Sintel, the Durian Open Movie Project » Blog Archive » Concept-art : Dragons


Concept-art : Dragons

on June 16th, 2010, by Deevad


As I promised last week I’m back with new digital painting and drawing done during the concept-art period. This week : Dragons ! Here you ‘ll find a mix of studies (  al.chemy , mypaint, gimp-painter or … watercolor ) … And as you suggested me last post ( in comments ), I created them in a friendly resolution and size for using them as wallpaper. More soon !

– David

49 Responses to “Concept-art : Dragons”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    First picture is SO CUTE! ^__^

  2. wo262 Says:

    so final dragon have hair :)

  3. iCandy Says:

    the expressions of the baby dragon in picture 3 are fantastic xD

  4. iCandy Says:

    oh and thanks for uploading them in such a high resolution ^^

  5. Deevad Says:

    @Anonymous: Thanks!

    @wo262 : The final dragon in the movie don’t have hair, some of those concept-art are olds and not used for the movie. But during long time in the pre-production I designed them with hair, as you can see on most of those pictures. Mainly to try to be original in this ‘ yet another original dragon design’ concept-art games. The final for the movie never had a fancy 2D digital-painting concept art, but only a model-sheet ( 2nd row / 2nd column ) and paint-overs.

    @iCandy : Thanks !

  6. acro Says:

    the alchemy studies are brilliant – I’m surprised at how much variance comes through just from the ideas from animal head-body proportions. I really like the bull one with the low head, and the horse, long-necked one. Thanks so much for sharing!

  7. Skofo Says:

    That’s awesome! I’d love to see what would have come out of the style in the first pic, but it is better that you guys went for something more mature to contrast Big Buck Bunny.

  8. julius666 Says:

    the first one is superb! The others too, but the first one is definitely the best.

  9. Codexus Says:

    Trop bien! J’aime particulièrement la page en noir blanc avec les différentes proportions. :)

  10. dd Says:

    i like dragon hair

  11. rogper Says:

    My favourite is without doubt the Flame hair, Lava walker one on the 8th image. The very first one could easily be included on the Dragon Ball Series and I like it allot also :) Great work on all of them!

  12. JGL Says:


    Excellent concept art !!

    I see you had many concept ideas for Sintel AND the dragons 😉

    Will the concepts that were not used eventually also be released
    under a CC license ? I’d love to blend something from the fire-haired
    balrog-like dragon ..

    Can’t wait to see the final movie !!

    Cheers !

  13. John Fraser Says:

    Haha! Oh, man, if you didn’t choose the current concept for project durian, that first picture would be my next choice–terrific-looking.

  14. abhifx Says:

    brilliant as always. i was never a 2D fan and never indulged in it. thanks to you i am trying them big time. the dragon with hair takes the cake for me. but the final dragon in the movie is unique and very awesome indeed.

    P.S. the girl (assuming sintel) looks so cute :)

  15. Cardin Says:

    I like the first picture! It would have fit Sintel’s image well, since she’s basically looking for her pet dragon, which is certain levels of cute and touching.

    The current Sintel is:
    Too anorexic
    Too sharp face features

    She looks so skinny and weak, yet she can defend herself so well, a very weird combination. I would rather she have some more muscle on her, heck, she can turn into a Hulk and it’ll be a nicer movie. She’s just too anorexic right now…

  16. Malcolm Zaloon Says:

    David… wow!

  17. Malcolm Zaloon Says:

    it will be wallpaper for my nexus one…
    thanks man.

  18. alalo Says:

    Really awesome stuff, David. Thank you for sharing these and for opening my eyes for alchemy. That is certainly one creativity boost.

    Now I can not avoid wondering if there ever were a plan to show Sintel as a child with her pet. :) And wow.. That first fat dragon is one big cute dinosaur 😀 heheheh

    These show that backstage is as fascinating as the spectacle.


  19. Jirms Says:

    Thank you David! I usually get my backgrounds off of apod (NASA website), but these are great!

