I am designing and modelling a dragon for my final year at university. During each phase of the concept stage, any constructive feedback on features that you find interesting, or need improvement, would be greatly appreciated.
I am currently in the silhouette stage and would like some advise to steer the process of adding values and deciding on the most interesting elements for the final design.
The following reference sheet shows full silhouette drafts of different dragon designs from above. Moreover, here are a few extra details on each dragon's anatomical reference:
1. Wings based on bat wings, head based on lizard.
2. Wings based on flying fish fins, head based on snake.
3. Wings based on butterfly wings, head based on snake.
4. Wings based on dragonfly wings, head based on alligator.
I hope to hear from you soon
I will post up each stage of the concept process and hope to gain more feedback as I continue.
I'm not too nuts about any one set of anything, but I do see plenty that could be combined together. However, my feedback might be limited because I immediately want to see a traditional dragon constructed. But in my own opinion, wings 1 & 2 together, I don't really see the other wings as being able to support a dragon. Maybe 4. I think all the heads work but 3 & 4 combined or 3 and 1 would be nice. Tail 1 is my favorite. Anyways, I think your off to a good start, and look forward to seeing this unfold.
i think 3 looks best in silhouette but personally from the description 1 sounds the coolest. however for all of them the wings dont look like they could support the body, maybe look at some refences and note the wing to body ratio. going good so far though
my blog: http://beckymichalak.blogspot.co.uk/
my deviantart: http://onlyzuul.deviantart.com/
No matter which set you choose, the wings could stand to be a lot bigger. A good 'rule' of thumb is the larger the dragon, the larger the wings should be in proportion to the rest of the body.
Check the size of a falcon or an eagle's wings compared to the body. Then a bat. Then an albatross. Then a butterfly. Then a swallow (european and african). You can see that even on all those different shapes (as the shape is given by the function), the wing area to weight ratio is quite similar. If you want a big dragon, wings of any kind have to be huge.
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Thank you to everyone who has replied. Every one of you has provided valuable insight into the features you like as well as highlighted my mistake in forgetting to apply my body/wing ratio research. I will go back to the designs and work on them immediately to fix this and to consider the feedback on interesting features.
i like the more insectile designs of 3 and 4 because they are unusual; id love to ee the butterfly ones have a big eye pattern on them, or the dragonfly ones to be tranparent and fast moving. thatd be memorable.
I have adjusted the size (and position) of the wings to better support the dragons weight and anatomy, using existing concept such as William O'Connor's Dracopedia as well as life reference such as the dragonfly and butterfly for 3 and 4. Due to the increased size of the designs, I shall repost them below in pairs to ensure the details can be seen clearly. I have also taken note of any ideas suggested above for further refining, though I welcome further feedback. Thank you very much for viewing.
I dont have comment on the shapes design right now, please carry on to the next stages, but those typeface is really noisy, annoying and distracting, dont use them.
I would say you're trying too hard with those sheets at the moment. It's like you're doing this because you know you have to and to make it pretty for presentation, but not to find the best design.
I'm not sure if a top-down silhouette is really that important to begin with. You have a variety of basic shapes to choose from and after that you can always add as much detail as you like. What's this model going to be doing? Should it stand? Move? If so I would focus on sketching it's body shape and how it stands, how the balance works, do you want it to have two legs or four? Is it going to stand and move like a bird, a lizard or a mammal? Of course I'm not sure what your thesis is going to be about, but I can't imagine the wing shape and details to be the most important things to figure out first.
I've taken into account the suggestion to put up some profile drawings and to stop going overboard on the presentation, as it's not the main focus.
So, in the next couple of drawings, I've combined some of the elements that previous commenters preferred or suggested may work well. I shall upload the second set as soon as possible.
-I'm still not quite happy with the flying fish type wings, they ended up looking like bat wings because I tried to follow usual dragon anatomy so maybe further exaggeration would help?
-I added values on the wings for now just to show where the anatomy lies.
As well as the profiles of each dragon, I also began to add values as well as some extra details to the overviews. I will clean these and work further scale patterns and veins into them and the profiles before moving into colour. I am hoping to have a final profile and overview soon, as well as perspectives.
they still needs rear legs or appedages from the tail that perform as rudimentary legs.
look at bat wings and flying squirel and lizard wings, the skeletons are highly visible.
