The Character-A-Fortnight Event : CAFÉ 004

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  05 May 2007
Arrow The Character-A-Fortnight Event : CAFÉ 004

CAFÉ 004


"...The number of dinosaurs that have ever lived is estimated at 900-1200 genera. The fossil record of dinosaurs is presently about 25% complete..." P Dodson, National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 1990.

Ever wondered what could have walked the earth? Well now is the chance to let your pencil or polygon modeling package ponder that very thought. The brief is simple - Invent your own dinosaur!

Quote from an abstract on google scholar, located at >>>


Manifesto: The anatomy forum CAFÉ - a place to meet, share your concepts, ideas and work for the set brief, and then discuss them with like minded individuals (Bring your own coffee though...)

The purpose of this ongoing workshop series is to develop original character artwork in both 2D and 3D. A theme or brief will be given at the inception point of the workshop, and the project will be executed by the participants during a 2 week period. To have your own idea from the set brief, develop it in 2 dimensions and then execute it in 3 dimensions is very challenging, (especially within the time period,) and helps the artist to understand form “in the round.”

If you are thinking of taking your ideas into 3 dimensions, please decide on a suitable polygon budget (for games/TV/film or as much as your computer can handle!) If you are unsure, please enquire on the workshop and others will try and help. The workshop is application independent, and so anyone can try it. For those of you who would like to try 3d but do not have a package, blender ( ) is a very high standard open source 3d application that is free to download and use. However, this will take time to learn.

Duration of projects: 2 Weeks.

Breakdown: (guidelines only – depends on the complexity of the idea and model.)

Concept development and realization - 1 week.*

Model development and texture art - 1 week.*

* You can split up your time however you wish - to reflect the area that you want to work in the most, for example.

The above guidelines are intensive and will require a lot of work. Please look at the amount of time you have available for each project before trying to take on too much. Quality artwork and developing your creative problem solving skills are key here, along with learning how others handled the same brief in conceptual and technical terms.


These are guidelines only. You can do all the sections or just choose the areas you feel most comfortable with. If you wish to use another persons concept art for a model, then please seek permission to do so from the user. If you just want to create the concept art and don’t mind others using your art work for a fully realized character, please state so in your post. If you are having trouble with an area, please shout up and others will try to help out as best they can.

WIP is encouraged, and please help others by providing your thoughts on their solutions in a positive manner. Discouragement of others will not help anyone as we are all here to get better, and people bring different skills to the table.

1. Concept art >>>
  • Ideas
  • Final presentation art (full body character pose, head and image plane orthographics.)
2. Model >>> (high poly cinematic or lower poly real time games character)
  • Base model (untextured)
  • Final model (with textures)
Learning outcomes:
  • How to develop ideas and a final character from a written brief.
  • Creative problem solving.
  • How to demonstrate your ideas to others.
  • Taking 2d artwork in to 3d artwork.
  • Texture art.
  • Visual communication skills.

1. Work created here MUST be ORIGINAL TO THE CREATOR and for the purpose of serious study of character art and design. Those who post silly or off topic work will have their posts deleted immediately and will no longer be allowed to post on this thread. Rebecca Kimmel reserves the right to determine which pieces are considered to be in poor taste and / or disrespectful in the workshop.

2. This Workshop will run in 2 WEEK slots.

3. There is NO LIMIT to the NUMBER of posts an artist may make. However, we ask that you post only work which you feel best represents your ideas and important design points you feel others should know about during your character development, even if it is considered unfinished.

4. Artists who post comments and critiques of other artists' work on this thread must be RESPECTFUL, POLITE, and offer CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM. Flaming will be NOT be tolerated, and constitutes dismissal from this and other threads.

5. Mike/default.rol and Rebecca Kimmel will be offering the occasional comments / critique ~ however, the main focus of the Workshop should be on Group Critique and interaction.

6. ANY MEDIUM or STYLE may be used: Traditional or Digital Drawing or Painting, Sculpture, or 3D Model / Render for the initial stages. Development beyond the initial character idea (stage 2) should be done in a 3D application of your choice.

7. Please limit the SIZE of your POSTS to 800 pixels WIDTH x Appropriate pixel LENGTH. No huge posts, please! (you are welcome to offer remote links to high resolution versions of your art work along side images that are of an appropriate size, if you so wish.)

