Topic: Modelling a dragon


I have had this idea on my mind for some time now. Now that it came up, let's see where it leads to smile

You can watch these on line, in full screen mode or you can download them and watch at home in their native size (1024 x 768). To download the videos you'll need  to create an account on www.viddler.com and login. (I have marked them downloadable to "Everybody", but in Viddler terms that only seems to cover registered users. hmm)

I'm also not fully confident, that I have found the best possible settings for the uploads. Some players might still not read them.

And a fair warning before we start: I'll try to stick to basics, but it's hard on a project like a dragon. So this may take some time ...

Introduction to my AoI Settings  -- This shortly introduces a few basic additions to AoI and shows the tool to get them for you.

Dragon Torso (00:11:53) -- How to use mirror modeling in PolyMesh and how to make a basic box-model for an animal's body -- this time a dragon.

Please, leave the model in this state for futher actions smile


Some needed keypad commands in PME:
- Ctrl+Z = Undo
- Ctrl+E = Edit points
- Ctrl+T = Transform points

- W toggles manipulator mode
- S toggles smoothing mode (if smoothing is set to "Approximating")
- M activates selection tool

- V = selection mode "Point"
- E = selection mode "Edge"
- F = selection mode "Face"

Dragon Body Subdivision (00:17:21) -- Using edge loops, edge strips and subdivision to give the body of the dragon a more distinct look.


Now going for the head... It seems that the good old 20/80 rule applies here too: by 20% of effort you can complete 80% of the job. ...And the other way around wink

The head will definitely take most of the attention, and I can promise that the head will steal your attention, what ever "living" you might be modelling.

Currently it seems that there will be five videos about the head. - Three availabe so far. smile

Dragon Head, Basic Mesh (00:14:56) -- You might call this a "Structutural mesh". Extrusion and subdivision to create the basic geometry for an animal's head. Using reference images.


Dragon Head, Subdivision (00:11:22) -- Some detailing and some subdivision work on the head. Referenceimages are starting to take over.


Dragon Head, Eye Area (00:15:11) -- Subdivision modelling around a temporary eyaball.



Next: Still more work on the head to come.

I feel that it should take about one video to make the mouth and then another one to add some finishing details, like the ears.  After those: Bat wings smile

Last edited by peteihis (December 30, 2009, 4:42 pm)

...there's more to the picture than meets the eye...


Re: Modelling a dragon

Update -- see above.

...there's more to the picture than meets the eye...


Re: Modelling a dragon

Cool! Thanks so much!

Thumbs up

Re: Modelling a dragon

It's fun how you let us look at the fluent way you work.
Also, I haven't seen much the likes of organic models made with AoI so your workshop is very welcome to me. Plus, it sure looks promising what you're evoking. Just keep it away from anything flammable plz.

I've picked up things from your videos that I'll surely put to use. Main maybe how you are very dynamically modeling from all angles in one view, it seems much more free than how I do things up till now.

Me, I'm not much into things like dragons but who's to tell what unforeseen I may develop in some future smile

Is this digital the real life?  Is this just fantasy?


Re: Modelling a dragon

Thanks. smile

@Jep: I hope I can keep it somewhat fluent ... I have managed to produce a couple of 25 minute pieces about the head -- I'll have to re-think it a bit. big_smile (Dragons tend to be flammable at times, you know....)  -- Besides I just purchased an external disk drive to pull this through .....

Anyhow, I'm also learning here .. I just don't want to post anything, I'm not "happy enough with", and definitely not anything over 20 minutes long. (I can watch my own modelling for about ten minutes and then I start to feel dizzy....)

...there's more to the picture than meets the eye...


Re: Modelling a dragon

Thank you so much for your video tutorials! They are very helpful. Let me encourage you to continue with the dragon--it's great to see how you use AOI so effectively!

Thanks again! smile

Thumbs up


Re: Modelling a dragon

Hehe.. .:D

Thanks for the encouragement!

It is my plan that I'd produce the rest of it... and it bothers me that I haven't so far.  sad

I'm not sure if this helps in any way, but trust me: I have not forgotten this project at all..... ... ....

...there's more to the picture than meets the eye...


Re: Modelling a dragon

Hello Peteihis
I have AOI version 2.8 ea2 and cannot seem to generate a separate editing window when double clicking the polymesh 1 object in the object window. I am running AOI on a macbook. I may not have installed all the java requirements properly? Any help apreciated.
Thanks Matthew

heres the log from an Alert!
java.lang.NoSuchMethodError: artofillusion.RotateViewTool.setUseSelectionCenter(Z)V
    at artofillusion.polymesh.PolyMeshEditorWindow.updateMenus(PolyMeshEditorWindow.java:1751)
    at artofillusion.polymesh.PolyMeshEditorWindow.<init>(PolyMeshEditorWindow.java:497)
    at artofillusion.polymesh.PolyMesh.edit(PolyMesh.java:3313)
    at artofillusion.LayoutWindow.editObjectCommand(LayoutWindow.java:1786)
    at sun.reflect.NativeMethodAccessorImpl.invoke0(Native Method)
    at sun.reflect.NativeMethodAccessorImpl.invoke(NativeMethodAccessorImpl.java:39)
    at sun.reflect.DelegatingMethodAccessorImpl.invoke(DelegatingMethodAccessorImpl.java:25)
    at java.lang.reflect.Method.invoke(Method.java:585)
    at buoy.internal.EventLinkRecord.dispatchEvent(EventLinkRecord.java:83)

Just found that the earlier version 2.72 seems to work fine. Will use that.

Last edited by mateo (February 15, 2010, 8:46 pm)


Re: Modelling a dragon


The current version of AoI is 2.8.1. Install that and get the updated plugins. There are some fixes done to the PME as well.

The "ea" stands "early access". The ea versions are there for testing new features that are about to come to the next version of AoI and they don't usually come with a full set of plugins (or the plugins of the previous versions may not work in the updated environment). The Polymesh editor is a plugin.

...there's more to the picture than meets the eye...


Re: Modelling a dragon

Ah ! Thanks
working now.
just one thing......
in trying to get the
where is the daily helpers plugin ? is it a plugin?  , cant seem to get it to appear in the plugin preferences nor find it in the repository.
cheers Matthew

Last edited by mateo (February 24, 2010, 4:47 am)


Re: Modelling a dragon

Yes - the daily helpers are plugins or a plugin by Troy.
It should dl with all the other plugins - if not :


Don´t start chasing rainbows - get caught by them.
Deutsches Portal für Art of Illusion

Thumbs up


Re: Modelling a dragon

Thankyou for this. Now have the daily helper.


Re: Modelling a dragon

The links are not working.

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Re: Modelling a dragon

@Arnabc: Welcome to the forums. I get the feeling that that hosting website has changed a lot since then. However, the good news is that @peteihis is still around.

@pete, do you still have the original videos? They might make a nice addition to your youtube channel...

Thumbs up


Re: Modelling a dragon

Hmm... I'm not sure. I had the videos stored on an external drive, that got damaged some time last year. -- Probably beyond repair...

About a year ago (?) Viddler did notify, that the service was shutting down (or something), and it should have been possible to download the uploaded videos back at the time, but when I tried it was not working any more and I don't remember if there ever was even any reply to my inquiry about those.

Any way, I never got the dragon finished -- As I recall I was working on the wings, but then something interrupted me. Later on I did make a picture of a fire breathing red dragon, but that one only had the head and the neck ...

Last edited by peteihis (March 16, 2015, 4:46 am)

...there's more to the picture than meets the eye...