View Full Version : Flexible and ridged skin

08 August 2002, 02:58 AM

Im trying to work out the best way to create a dragon skin that is made up of ridged scales that are connected to each other by a flexible skin. When the dragon is animated I only want the skin to stretch not the scales.

What's the best way to set this up?
Is there a way to use a texture map to define the flexible regions?

Im interested in finding out how it would be done in Max, Maya, XSI and LightWave.


08 August 2002, 03:34 AM
Hummm more New Zealanders...we're getting a strong presence here now:thumbsup:

This is an interesting question...Not being an rigger I dont know about the capabilities of defineing rigid and soft body deformations but it sounds like somthing that could weild alot of power.

There was agood article I read somewhere on the production of the dragon in "Reign of fire". I cant remember which article it was, but here are three for you to look through.

good luck with this, Im interested to see what you find out.

08 August 2002, 03:39 AM
Also do a search for "Reign of fire" through these and other forums. Has been a popular topic recently.

08 August 2002, 11:13 PM
Quote from Richard Hoover visual effects supervisor at The Secret Lab
VFXPro article VFX Supervisor Richard Hoover on "Reign of Fire"
Aug 15, 2002
"What kind of software did you use to develop the bone and muscle structures?
Our base software was Maya, but the bones, skin and muscle systems are a hybrid of several generations of proprietary work. Development on those systems began with Disney's work on "Dinosaur," and the software was further developed and tricked out on "102 Dalmations." We worked out all of the bugs on "Reign of Fire."
For the surface, we used the hair renderer that was used in "102 Dalmations" and modified it to grow scales instead of hair. So the surface is covered with scales that are grown in patches and have all of the properties of rendered hair. They are self-shadowing, they have collision detection, they are aware of each other so they can slide over each other and so on. Our purpose was to make a surface as realistic as it could be. The skin in between the scales stretches rather than the scales themselves stretching, and if they get pulled apart too far, you actually see the raw skin tissue in between. We felt this was a more realistic approach than what has traditionally been a reptilian rubber suit that stretches with the muscles."

08 August 2002, 11:16 PM
Oh and nice to see another from this end of the globe as well.

08 August 2002, 11:17 PM

08 August 2002, 11:19 PM
Hey Chris:beer:

08 August 2002, 11:25 PM
Hey Lord :D Cool! This thread is all Kiwi! :thumbsup:

08 August 2002, 11:27 PM
I was thinking that myself. How's the weather where you are? Clearing here but still bloody cold!

08 August 2002, 11:29 PM
Bloodly hell you two...Im gonna have to unsubscribe to this thread just to get some guys firing out posts at 10 per minute:p


08 August 2002, 11:30 PM
isn't it always cold down there? ;) Actually, its cold as buggery here too... & a bit windy... & raining... - Ahh, I love Wellington!!! :D

hmm, we do seem to be hijacking this thread a bit :hmm: :D

08 August 2002, 11:38 PM
awww comon...I didnt mean to scare everyone away:surprised

08 August 2002, 11:40 PM
Lol, its yer big ugly mug - lord's probably dropped dead on the spot!

Is lord your business partner? Hows the new digs going?

@firedance, sorry about all this offtopicness, I'm thinking very hard about the scale problem! :)

08 August 2002, 11:44 PM
Lol, its yer big ugly mug - lord's probably dropped dead on the spot!

:p :p :p

Cheers man.

Yep thats who Lord is....Also makes great coffee too :surprised

New place is great...Finally away from the bussel of the drunken masses right in the centre of town. Peace an quite...sometimes.

Office is small but only tempory as the our main one is getting built next month sometime .

Alls well at your end of town.?:thumbsup:

08 August 2002, 11:55 PM

Its not too bad up here at the moment, theres not much freelance work on (the film works all on hold a bit - I think the producers are desparately looking for someone to sell out to so they can get some cash to finish), but my 'regular' graphic design job is picking up the slack. Theres a guy up here who is putting together a short animation festival:

So I thought I'd help out with the administration of that if he needs it. I'm just playing around with a few logo ideas now... You guys should put together a funny short & come up for it!

ooo, Lunch! :beer:

08 August 2002, 12:00 AM
nice one...Okay ive posted over there now too. Oh look almost at 300 posts...I shall stop spamming here and do it elsewhere now :)

Cheers Chris

08 August 2002, 06:59 AM

Cheers for the info lOrd.

It would be great if there was some place where NZ'ders could get together and share ideas.... I don't know NZ based 3D groups.

And cold weather is all good... the snow is pumping!


08 August 2002, 07:18 AM
There is something coming;)

Be patient and keep in touch.

09 September 2002, 06:56 PM
A little late in the reply, I know. Plus I guess I'm from the wrong end of the earth. -ha

Maya has a capability to paint weighting groups. You could make scales more inflexible while keeping the skin supple. ooooh! aaaah!

09 September 2002, 07:50 PM
if you had access to Joe Alters Shave & Haircut i suspect you could probably make some scales and have them on the object as "hairs" that way you could have scales that don't stretch, but move with the object. This is of course currently only for lightwave and C4d though i believe there's a maya version coming out.

for maya you could use paintfx to paint the scales on as 3d objects. if you make the object live then you can draw onto it and the history should keep the scales to the object.

it may be possible using an emitter of some sort too and the scales as particles without 100%inherited movement...

and of course there's the long way around of modelling the whole thing and weighting the skin between the scales (this works in lightwave too as well as maya)

just a couple of thoughts, might work, might not

CGTalk Moderation
01 January 2006, 04:00 PM
This thread has been automatically closed as it remained inactive for 12 months. If you wish to continue the discussion, please create a new thread in the appropriate forum.