Keep up-to-date with Free tutorials!!


Sign up to our twice-monthly newsletter today for the latest tutorials, interviews and product information.

Sign me up to receive third-party emails from 3dtotal's partners, too!

- Latest news
- Exclusive Shop Offers
- Preview early content
- Plus much more


Not Ready to take that step? OK, Why not just Subscribe to the RSS Feed

submit tutorial
1 | 2
Making of 'Compsognathus'

| Your Rating:
rating star fullrating star fullrating star fullrating star halfrating star none
(Score 3.67 out of 5 after 9 Votes)
| Comments 1
Date Added: 14th September 2009
Software used:


My name is Hugo Costa, I'm from Portugal and with this mini tutorial I'll show you briefly how I created this little guy. I've always liked dinosaurs and Compsognathus in particular and I created this one using Cinema 4D, Corel Photo-Paint and xNormal for the Normal Map generation. The Cinema 4D layout can be seen in Fig.01.

Fig. 01


I started by making the dino's base mesh in a neutral position from a cube. I quickly tried to work out some major volumes and then made a basic rig to sketch out some poses using PoseMixer. Every pose was stored on a layer so I could easily jump from one to another, or neutralize him again, without losing anything. This allowed me to explore various possibilities for his final pose. Before I finished the model I placed him in his final position. The posed dino helped me to find the right camera angle and set the proportions of the environment. Working with posed models through the final camera helps you to see which details will have the focus in the scene, which then allows you to avoid wasting time by making or detailing unnecessary elements. With the dinosaur modeled, I was then able to focus on the environment (Fig.02).

Fig. 02


All of the texturing was done in BodyPaint and Photo-Paint (2500 x 2500px for the dino). I used Normal Maps generated with xNormal and tweaked them with Corel to push up some fine details. The UV mapping was quite easy. I used regular unwrapping tools and for the rest of the scene, I used simple UV mapping coordinates like UV cylinder. I spent some time doing research to find some good reference material and to get an idea about camera angles and the kind of feeling I wanted to recreate in my piece. I gathered pictures of lizards (mostly the Komodo dragon; I really liked the pattern of the scales), wood, dirt, rock and other textures and then laid out some basic colors in BodyPaint to use as guide. I then used the Freeze 3D view to freeze the viewport on the desired angle and started adding details and mixing textures in Photo-Paint (which supports PSD layers). I then merged the modified image back into BodyPaint and isolated the counter of the scales based on the references to be used as mask. Next I overlaid it over the basic comp and started adding more textures over it. I also created some custom brushes to help me speed up the process. The background is a simple photo that I blurred to match the macro type seen from a real camera. (Fig.03 - Fig.05).

Fig. 03

continued on next page >

1 | 2
Related Tutorials

Making Of 'Hovercraft Parrot'

by David Munoz Velazquez
published on 2011-04-21

Keywords: character, animal, parrot, creature,

rating star fullrating star fullrating star fullrating star fullrating star half (7)
Comments 1 Views 49041

A Portrait of a Dragon

by Kerem Beyit
published on 2009-12-09

Keywords: animal, creature, dragon, portrait, photoshop,

rating star fullrating star fullrating star fullrating star fullrating star full (6)
Comments 0 Views 36839

Making Of 'Macaw'

by Waheed Nasir
published on 2009-12-09

Keywords: animal, bird, macaw, digital, painting,

rating star fullrating star fullrating star fullrating star fullrating star full (4)
Comments 1 Views 50180

Cartoon Critters: How to Stylize and Create Animals - Armadillo

by Jose Alves da Silva
published on 2013-05-17

Keywords: character, cartoon, critter, creature,

rating star fullrating star fullrating star fullrating star fullrating star full (45)
Comments 5 Views 248366
Readers Comments (Newest on Top)
Pratheesh Mohan on Wed, 18 July 2012 8:40am
good work. make a video tutorial man!! be fast!!!
Add Your Comment..