making a bird(or dinosaur) spooky is in the eyes.


    also cassowary feet are scary as heck


    I love me a feathered dino, so I'm excited to see your progress!
  • samnwck
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    samnwck polycounter lvl 4
    Haven't stopped working, trying to get a displacement map put together but so far haven't really liked many of tileable maps I could find available online. So I did a couple in zbrush which didn't turn out as well as I'd like so I moved into substance designer and I think I have one that'll work well. These are 2 variations of the map. Obviously these scales are very close to the camera here but will significantly smaller when actually placed on the T-Rex.

  • samnwck
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    samnwck polycounter lvl 4
    She's got some scale on it now that I found the right look of the majority of my scales. Some issues exist such as visibility of the tiling which will be rectified with some hand sculpting and I'll also be sculpting another layer of details on top the scales to further get rid of uniformity and achieve a more organic look

  • lotet
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    lotet quad damage
    that screenshot is reaaaally dark, I can barely see anything but the tail and the back.
  • Felixenfeu
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    Felixenfeu polycounter lvl 6
    It's all t-rex and no feathers. 0/10.

    Joking aside, your renders with the HDR/curtain thing doesn't read well. I'd put at least a rim light in there to separate the background from the T-res.

    Otherwise you should look a bit more into animal anatomy and reptiles/birds. The difference between the skin sitting on bone and the one sitting on flesh at the moment is still a bit vague. It's all a bit too soft. Especially on all the joints (knee, elbow, wrist, etc. etc.). But it's a good start.
  • samnwck
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    samnwck polycounter lvl 4
    The skin displacement is just the start of the detail. As far as bird anatomy it only goes so far mainly because there's no big ass birds 1 ton birds, so it's sort of an extrapolation of bird with some slight elephant inclinations since we really don't have anything bigger, but obviously I didn't want a wrinkly mess either so it's been a juggle to get the right look. You're right, I think the the back knees need to be addressed a bit.

    As far as the lighting that was my fault, one of my monitors is much more flatly colored (less contrasty) and I was looking at it on that so it looked bright enough, but on my other one it was way too dark. Anyways here's a brighter one with a bit more sharpness on it to hopefully show some details. I plan to do closeups too eventually it just isn't ready yet, I want the scale flow to be more organic than it is currently. Thanks guys

  • samnwck
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    samnwck polycounter lvl 4
    Head close-up, still a bit of touch up to be required to blend the square scales with the circular ones but I'm pretty happy with the direction so far!

  • lotet
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    lotet quad damage
    Looks better, but would still prefer a non-black background so we can properly read the shapes.
  • samnwck
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    samnwck polycounter lvl 4
    Hopefully this is a bit better. This is with the legs almost done. Polish to the chest is up next. 

  • lotet
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    lotet quad damage
    Looking good! much better render as well.

    I see some obvious tiled textures on the body though, for example on the neck above the arms and along the tail. 
  • samnwck
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    samnwck polycounter lvl 4
    Yeah the obvious tiling is somewhat fine for the most part because around the neck for example there will be plenty of breakup with plummage from the feathers and around the back, Here's a very quick outline of my current idea for the feather arrangements. 

    Green= Longest feathers
    Blue= Medium
    Red= Short

    So based on that that should save me some time getting rid of some of the tiling. Though there will definitely be some areas that'll require me to give a more person touch. I plan on doing some larger scarred areas  where you'll be able to see some of the skin but otherwise hopefully that'll save me a lot of time. Wondering if that's a good approach.

    I guess another thing I'd like feedback on are my plans for texturing. So since my end goal is to put it through Toolbag 3. My current plans are to do 4 texture sets. 

    1x Head (including eyes, teeth, tongue etc)
    1x Legs and arms
    1x Body and tail
    1x Feathers

    So I know 4 texture sets is a bit much however in game it'd be a hero asset and a large one at that so I feel I could get away with it.
  • samnwck
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    samnwck polycounter lvl 4
    Small update, more stomach texture with some scarring starting to go in. 

