Sintel, the Durian Open Movie Project » Blog Archive » Modeling Dragons & Production Schedule


Modeling Dragons & Production Schedule

on December 8th, 2009, by angela

In order to feed the pipeline as efficiently as possible in our limited time, we worked out this schedule of 3 modeling stages…

1st Stage =Β  5 days: Model with focus on form/proportions. Lock proportions. Pass to Nathan for rigging.

2nd Stage = 5 days: Model further detailing, topology refinement for better deformation with retopo, final inside mouth/teeth, etc.

3rd Stage = 5 days: Sculpt finer details/surface.

I started with the Dragon Baby 2 weeks ago, followed by the Dragon Adult last week. 1st stages of both are now completed. Today I start on the Shaman!


Dragon Baby, stage 1 model & progression


Dragon Adult, stage 1 model



Dragon Adult, stage 1 model, revised

– Angela

80 Responses to “Modeling Dragons & Production Schedule”

  1. tyrant monkey Says:

    psst myway880 want to let me let you in on a little secret. Its good I promise. Well here it is, ‘its a movie the are making’ not a national geographic special.

    Movies take liberties with science all the time. Like ever notice in sci-fi movies there is always sound in space and gravity seems to magically work all the time.

    Dragons never exisited so you are free to make it up as you go along. That’s the whole point of fantasy really to imagine a world or time where the rules of this one don’t quiet apply.

  2. Guybrush Threepwood Says:

    We should write a standardization about dragons.
    How about ISO 90747: Non-mechanical flying objects.
    Ton, you could spend some time in BrΓΌssel. I mean you are used to do the whole administrative work…

  3. angela Says:

    Thanks for everyone’s constructive feedback. We appreciate it! I’ve added an updated pic of the Dragon Adult to the images πŸ™‚

    @ BonE: .blends will be given out at 2nd stage.

    @ necro: overall topology, including wing-bones, still needs a bit more work for better deformations. Will be improved at 2nd stage.

    @ MeshWeaver: yes, all 2.5 here, and all’s well πŸ™‚

    @ kike sanz: the giant snail is no more πŸ™

  4. MeshWeaver Says:

    cool, 2.5 πŸ˜€ there any chance we can get the builds you use? πŸ˜‰ no, just kidding πŸ˜€

    the dragons are awesome! πŸ˜€ I see several people say that it’s not a “classic” western dragon (or something), but I find it fine πŸ˜€ not all dragons are the same in stories – one story that comes to mind is Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: there are four different dragons from different regions of the world, and they’re all a bit different (or very different)

    well, they’re really awesome πŸ˜€ GO DURIAN! :-DDD

  5. Elubie Says:

    Angela, thanks for the update! In the comparison, the sizes and proportions work well for me. Also my previous remarks about the proportions and the jaw seem less of a concern now having seen the dragon from other angles.

    In other words – epic!

    I’m really looking forward to seeing the final rigged model in motion. As for hunting, I’d imagine the dragon either grabbing the prey with the back ‘feet’ and lifting it off to carry to a safe place or just grabbing the prey in the mouth. Landing would probably also be on the back legs as well as flying off by running with all or most weight on the back legs.

  6. D Says:

    The wings are huge now! πŸ˜€ And the tail, too! Congratuations! Now, for the missing fifth digit. πŸ˜›

  7. D Says:

    Or maybe the pinkie migrated to the elbow during fetal development? Is that even possible?

  8. D Says:

    Well, forget it; evolution can do whatever the hell it likes! πŸ˜›

  9. yoff Says:

    So its a wyvern rather than a wyrm, who cares? I am sure the script was not intended so literally…
    The anatomy is essentially that of a bat, so obviously it works.
    I did like the strange angle of the digit closest to the body in the concept. It gave it a unique look and should make for an interesting elongated wing profile.
    But I guess it could be problematic in practice, is that why you changed it?

    Beautiful modeling, Angela…

  10. Simon Says:

    The body of the model looks fantastic, especially the latest version (proponents of six-limbed dragons notwithstanding), but I still think there’s something tamer, less predatory, about the eyes and “beak” than in David’s drawings. I would especially concentrate on the eyes – as mentioned above still a bit too big and IMO not raked enough to make it look like a full adult.

