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Re: BBC Planet Dinosaur

At the risk of turning this into a Cgi list, you're right that fur and feathers 
take a lot of time and effort and can be a bit crap if the budget (and time) 
aren't there.   Certainly I'd always model downy feathers as fur, and flight 
feathers as geometry.  

Christian darkin
Twitter: @Christiandarkin

Sent from my iPod

On 24 Sep 2011, at 00:34, David Krentz <ddkrentz@charter.net> wrote:

>  It looks like the body feathering was sculpted on, rather than the usual 
> 'hair simulations' that can be costly.  I could be wrong, as I've only seen a 
> Youtube video.  Its not that the technology for making body covering isn't 
> there, its just that during the rendering process things slow down 
> (time=money) , and you can get interesting surprises such as fur flicker, 
> collision, hair standing on end...etc.  That means you need to send the shot 
> back a few times for rendering until you get it right.  Given the budgets of 
> TV shows that is something that really needs to be considered.  It depends on 
> what kind of deal you strike with the fx company, there are very few chances 
> they allow (1-3 usually) for it to come out right.  If you want to give it 
> just one more try they charge you for it.  The same kind of rule goes for 
> animation...so you REALLY need to spend the extra $ and get a good company 
> because it may save you in the long run.  If someone knows of an FX company 
> that values science over losing money please let me know.
>  Attaching the primaries to the second digit is technically a challenge.  All 
> too often the third finger will collide into the feather geometry above it if 
> any movement other than curling is to happen.  The geometry that represents 
> the individual feathers is usually ridged and unless its a special case, will 
> not move as fluidly as a real feather does...unless you have all the time and 
> money in the world.  
> We had a second digit attachment in Dino Rev and ywe really had to watch for 
> things like that.  It became a little limiting on the poses you could strike. 
>  I can see the temptation for an animator to rotate the wrist just so that he 
> can get into his needed pose.  
>  In general I liked the second Planet Dinosaur.  Far less headache-inducing 
> camera moves and focus pulls/zooms than the first ep and the animation was 
> better too. It was good science programing.  
> D
> On Sep 23, 2011, at 1:37 PM, Jason Brougham wrote:
>> One big anatomical oversight is that the primary feathers on Microraptor and 
>> Sinornithosaurus attach to the third, rather than second, finger. And the 
>> wings don't fold so great. The Epidendrosaurus without feathers is a bummer.
>> But overall I think there is a lot to like with these reconstructions. At 
>> least they are lively little fellows.
>> On Sep 23, 2011, at 4:31 PM, Habib, Michael wrote:
>>> On Sep 23, 2011, at 2:03 PM, K Kripchak wrote:
>>>> ...seeing Microraptor and Sinornithosaurus reconstructed as gliding 
>>>> animals was,
>>>> for lack of a better word, silly...  They looked silly. A waste of bio
>>>> material. Not one arm flap... not one... Just a lot of scampering up
>>>> trees and jumping into the air like lemurs or flying squirls with
>>>> outstretched arms to glide from tree to tree. It didn't look right at
>>>> all.
>>>> Like I said, pointless observation in terms of science... but I tell
>>>> ya... it just didn't look right.
>>> Having managed to get some stills from the series, I am at least happy to 
>>> see that the Microraptor model doesn't use an extreme sprawl in the hind 
>>> limbs.  However, they hindfoils do seem undersized and the limb position is 
>>> still a bit odd, so I think the animators may have struggled with the 
>>> hindfoil situation a bit.  Still, a lot better than just about any other 
>>> reconstruction currently available in that regard.
>>> Cheers,
>>> --Mike H.
>>> Michael Habib
>>> Assistant Professor of Biology
>>> Chatham University
>>> Woodland Road, Pittsburgh PA  15232
>>> Buhl Hall, Room 226A
>>> mhabib@chatham.edu
>>> (443) 280-0181
>> Jason Brougham
>> Senior Principal Preparator
>> American Museum of Natural History
>> jaseb@amnh.org
>> (212) 496 3544