Sorry but do you mean legs within the wings, like bats have? I have observed that in my reference images but made my legs separate like typical dragons, as you can see in the profile.
I could still experiment with limbs integrated into the wings for the next couple of profile views to add to their atypicality.
And/Or do you mean the visibility of the legs from the top view of the dragons? In my top-view references, the legs are folded up underneath the dragon and so could not be seen unless shown from below instead of overhead.
Please let me know if I've misunderstood anything so far but I will certainly try combining the wings and legs in the next profile silhouettes
I haven't read everything in the thread, but I'd like to see more consideration of it's body type besides HEAD, WINGS, CLAWS. There are a lot more room to ground your design on real-world anatomy. Is the body type going to be reptilian, avian, mammalian, etc, or some type of hybrid? Is it going to have a keel, or a sternum? What will its pelvis look like? What would its locomotion look like? Is its body weight balanced? How about when it's in motion?
How large is this supposed to be? How heavy is it supposed to be? How fast can it travel on land? Can it climb trees? Can it swim or dive? When in flight, does it glide and soar, or flap its wings? What does it feed on? Where does it live?
All of these points should be abundantly clear in your design. I should be able to look at the dragon and make fairly accurate assumptions about its behavior based on its anatomy. I recommend you to sort out these design questions now, then do more research on various animals. Do some studies of these animals as well. Find static resources, as well as the animals in motion. Learn their proportions and capture their gesture. Study the major muscle groups, and how they can be believably stitched together to make a cohesive design. I can tell you from now, that if you decide to stick with 6 limbs, you'll have to solve the wing+front limb problem. For that I recommend studying how the pros do it and see what you like and what can be incorporated into your existing design.
I can confirm that I am planning to have a reptilian body, based on dinosaur and other relevant skeletons, which I tried to use as a basis for the profiles above and the dragon is supposed to spend it's time mostly in the air and on land when necessary.
I have looked at various animals to base my decisions on as well as existing skeleton/muscle constructions for these and existing dragon concepts from professional artists.
I apologize if this and my research has not been made clear in the designs. I've been instructed to explore all avenues before finalising a concept to avoid omitting any ideas, following Feng Zhu's pipeline of silhouettes->values->line->colour so that's partly why I have no detailed anatomy choices yet. Again, I apologise for this and hope to make these much more obvious in the final design.
I did try and reply to the post above this but my session timed out but in short I wanted to say that I will write a bio for the dragon to help steer my process. I have been instructed to explore all avenues before settling on any one idea and restricting myself so this is part of the reason why I have not done this already.
Also, I have redone the profiles of the dragon to better represent my anatomy and professional artist research, such as adding more arching and sweeping lines and basing the anatomy on a more renowned artist's interpretation of dragon anatomy.
These profiles are based on my four designs. However, I have experimented with further details and mixed the atypical designs around a bit to avoid the dragonfly like wings and follow the anatomy better.
Please let me know what features you like/dislike or think work/don't work.
As I am running out of time to finalise these designs, I have taken note of votes on silhouette and value designs and have also begun to experiment with colour schemes, if anyone would like to let me know which they like.
I also apologise at this point for adding them to different dragon designs, I just wanted to give people an idea of the patterns etc.
"Sorry but do you mean legs within the wings, like bats have? I have observed that in my reference images but made my legs separate like typical dragons, as you can see in the profile.
I could still experiment with limbs integrated into the wings for the next couple of profile views to add to their atypicality."
hiya, what i meant was in the top down views, they have no legs to walk on, just a head, body and what in humans are hands and in bats and birds are wings.
but as you say, its cos theyre tucked under.
liking the colours; why not look up some tropical butterflies theyre insanely various and beuatiful.
I didn't realise I hadn't updated this thread when I updated the same things on my deviantART page but I had to present my concept around that time so I must have rushed.
Sorry for the huge lapse in updates everyone.
I did another colour test based on those voted highest by users on this forum, deviantART and my peers at university.
I then took the votes, suggestions and my own personal preferences into account before creating a concept art sheet for the top and profile view.
This concept sheet is a little outdated now, as I have added teeth and improved anatomy details in the model but it provided some basis at least. I hope to clean up and update the concept before the final presentation of the project.
If anyone is interested in continuing to assist me with feedback on the 3d version of the dragon on my Polycount thread, I would be much obliged, as I've struggled to get feedback on there.
Here's the link -> http://www.polycount.com/forum/showthread.php?t=117330