NEW VIDEO CLIP: Steps of anatomical reconstruction
What is the most important difference between drawing a modern animal and a prehistoric one? For me, the key fact here is that, with living animals, we can always check our artwork against the real thing and see if we have got the proportions and the “gestalt” of the creature right. But with the extinct species, what is left of their “personality” is determined by their skeletons (the only preserved part in most instances), so that in this case we need to be extremely careful that our drawings are faithful to the morphological information transmitted by the bones.
This is where technology can be especially helpful for the artist. I have found it enormously useful to be able to create accurate, computer 3D models of the skeletons of extinct animals, which then I can render from any angle in order to check how the animal would look in views different from the more classic side view. Such a 3D model will take many hours of work but for creatures that you expect to draw many times it is a worthwhile effort indeed. Of course, the models become even more useful if we animate them, giving shape to our hypotheses about locomotion. Fortunately I have had the help of amazing 3D animators for setting the vanished creatures back in motion!
Here is a couple of renders of my computer 3D model of the skeleton of Promegantereon, and a reconstruction of the animal´s head based on that model:
Now I have uploaded a short clip from the upcoming documentary “Bringing the Sabertooths Back to life” where this subject is mentioned, as well as the following steps of anatomical reconstruction “from the inside out”.
You can check the clip following this link:
I hope you enjoy it!