  20. Joooo Says:

    It was the right decision to make sintel exactly how she looks now – Do you remember:
    at 5:00:
    (English translation) “So you see lots of animated porn made with it? That’s what people will do with it, right…”

  21. Franck Says:

    J’adore ces concepts-art. J’ai d’ailleurs l’avant dernière image en fond d’écran, elle avait déjà été publiée. J’aurais bien craquée pour celle de dessus, mais elle a malheureusement un défaut qui m’embête, c’est la taille de ses ailes : depuis qu’un commentateur a fait cette remarque sur ce blog, maintenant ça me choque effectivement de voir des ailes si petites.
    (Partial translation : I love this concept-arts but the wings of the burning dragon are too small)

  22. D Says:

    I can finally have that chibi Sintel concept at last! 😀 Thanks, David. So many great ideas there.

    @JGL, the concept artwork are already CC (check the fineprint near the borders).

  23. Ugly Anchorwoman Says:

    The dragons looks fake. Not like reals dragons at all. I have pet dragon. He eats the everythings! Not true?

  24. Shinobi Says:

    Oh no!!! You should had choosen the fire haired one for the final model! 😉
    It’s astonishing and really original!

    Thank you David, very beautiful concept.

  25. Blendiac Says:

    I’m especially loving the blue, sintel+dragon image that’s third from the end after seeing the “final” render of this scene in Ton’s last post (with the dragon and blue crystals in the cave). Great to see the progression from concept to final 3d!

  26. Deevad Says:

    @acro: Thanks , yep for the animal ; that was the key of this design. Thanks for the comment for the bull one, that was one of my favorite too but too much incompatible with the fly scene. The team choosed with me the ‘bat’ shape ( the one with long arms ).

    @Skofo: About the first pict, ( the chibi Sintel ) this one made a big step in the concept art ; I drew it during a meeting with Colin and Esther, and I’m still happy with it and the relationship in this picture that was an inspirationnal picture for Esther during the script writing.
    At this moment of the drawing, the team wanted a scene of the Sintel childhood, it was removed with the next script versions.

    @julius666: Thanks !

    @Codexus: Merci ! Differents proportion are mainly made with playing with Iwarp ( filter>Deform>Iwarp with Gimp-painter ) and some painting.

    @dd : Me too about hair, but I must admit they have difficulties to look like lizard, and tend to have lion head.

    @rogper: The Dragon Ball series is a huge compliment to me :) Flame hair was a concept in relation of the emotion of dragons, when they turn angry or mad ; but we targeted to something more simple visually, and less complicated to show to the viewer… plus this kind of effect could really distract the viewer from the main story.

    @JGL : Yep they are all in CC-By license , normally each picture have the terms written on it :) Feel free to use those concept art to your project , I would be happy those dragons can have a 3D life too.
    And for the ‘balrog’ word ; you nailed it :) A big inspiration from the Balrog of tolkien, and the Ifrit of Final Fantasy series

    @John Fraser : Thanks :)

    @abhifx : That’s a huge compliment thanks a lot !

    @Cardin : Sintel is very skinny and weak, but that’s a part of the story, we couldn’t design her more fat without having trouble with some scene. ( I can’t be more explicit to keep few secrets of the story ) But I undertsand your POV, thanks for the first pict comment.

    @Malcolm Zaloon: Thanks !

    @alalo : I’m happy if you like Al.chemy, that’s a great piece of software. For the answer about the Sintel child in the final movie ; read the answer to Skofo. Thanks for your comment , more ‘backstage’ concept art soon.

    @Jirms: Thanks ! I’m happy to make concurrence to the Nasa this first time , they got awesome pict, I’m fan too.

    @Joooo : Thanks for the link, I remember to was a bit affraid about this and Sintel during the pre-production, true. I was less worried about the John the BBB , Frankie, Emo or Proog :) But Sintel …. She kinda became the daughter of the Blender Foundation , now. I would feel hurted sincerely to see animated porn with her design, even if the author can do it legally with the licence.

    @Franck ( Fr) : La taille des ailes est effectivement problématique. Je crois que le design a été crée à la base sans ailes, et que ces ailes un peu jouets ont été rajouté après. Mais c’est sur que vue la bête leur taille est ridicule 😉 sorry. Merci pour le commentaire.

    @Shinobi : Thanks to like the originality of the hairy dragon , Shinobi ! I will maybe re-use the idea in the future for one of my personnal project.

