Previous image.Next image.

Gradient banner.

Dragon.

Dragon.

Created with TrueSpace.
With the knight character model above complete, the next important figure to be made for my first 3D movie project was the dragon. Here he is, above, and I find that I have mixed opinions on his creation.

First, I am delighted with him, I think he looks really fantastic and the flexibility of the character model is superb. A long flexing neck, contracting and flapping wings and a long flexing tail. The character model is superb and I'm really pleased with it.

However, I am also slightly disappointed with him.
Why?
All my rigging techniques are built around hinge joints in TrueSpace. Because of this, all body parts that I want to move, need to be modelled as seperate objects. In the case of the dragon above, that's quite an extensive list...
Eye x2
Eyelid x4
Jaw x1
Neck pieces x6
Leg x4
Feet x4
Wing segments x8
Tail pieces x10

Of this list above, the pieces I have issues with are the neck, wings and tail. Because I want these items to move, each segment needs to be modelled as a seperate piece and as a result, they don't look as good as they would if I could model them as a single object. The only problem is, for a single object neck, wings and tail to work, they would need to rigged with bones, not hinges. I can work with bones, but bones and hinges do not work together (at least not in TrueSpace 5.1). You rig your models with bones or hinges, not both! This is the key deciding factor when it comes to modelling a character model with a face. Bones do not work for facial animation, it is a rigging nightmare!! Hinges work fine so when facing the decission of a more realistic looking model or an animatable facial model, I'm more inclined to go with the facial animation model. It's a minor inconvenience but the model still works and looks great!