  11. kernel_script Says:

    Great improvement with the Dragon, looks awesome!
    The Giant Snail is no more?? Nooooooooooooooo!! πŸ™
    For what reason? Would be so cool : /

  12. Jendrzych Says:

    D said: “Or maybe the pinkie migrated to the elbow during fetal development? Is that even possible?”

    I also don’t like the little finger growing out of the elbow. It makes the skeleton’s structure naive.

  13. kaeru Says:

    Wow great update on the adult dragon :clapclap: , seems much more massive !
    /me eagerly waitin’ to see him once he has been sculpted !

    Peace :-).

  14. Jordan Says:

    Sweet can I have a copy or hatching scene please when your finished I LOVE DRAGONS,NO JOKE!Also a taking off and landing scene with a roar with sound please ,PLEASE I LOVE DRAGONS SO MUCH IM OBSESSED WITH THEM!

  15. tyrant monkey Says:

    the adult dragon, who I suppose is the mommy dragon looks awesome with the new edits though I think she could use some spikes etc to really polish it off. Perharps you should take a look at the Hungarian Horntail from the Harry Potter movie – “The Goblet of Fire” or perharps the ones from Reign of fire when it comes to the sculpting stage those are some super spikey dragons.

  16. Rudiger Says:

    I really love David’s dragon concept art, as it’s quite unique compared to dragon designs we’re used to, but it’s still obvious it’s a dragon. I can see a lot of dinosaur influence in it, almost like a cross between a Pterodactyl and a Triceratops. It’s also incredible how faithful your models were to the concept drawings. I wonder whether we’ll get these early versions of the model on the DVD, or just the final ones used in the movie.

    It’s also hard to judge how long the dragon should be when it is in this hunched up position, presumably for walking on land. Actually, I kind of like how awkward it’ll look when shuffling along, as it’s true place is in the air. I’m sure it’ll look very different when it’s stretched out and flying.

    Also, congratulations on listening to people’s critiques. For me, this is what an OpenMovie is all about!

  17. JustinBarrett Says:

    I would love to download this model and play with it….or at least the concept art.

  18. alalo Says:

    Love the update! πŸ™‚ Shame there is no more snail. I was looking forward to it. Oh well.. I guess I can imagine why it was removed, though. I searched the net a bit and did not come up with any similar concept. I guess I shall steal “borrow” the idea and play with it πŸ˜€


  19. alalo Says:

    oh.. ^^ that “steal” word just popped before borrow o_O

  20. Gu4r@ Says:

    UPDATE! now he can fly!


  21. Rudiger Says:

    You guys have to put a giant snail somewhere in the background in one of the shots as an in-joke! I’m sure someone in the Blender community would be willing to model it if it was assured to appear in the background somewhere.

  22. Yann Says:

    Is it me, or the baby has only one finger, and the adult 2? Maybe it’s just the camera, but it seems a bit awkward πŸ™‚

  23. Jakub "Kubeczek77" BatΓ³g Says:

    I think it should have a lot longer neck. Then it would look more like dragon. Next thing is that dragon should have some thorns(pricks- I don’t know which word is ok :p sry) on back.

  24. Francisco Ortiz Says:

    I like It! It looks like a triceratops, my favorite dinosaur!

    It’s impossible to prove that one scarab can fly by talking about Its form, but It does. πŸ™‚

  25. SeanJM Says:

    I love you David, don’t get me wrong–but this dragon doesn’t scare me. So since this is a community driven project, I thought I’d throw in a concept.

    This dragon is scary. And looks like it breathes fire.

    This is a partial concept with no wings.

  26. D.C. Says:

    It looks too much like a cute little bat.
    Pretty much, not so impressive.
    I mean, come on! You can do better!

  27. SeanJM Says:

    D.C. What do you think of mine? POst above you.

  28. kopi Says:

    Angela, you are so awesome!

  29. phil Says:

    longer nose, more teeth!!!

  30. Chaz Says:

    Your modeling skill is excellent. So Please take this as constructive criticism Your dragon definitely needs longer neck, stronger body more muscles. Good reference is dragon in Big Game Hunting-Monster Hunter Tri. This dragon or creature looks like it can do some serious damage. Your dragon looks batlike and kind of cute and wimpy.