Author Topic: Lone Trike Art  (Read 2414 times)

Lone Trike

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Lone Trike Art
« on: June 09, 2018, 06:53:16 PM »
I opened this new thread here in the art section, to share my process of making dinosaur sculptures with you. Some of you might be interested in this kind of stuff, so I thought it would be a nice idea. Maybe Iīll also post the occasional drawing or painting here, too.

But lets just jump right into the subject, shall we :D
I recently started a new project and instead of making a traditional wire armature for this sculpture, I intend to try a different approach this time.
I acquired a 3D printer a couple of days ago and aim to incorporate that machine into my workflow. It took me some time to figure out the right settings to get a decent print quality. However since that was achieved, Iīm really sold on that thing. Itīs just an FDM (fused deposition modeling) printer, so for really highly detailed models the print quality wonīt suffice. I rather want to use it to print armatures for my sculptures. That way Iīm able to design the model digitally, which makes it much easier to get the proportions right and pose the model or even arrange it into a whole scene. Also positions where the model will be parted for mold making and the pegs with the corresponding fittings are much easier to design this way.
For now Iīm just experimenting with this, so the base armature I designed is pretty basic. Although I was really surprised about the print quality. Even though I printed at a relatively big layer height of 0.25 mm, the surface detail is much better, than expected! You can even see the individual polygons (ok, itīs a pretty low-poly model, but anyway, I was quite surprised :D).
I now want to sculpt the details in with clay. But since the quality is so good, I will take the next model even further in zbrush in terms of detail and just sculpt the last layer over it with clay or maybe epoxy putty.





Itīs going to become a Borealopelta markmitchelli in scale 1:20 (yes, I decided to go a bit bigger this time :))). I designed it in movement, stepping down some sort of sloped area (donīt know yet how the base will look exactly). That way the back with all the osteoderms and spikes is angled downwards a bit and will be much better visible.
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postsaurischian

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Re: Lone Trike Art
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2018, 07:23:50 PM »
 :D Hurra! A  Nodosaurid. Can't wait what for it'll look like in the end.

      I'm a bit worried about the final material. Full resin is so much better than for example Shapeways' hollow nylon stuff.

Mini Minmi

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Re: Lone Trike Art
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2018, 07:59:26 PM »
Love the pose already, it's very dynamic. It's pretty awesome that you can start the sculpt digitally, print it, then add a thin layer of clay/putty for finishing details before casting it. I assume the production costs are a bit higher using this technique since you have to pay for the plastic to print your base sculpts/armature. But once you've worked out exactly the amount of shaping and details you can put in a quick print, you likely won't print as many as you refine the model.

Lone Trike

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Re: Lone Trike Art
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2018, 04:26:24 PM »
:D Hurra! A  Nodosaurid. Can't wait what for it'll look like in the end.

      I'm a bit worried about the final material. Full resin is so much better than for example Shapeways' hollow nylon stuff.
Thanks, Helge! And donīt worry itīs still a traditional sculpture, only the core is a 3d printed armature. So the final product would be resin after all.

Love the pose already, it's very dynamic. It's pretty awesome that you can start the sculpt digitally, print it, then add a thin layer of clay/putty for finishing details before casting it. I assume the production costs are a bit higher using this technique since you have to pay for the plastic to print your base sculpts/armature. But once you've worked out exactly the amount of shaping and details you can put in a quick print, you likely won't print as many as you refine the model.
Thank you :) The costs are not that high actually. I didnīt use more than 100 g of PLA (the printing material), which equals around 2€. A simple wire armature would probably still be cheaper, but for a prototype those costs can almost be neglected. 
model kits available at: and

Lone Trike

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Re: Lone Trike Art
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2018, 04:35:31 PM »
Next steps I did so far, were building up the volumes and refining the shapes a little bit, especially the leg muscles. I also started with some detail at the head and paws. Everything looks still pretty rough. So after finishing this step for the whole body, I would start with the first smoothing pass to blend everything together.

