The Making of the Art

All my palaeo-art is digital based, and will invariably involve 3 dimensional modelling in the program Carrara.

Any prehistoric creature you see in my work will go through the following steps. In pieces where I've built the overall environment all the plants, landscapes, and other elements were made like the example Dinosaur here too.

Step 1: Modelling

I first must build the creature or object. While this visualize isn't a completely accurate view of how I work on my models, it should give you an idea of conceptually what I'm working with.

Functionally I'm creating and working with 3 dimensional sculptors in the computer. So while I have the advantage of having a whole animal (or whatever I'm building) to work with, I also have build the whole animal. This adds time to the process, but has the added bonus once I've built something I can reuse it as many times as I'd like.

Phase 2: Pre-Shading
The next step is preparing the model for "textures", or in other words its final colourization. In this stage I have to prepare the model for any special lighting effect I might want to apply like reflection, highlights, or gloss.

Phase 3: Shading

This is often the most time consuming portion of a build. Getting the colouration, pattern, and texture of the animal's various parts just right.

Phase 4: Lighting

Another vital step is lighting the subject to give it as realistic an appearance as possible (especially when it is composited into a photograph).

Phase 5: Compositing
This step is typically only for when I add a creature to an already existing photograph (almost always one of my own). Adding a 3D creature to a photograph is a lot harder than it seems, and while it can save me time on having to create a whole environment, it does mean I am at the mercy of the photographic backplate's point of view and lighting.

Phase 6: Photoshopping

Finally for many of my pieces some tweaking or alterations in an outside graphics program can be unnecessary. I use Corel Paintshop Pro for the majority of this work.

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