  • Felixenfeu
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    Felixenfeu polycounter lvl 6
    Good progress. The membrane thing between the upper and lower jaw still feels a bit rubbery, lacks fleshy feeling. It'd be worth looking at alligators or crocodiles. The lower jaw itself too lacks a bit continuity.
  • samnwck
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    samnwck polycounter lvl 4
    I worked on the jaw scales a bit and the membrane from the jaw to the skull, not like you can tell with the way I posed the shot but hopefully this helps what you were talking about (I think it looks better now, personally). If you guys think it looks better let me know and i'll finish it up on the front of the upper mouth area. But if that's not what you were talking about please elaborate just a bit more.

    Thanks for the feedback guys! 


  • FourtyNights
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    FourtyNights polycounter lvl 4
    You're getting there, it's looking quite good. If you break the very notable tiling from its tail like you did a good job with the sides of its belly, it'll be a lot better. Even though feathers are going to cover the tail a lot, it's still worth the shot to break that tiling since we may see the skin of the tail through the alpha transparency of feathers.

    For texture sets I'd do it this way:

    1x Full body (including head, body, gums, teeth, tongue and inner eyeballs) [you can tile (multiple) micro detail normal map(s) with controlled mask(s) in Marmoset Toolbag 3 or UE4 later on the texturing process, to get even more details]
    1x Eyes (outer transparent glass-like and glossy cornea meshes)
    1x Feathers
  • samnwck
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    samnwck polycounter lvl 4
    Was able to recover my project files for this one, did my low poly and started texturing


  • samnwck
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    samnwck polycounter lvl 4
    Didn't like the original patterning just on the back. 

  • lotet
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    lotet quad damage
    really nice texture update. just noticed a quick anatomical nitpick.
    the T-rex arms should be facing inwards, with the palms facing each other like hes clapping so to speak.
  • samnwck
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    samnwck polycounter lvl 4
    Yeah you can see in the original WIP post I actually did have the arms in such a way and I kinda wish I had left them there. When I get around to actually posing him I plan to change up the arrangement of the arms because I think they'd be better off that way as well.
  • Mohamed_Salah_Bchir
    Great work 
  • jaker3278
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    jaker3278 polycounter lvl 5
    Thank you for posting and being so patient, what you have done with the displacement map is second to none, please teach me how to do it. You could let your imagination loose on the colour, texture and form of this beast. Why not introduce Reds , Blues , and Blacks. From your photoshop sketch over of the feather positions, it looks like you would like the feathers along his spine to be made of fire.

    Remember the T-REX is undefined

    You could take inspiration from any Kingdom you desire, to name a couple the Animal Kingdom the Machine Kingdom and the Mythalogical Kingdom. 

    Tip of the hat to you and the rest of the soft surface engineers. 
  • samnwck
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    samnwck polycounter lvl 4
    I appreciate that. As far as the  displacement map, I worked a while finding resources from scans already available to find what would look best. And for the most part I did use off the shelf solutions from surface mimic , however for the main body of the scales I struggled to find any that I really liked so I ended up making like 2 or 3 scale variants in substance designer but ultimately wasn't happy enough with them. So I went to zbrush to make a scales and then baked down all the height information and ultimately used that. 

    Now I used Mari to paint the displacement map, though you can use substance painter as well but ultimately I think Mari's projection painting just works a bit better than Substance's (feels better to me for some reason) but you could just as easily do it in substance. Then once it's all painted. You apply a layer in zbrush and make sure to store a morph target before applying the displacement. That way you can use the morph brush to fine tune the height information with more control. 

    That was pretty much it. 

    As far as his coloration i messed around a lot of with different color patterns and most of them looked pretty cool but didn't end up fitting my vision for it as most animals' patterning end up being more subtle than you'd think which I think helps to sell the realism a lot.  

    Here's the flat colors of the color map:

    I tried to keep the colors on a relatively close color palette but I've been trying to find a place for some blacks but I haven't found how to implement them without it being too much. I've tried a few different spot patterns but it was too much. But I'll probably try again but try and use a light touch approach so it doesn't dominate too much.
  • samnwck
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    samnwck polycounter lvl 4
    Redid some of the coloration on the mouth, mainly on the inside which you can't see and the membrane from the top to bottom jaw to look a bit more flesh-like. 

  • samnwck
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    samnwck polycounter lvl 4
    Working on the pose now

  • FreneticPonies
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    FreneticPonies polycounter lvl 3
    The tail has very obvious repetition of the base scale texture. Otherwise it's looking good!
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