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Jose S.M.

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Re: Lone Trike Art
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2018, 04:40:31 PM »
It looks amazing already .
« Last Edit: June 12, 2018, 04:57:48 PM by Jose_S.M. »

Mini Minmi

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Re: Lone Trike Art
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2018, 06:19:20 PM »
Love it. You're very good at defining muscle under the skin.

Lone Trike

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Re: Lone Trike Art
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2018, 05:55:03 PM »
Thanks guys! Good to get some feedback!
I started with the detailing. The plan of attack is going from the head to the tip of the tail. Iīm not that happy with the quality of detail so far. Itīs been some time since I last worked with oil based clay. Itīs quite sticky and needs some "persuasion" to take the shape I want it to. I will see how it looks after the first detail pass is completely finished and then decide, if I go over a second time.

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Lanthanotus

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Re: Lone Trike Art
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2018, 06:14:03 PM »
I think it looks great so far.... so each scale is sculpted and set individually, rather than stamped on the existing body?

Lone Trike

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Re: Lone Trike Art
« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2018, 06:36:32 PM »
I think it looks great so far.... so each scale is sculpted and set individually, rather than stamped on the existing body?
Thanks! Yes, so far each scale is sculpted individually. I donīt know yet, if Iīll use stamps on this one. Maybe on the belly, if it looks good and fits the style. The osteoderms on the back will definitely have to be hand sculpted, since I want them to have the same arrangement and shape as in the fossil. Itīs hard to do that with a stamp.
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Doug Watson

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Re: Lone Trike Art
« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2018, 06:50:42 PM »
Looking really good, interesting use of FDM for the armature.

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Re: Lone Trike Art
« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2018, 07:21:46 PM »
  :D  The Borealopelta is looking wonderful so far. I want one!

....... only the core is a 3d printed armature. So the final product would be resin after all.

    Good to know :) .

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Re: Lone Trike Art
« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2018, 08:27:32 PM »
This looks fantastic. Really inventive use of printing, too.
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Re: Lone Trike Art
« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2018, 09:33:22 PM »
I am really looking forward to seeing this when finished.

Lone Trike

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Re: Lone Trike Art
« Reply #14 on: June 17, 2018, 05:25:33 PM »
Thanks, guys for all the feedback! Next update should come Tuesday or maybe tomorrow. I took a break over the weekend :) Sometimes itīs helpful to let the sculpture just sit for a couple of days to get a fresh sight on it.
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Lone Trike

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Re: Lone Trike Art
« Reply #15 on: June 19, 2018, 06:06:15 PM »
Ok, not a big update, but at least I want to show you guys, how I sculpt the scales on this model.
Iīm just rolling little clay-bands and press them to the sculpture. Then I use a wire-tool and separate them into individual scales. Eventually I use the same wire tool to refine the shape of the scales. It doesnīt have to look perfect, since I will brush them with turpentine to smooth and blend everything together. Not really difficult to do, but very tedious :))

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Jose S.M.

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Re: Lone Trike Art
« Reply #16 on: June 19, 2018, 06:34:00 PM »
I cant wait to seeing the final results, I'm sure it's going to be great !

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Re: Lone Trike Art
« Reply #17 on: June 19, 2018, 08:28:25 PM »
What an interesting technique to create scales! I'm glad you shared it, thank you.

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Re: Lone Trike Art
« Reply #18 on: June 19, 2018, 11:39:22 PM »
That's a clever technique. I think it's a much more organic effect than you get with a texture stamp.
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Lone Trike

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Re: Lone Trike Art
« Reply #19 on: June 26, 2018, 08:49:11 PM »
What an interesting technique to create scales! I'm glad you shared it, thank you.
Thank you Mini Minmi! And no problem, Iīm glad to help.

That's a clever technique. I think it's a much more organic effect than you get with a texture stamp.
Thanks! It depends how they are used! If used correctly they can look pretty decent as well.
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