    @Blendiac: The blue one illustration got a bit of color chroma today to fit the palette of actual renders; the originals colors were blue too , but not that dark. ( a bit flashy colors ) So I kinda tricked the effect to have a match in consistency between the last renders and this concept-art about the cave. But I think it’s still fair ; if I don’t hide it :) Thanks for the comment !

  27. nawabz Says:

    fantastic. keep therm coming

  28. Falconblade Says:

    Gorgeous work! I’m an amateur concept artist myself – I hope someday I’ll be able to do stuff like this!
    Keep it up! =D

  29. jay Says:

    Looks like you had a lot of fun making these! The creative process in the beginning must have been quite a rush.

  30. Arco Says:

    And this is just more than awesome! 😀 Alchemy pictures: Amazing!

  31. J. Says:

    When I saw the first drawing, inmediately an image came up in my head of little cute Sintel stabbing such a big gatekeeper. 😀

    Nice drawings and good scanning!

    Maybe it’s an idea to show that particular drawing in the Powerpoint presentation at the premiere?
    ”Initially Sintel looked like this, but when I got nightmares of my little niece dangerously playing with a spear, I inmediately smacked this kind of morbid fantasy off the table” 😀 😀 😀

  32. Laura Lyle Says:

    Wonderful to see this work! Behind the scenes stuff is as interesting to me as the movies themselves, so I’ve been watching this site like some people watch the stock market.

    Very interesting to see the progression of the character designs.. the baby in particular.

    Thank you for posting!

    (wondering now when the first fan art will be seen XD )

  33. Reyn Says:

    Very very verrrrrrry cute, indeeeeeeeed! ^_^’

    Way to go! =)


  34. ralmon Says:

    Wow. Nice to see them. I’m practising my 2d skills myself and I find these inspiring.

  35. ogee Says:

    perfect. love it.

  36. Max Puliero Says:

    Well done :)

  37. Achim Luebbeke Says:

    Thank you for the pics. I always enjoy to see this stations of a winding road until the final design is reached!

  38. tmaes Says:


    Beautiful drawings David, I’ve always been jealous of your talent, and it’s not gonna stop… I think that your concept art will give a real plus to this BF movie (I also liked the other ones btw)

    Vive la suite!!!

  39. Roberto Says:

    The 2nd picture (Alchemy?) is really impressive! Great work!

  40. Bitetti Says:

    Oh! Very beautifull dragons!

  41. Magic_Man_3d Says:

    I’m in love with these drawings. The fire dragon would have been epic. The first one is definitely my favorite.

  42. belich Says:

    inspiring work!

  43. Blitz Says:

    Call these images “doodles” rather than design, please.

  44. Mrfixit1170 Says:

    Great work guy’s……I can’t wait to see the finished movie…..I really am getting into the whole blender thing and like the community that goes with it all.
    I saw the render farm video last night and was wondering where does all the completed clip get stored. I can see that the render farm takes the files and puts them all together in the farm but where does it output the finished pic? I am only asking because I am working on my own setup at home and would like to get information on how to structure the file storage. I don’t think that everything is spit out onto a external hard drive somewhere? I would think that the a NASbox or SAN would be set up but that is what I am leaning towards anyway….any suggestions?

  45. Shane Newville Says:

    these are beautiful

  46. kopi Says:

    Great stuff, bought the DVD!

  47. Spell Says:

    I’ve made an alternative colorization of the uni-tone one because the color didn’t fit into my desctop.

    Wide (orginal) format:

    Cropped to 1280×1024:

  48. Brian Fisher Says:

    This is some awesome concept art work you have. I have a question about the type of modeling program you used to for all the animation/modeling effects? I am currently studying 3d max at school for the game design and animation class. so I thought I would ask. Sincerely Brian Fisher

  49. Corthal Says:

    I am in school atm and trying to model a 3-d dragon although my drawing skills are probably sub par. I was wondering if you would be able to sketch me out a top, side and front view of a dragon. Nothing spectacular like I have seen but just something simple so I can model it. Dragons have always been my dream and I have read, sketched, watched anything with dragons in it. Although dragon wars did so much injustice to them. If you do send me a model sheet and like my model you are free to use it whenever. I just want to model a great a dragon and give them the respect they deserve. Thank you