View Full Version : Dragons

Major Bootay
12 December 2003, 02:07 PM
As i'm kinda new to this site hope this is the right area, anyway simple question - I really need a dragon modelling tutorial if anyone knows of one, even a basic one that can be built upon? would be very useful!
Generally using max and box poly modelling for current project, but the tut would not need to be program specific. Any info would be greatly apreciated. (no wing tutorials needed! hehe)


Chris Cannon
UK Animation Student.

12 December 2003, 07:37 PM
Well Chris, I am finishing up the texturing to my dragon now and I'll see if I could put something quick with screen shots at different stages together. I use Lightwave but, that shouldn't make to much of a difference. I have dabbled in Max before and my method in Lightwave can be applied to Max as well.

As a brief:
The head mainly envolved laying out the polys from a side view to achieve a paticular poly flow that was essential to coinside with the drawing concept. This could have possibly done with a primitive - box modeling technique. I just felt like this other method was more direct.
The rest of the body was created primarily from a cylinder. I made sure that it wasn't subdived too much to begin with. then the process of manually making poly divisions with the knife and bandsaw tool (very cool tool in lightwave that subdivides a polygonal row with however many divisions you want and exactly where you want them respective to the width of the two polys that you selected. I'm sure Max has something like that. If it does, you more than likely know the power of such a tool.
The other aspect of modeling my dragon was lots edge looping. A process in lightwave called spinning quads allows you to change the flow of the model to help create smoother tranisitions and form muscles and other forms of detail. This is extremely beneficial and time saving, especially for box modeling.

I hope this helps at all for now.

Major Bootay
12 December 2003, 07:52 PM
Just wanna say thank you Ramon, any help is appreciated, even just a glimpse at the wireframe would be useful in helping to translate my designs into 3d. Your method sounds quite useful and i think i could quite easily adapt it to suit. If you've got a website with a couple of pics, or if u post pics on CGtalk could you let me know!

Thanks again :)


12 December 2003, 10:10 PM
No problem Chris! I'm glad that it was somewhat useful. I will post some wireframes for you but, lately I have been busy with the Christmas shopping for the family and friends. I'll try to post it soon.

12 December 2003, 04:59 AM
I'm building a supra model right now and while not a dragon you can still use the same method I'm using. I'm not sure but this may be what Ramon was talking about with lightwave. I started with a rectangle and converted it into a editable mesh. Then I went into the side view and set the selction to edges. From there I shift draged out the faces and positioned them according to the side view, going to vertex mode as needed. When I was done I went to the front view and tweaked the vertexes so that they also corosponded to the front view. Then I pulled more faces out via the shift drag of the edges to create the actual front end.

I continued in this mannor until I got to where I am now. I'm not done yet, but I've got a bunch of images that show my progress. Maybe you will be able to get a better idea of what I have tried to say by looking at the images.

This method works on the same basic principle as the box method except you make edges and verticies as needed instead of a whole bunch ahead of time. It has the added bonus of giving a very clean mesh without much clean up beyond going back and tweaking things to make it look better.

I hope this helps.

12 December 2003, 07:08 AM
Ok Chris here is something I put together Lightwave with the obvious assistance of photoshop:
It is an early version of my dragon however, not early enough to show you the head polys in their "base" flattened state. Yet through this illustration, it will give you the idea. I hope.

Chris, if you have any questions just ask. I know my quick photoshop illo might not be too easy to read (now that I see it again). When I refered to the side view, I meant the side view down at the bottom left. It might seem that I saw refering to the perspective view at the top. Esentially, I modeled the head out flat from that bottom left view pane then when I was happy with the flow, I pulled out the points to form the shape. For this I used manual point manipulation and moving poly groups with the magnet tool (it moves polys within a user defined spherical influence. At this stage of the game, I didn't have too many polys, which is important for creating the final shape from the flat polys to begin with. The less polys, the less pain in the rear to manipulate them. Just use enough to describe your shape and establish your flow. After you shape it, you can add details by splitting polys and beveling/smooth shifting.

Nighthawk: You're in Savannah? How about that. I'm in Atlanta. Are you going to the college there? I heard it was pretty good for CG.

12 December 2003, 07:11 AM
Dang it! That last image "link" was supposed to show up here.

12 December 2003, 07:13 AM
Hmmm. Forgive me if this doesn't work... I'm trying it one last time.


Major Bootay
12 December 2003, 11:42 AM
Thanks again to both, should be able to sort it out and use the technique to translate my designs into 3d. Once i have a rough model i'll post it up. get all the criticism!



12 December 2003, 08:59 PM
@Major Bootay

I look forward to seeing your model. The shift drag method is as close to actualy drawing it as I've found to date. However it has the added bonus of getting the undo redo features only available in the digital realm. Also don't ever be afraid to deviate from the plans just a bit to get the model to look better. Sometimes the transition to 3D from 2D takes a little adjusting to keep the feel of the design. You'll Also want to be able to compensate from plans where the front view is out of whack compared to the side view. Good luck and post what you've got when your ready to show it off.


Yes I am a 4th year student at Savannah College of Art & Design. Until my second year I had never touched a 3D modeling package. So while I'm not the best in that aspect, yet, I am making a point of studying the wire frame views of all the models here and techniques people use. I'm getting better and I think it really shows in my model I'm working on now. I've done some low poly models, but now I want to try my hand at a nice high detail model for real time use. The model I gave the link for is actually the high resolution version of the model for my next DirectX project. I plan on using it to create normal maps for a slightly lower poly count version of it, to keep the detail up without killing the fps.

mr Bob
12 December 2003, 01:45 PM
this is a good thread its funny but im modelling a dragon for a commercial sting right now , and im know character modeller heheh , but its going well and theres lots of info /pictures on the web.
why you need a specific tut bothers me , poly sub d modelling is the same what ever you do , the same principles used for modelling a human are used except the final shape is different a dragon still has 2 arms 2 legs etc , break your model into pieces , and get drawing a side and front view ! i went here

and from all the pics ive got something ruffed out in no time !

hope this helps B

12 December 2003, 01:57 PM

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