Hello everybody and welcome to another video. Today is the first part of a miniseries in which I will be 3d printing a several feet long dragon. Being the intensive project it is, we’ll see if I can complete this in a reasonable amount of time and find out how long it ends up taking. I’m also wondering just how many new grey hairs I will be collecting by the end of this project. I’ll keep a counter at the top right. For today, we’ll be focusing on the conceptual art portions, which will include the basic design and mechanics as the overall aesthetics.
When beginning this project, I wasn’t exactly sure what I was going to create, but I did have some important requirements to consider. At the time, I had just gotten my CR30 3D printmill and wanted to do an in dept test of its capabilities. Compared to most 3d printers, this one was better suited for small scale production because of its ability to continuously print It also meant, however, that I needed to find a method in which to test those capabilities. So using an untested machine for a time intensive project, seemed like a good idea at the time? This project needed to be printed within the confines of the print volume, and portions needed to be repeatable to utilize the repeat function of the machine. I began brainstorming some ideas to figure out how I would be approaching this creation.
I started looking up different types of mythological creatures which were serpentine in nature to get a better idea of which one I would focus on. Likewise, I could do a giant worm like creature or perhaps something more along the lines of a centipede, however in the end I decided to go with an Easter Dragon since I believe it to be the most interesting of ideas. Somehow, I didn’t believe that many people would want to click on a video showcasing a giant caterpillar. I guess we’ll see if that was a mistake or not.
Like any project I start, I had to go searching from some reference materials. In most cases, if I’m just doing a quick piece, then a simple google search will work just fine. For more technical projects like this one, I prefer to create an inspiration board, which normally includes a couple of notes. These boards help establish the mood of the design and help focus your ideas into a consistent design language. I can also include technical specifications to keep in mind when I’m creating the design. Hey Wake up little guy, this part is probably the most important part when creating a concept. Now I did decide early on that I wanted to do a steampunk styled piece, so I started referencing industrial base mechanical objects for this purpose along with animals or bugs which could have some dragon like features. Referencing actual animals and anatomy is in general good practice, since most mythology is based off such creatures to begin with. With reference materials on hand, I could then begin working out the conceptual art for this piece.
All concept art should start off with simple thumbnails, since this greatly reducing overall production time. By not wasting time on a full illustration, I could begin exploring basic concepts like the silhouette and proportions of the creature without investing too much time overall. After having done a couple of these, I eventually settled on this design, which I decided to full flesh out into a full concept and model sheet. Since I knew I would still need to make changes latter on, I decided to go ahead and focus on the plate design since this would be crucial for creating the rest of the aesthetics. I knew that the end of the tail was most likely not going to be printed, so I left that portion a little more open to interpretation. After all this work, here’s the rough the concept model sheet for the design along with the rough dimensions. And yes, you are reading this correctly, it does say 15ft and those measurements don’t include the head or tail.
So with the preliminary portions all completed, I can now begin 3d modelling and refining the design further, but that will be a story for another day. I hope you guys enjoyed the first part of this journey and I hope to see you guys soon. Thank you and take care.