View Full Version : HMC#10: Komodo Dragon - Stalking

07 July 2007, 07:10 AM
Hi all,
For this challenge I'd like to create a scene of a komodo dragon approaching its prey (a dieing animal or a dead carcass - haven't decided yet). I'll try to model the komodo to look something like the attached picture below.
BTW, I've never finished a whole scene before, ever. So, I am hoping that this challenge would motivate me enough to do one :)

Picture link:

07 July 2007, 10:33 AM
Just a small update. I am trying to get the rough overall shape of this awsome creature

07 July 2007, 03:40 PM
Hello people,
Just putting up some minor update. Below is the model after given more loop cuts, and with some rework done on its legs:

Next one shows what the model looks like after pushing around vertices for a while. The right side of its body had not been tampered much with. It is there for reference only, and will be removed and replaced with mirror image of its left side.

I hope some resemblance of a real komodo could be seen soon. Any crits and comments are welcome. Thanks

08 August 2007, 06:59 AM
The model have evolved to this:

08 August 2007, 03:17 PM
Made a new upper part of komodo's head from scratch. The previous model could not support the complex topology of a komodo's head. While this one may not look exactly like one yet, I think it has some possibilities. What do you think? Please give comments and suggestions, guys. Thanks.

08 August 2007, 10:20 PM
The new head is looking a lot better than the earlier one you used. Will you be using Zbrush etc to scuplt in the scales?

08 August 2007, 04:36 AM
Thank you Jason. I hope the similarity of the model to the real thing increases as I put more work into it. Yes, I intend to sculpt its details later. But am not sure whether my PC could handle millions of vertices at once, because it only has 1 GB RAM. In that case, I might resort to normal maps or just plain bump maps.

08 August 2007, 10:22 PM
I have 1.5gb Ram and I will be doing all my detail modelling and rendering in Zbrush. I think if you just use Zbrush to refine your base mesh and render in Zbrush you should be ok. I think it only hogs RAM when you start using displacement maps etc to bring the model back into MAX or Maya or whatever software you use. Good luck anyway !

08 August 2007, 02:52 AM
Hey vertexbum, I agree with octopus, this one is looking a lot better, would you mind posting a wire frame of the new head? What program are you modeling in?

08 August 2007, 06:54 PM
Thanks for the encouragement guys. I model in blender 2.44, since thats what I'm comfortable and most familiar with. I only mess around with ZBrush 3 a few times before, and might most likely use it for this gig, as Octopus suggested. Thank you for sharing your H/W spec. You convinced me to try it.
But I'm still chugging along as it is. Sculpting seems so distant. :(
What do you suggest to speed-up the modelling process? Should I recreate major folds/creases in the model, or better to include those as detailing process in ZBrush?

Here's at its current progress:

08 August 2007, 10:17 PM
If you are going to do the final render in Zbrush i'd leave all the fold and creases to in Zbrush as you'd have more control over them than by moving verts around, etc. But if you are going to do the final render in Blender then maybe you might have to try and model some of the major creases and folds. So that any displacement maps won't use tons of memory, i'm not really sure about this anyway as i'm still learning Zbrush myself. Maybe you could post a question in the Zbrush section of Cgtalk about using Blender and Zbrush together. Good luck and looking really great:thumbsup:

08 August 2007, 09:38 AM
Id suggest, the same as octopus. Render in zbrush. 1gig isnt enough to be able to either export out the hi-rez or the low rez with a disp map. Also make sure you get the uvs absolutly perfect, I made a kommodo using mudbox, and the uvs were alittle off, it really put a holt on my model. You can check it out on my portfolio.
Great work btw.

08 August 2007, 04:54 PM
Octopus7 and Airflow: Thanks for your suggestions and insights.

Did some modelling and sculpting tests in ZBrush, and they showed that 1GB could handle 1 million polys with almost no performance loss. I'm positively considering to render the final image in ZBrush. In the mean time, my nose is still deep in ZBrush 3 Practical Manual (, trying to learn as much and as fast as I can about it :-)
I'll look/ask around in ZBrush forum, if I got stuck.

Airflow: Too bad that I couldn't find your komodo in your CGPortfolio or your website. I would really love to see it for inspiration. BTW, I like your Jango Fett scene, especially the fire effect.

08 August 2007, 04:55 PM
Double post. Deleted.

08 August 2007, 05:45 PM
Sorry about that.
I aint got any finished versions to hand, was on my laptop which is busted atm.
You might want to slide the nostrils from the fron round to the side too., and dont try to do too much modeling if your bringing it into zbrush, you want to keep it relativly low poly.

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08 August 2007, 05:45 PM
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