Page 12 Modeling a Brachiosaurus: Attaching The Head

Select all but the body surface, and mirror these in the top viewport (Object Snap ’Near’ as usual) to give the Brachiosaurus two more legs.

Turn on the ’Head surface’ layer. With the 'Rotate' command, rotate all of the head 180 degrees in the Top viewport, move it to it’s position and scale it (’Scale’ command) to the proper size.

Make two boxes (’Box’ command) that cross the neck and are rotated and positioned as shown here:

Use the 'Split' command to split the body surface and choose the box shown below as cutting object.

NOTE: There are other approaches possible to this task that would produce the same results, but could be more convenient. One alternative would be to use the 'CutPlane' command to create cutting planes. CutPlane will work on any kind of surfaces, whether they have been joined or not. If the objects involved are simple surfaces (not polysurfaces), then an even simpler solution is possible: you can just draw some lines, and use the lines as cutting objects to cut the surfaces (when working from a plan view.)

Do the same for the head but with the other box as the cutting object. Hide the boxes and delete the small cut parts that are no longer needed.

Blend the neck edge to the head edge. Use Automatic and Smooth the two middle rows of CV’s three times.

Use the ’Cap’ command to cap all the holes at the bottom of the Brachio's feet so they no longer look hollow. Explode them and delete the top cap of the legs.

Finally use the ’Join’ command and join all the surfaces together except for the eyes and eyelids. The sample file ’Brachio10.3dm’ shows the final result.

Now that you have completed your dinosaur model, you might want to take it into another program for animation, rendering, or compositing with a photographed environment. The notes below describe how author Daniel Ljunggren brought the dinosaur into 3D Studio MAX to produce his final rendering.


If you want to export your dinosaur model into another 3D package as polygons, select all of the dinosaur and use the command ’Mesh’. In the ’Create Polygon Mesh from NURBS object’ panel, go into ’Detailed Controls’, and uncheck ’Refine’, and in the ’Max edge length’, set it to 0.5. Then the result is evenly meshed polygons for use with animation and close-ups. If no close-ups of the head will be rendered make the ’Max edge length’ a value of 1 – 1.5 for lower polygon count.

The figure above shows a final rendering in 3D Studio Max. The Brachiosaurus had four different textures applied: three bump maps and one diffuse map. Two of the bump maps were manually painted wrinkles, and the third was a tileable photo of an animal’s skin (mixed together with the ’Mix’ material). The largest bump map was 2000x1700, in order to look good in close-ups. The diffuse (aka "color") map was painted, about 850x700 in size. Maps were applied as Planar mapping, which turned out well for this purpose.

There are three lights in the scene: one target spot light casting shadows, working as the main light source, and two omni lights (as fill lights) that light up different areas of the dinosaur without shadowcasting. They were carefully placed in order to make the bump look natural.