8. Have fun, enjoy, and create great art!
Keep track of the CAFÉ here
CAFÉ 007 - Conjoined twins, now open.

Last edited by default-rol : 05 May 2007 at 01:22 PM.
  05 May 2007

For those of you slightly confused by the terminology, a fortnight is 14 nights in duration. Here is a definition of it from Wikipedia.

A fortnight is a unit of time equal to two weeks: that is 14 days, or literally 14 nights. The term is common in the British Isles and many Commonwealth countries, but rarely used in the United States. It derives from the Old English feowertiene niht, meaning "fourteen nights".

*Reserved for useful links*

SpaceTik reference link:
One that I (default.rol) found:
Keep track of the CAFÉ here
CAFÉ 007 - Conjoined twins, now open.

Last edited by default-rol : 05 May 2007 at 01:33 PM.
  05 May 2007
I won't have the time to enter this one. Too much work
Anyways, have fun everyone.
"If only you could see what I've seen with your eyes..."
  05 May 2007
Wow! This sounds like it has tons of potential.
Does it matter what period this creature comes from? For example, would something like a feathered dinosaur be acceptable?
  05 May 2007
hmm, makes me think of a dino-toy:

Anatomy Thread of Rist


Last edited by Rist : 05 May 2007 at 12:34 PM.
  05 May 2007
Thumbs up

Hey all,

I've just got back from the Natural History Museum, taking photos of dinosaur skeletons and the like in an attempt to get some inspiration. I'm posting my best images up here incase they are of any use to anyone for ideas:

Keep track of the CAFÉ here
CAFÉ 007 - Conjoined twins, now open.

Last edited by default-rol : 05 May 2007 at 04:58 PM.
  05 May 2007

More of the images:

I'll post the rest up after food and answer questions then.

Keep track of the CAFÉ here
CAFÉ 007 - Conjoined twins, now open.

Last edited by default-rol : 05 May 2007 at 04:36 PM.
  05 May 2007

A few more...

Keep track of the CAFÉ here
CAFÉ 007 - Conjoined twins, now open.
  05 May 2007
Im gonna give this one a shot. My Concet is Gorilladon a prehistoric amphibious primate like creature. i dont have a concept sketch yet but here is some reference images.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg gorilladonreference.jpg (88.1 KB, 41 views)
  05 May 2007
"Gorilladon a prehistoric amphibious primate" wow! looking forward to that one...
great pics once again default! and thanx mate!

heres some work in progress.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Ratty02.jpg (54.8 KB, 62 views)
  05 May 2007
found a good reference link
  05 May 2007
Very quiet at work today!

more update... getting quite attached to these critters.. hehe
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Deano_rat3.jpg (49.3 KB, 76 views)
  05 May 2007
Thumbs up

Morning all,

@ GlenGramling >>> Hello and Welcome! sounds like a great idea you've got going there - looking forward to seeing it develop.

@ SpaceTik >>> That little critter is great! LOL. Cheers for that reference link btw, I've added it to the front.

I'm desperate to get back home now and start doing this project myself. Only a few hours to go...

Cheers all, keep it coming.


I've been trying to get SSS working in Maya's Mental Ray all night after following Mr. Alvarez's Gnomon tutorial on fast_SSS. (I'm hoping to get decent dino skin going by the end of next week.)

Here is what I've got after setting up the fast_SSS shader as he shows:

And this is what he's got:

Basically, it seems to me that I'm missing the "mentalrayTexture" node. Does anyone know where I can get it from? Does anyone have any other advice as to what I might be doing wrong?

Keep track of the CAFÉ here
CAFÉ 007 - Conjoined twins, now open.

Last edited by default-rol : 05 May 2007 at 09:54 PM.
  05 May 2007
MAY 19 2007

Hey...if anybody is interested, I found an easy way to make great CRYSTALS using Z BRUSH...The steps for getting crystals are on the next to last page in my anatomy / sketchbook thread, page #84...The link to my anatomy / sketchbook thread is listed below the last picture posted here.

My start of the Café Fortnight concept
Theme is... As of yet undiscovered creatures from the EARTHS PAST
My method of approach to concept POETRY INTO VISUAL FORM
My poem for this concept



Glenn Gallegos

Last edited by SpiritDreamer : 05 May 2007 at 04:17 PM.
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