Creating a 3D Baby Velociraptor

Guga Baraldi, 3D generalist artist and co-founder of Brazil-based 3D animation studio Didalí, breaks down his sweet-as-pie Pet Birthday render. Check it out below!

In this article, I’ll be sharing my workflow for creating my Pet Birthday scene.

This scene is a personal project that I made during my free time for the Unhide School’s contest. The theme was “Dinosaurs Among Us.”

I aimed to create a fun scene, so the briefing started with the idea: ​​“What if dinosaurs were still with us – could they be domesticated and raised as pets? If so, why not have a big party to celebrate Ollie’s first birthday, as all pets deserve?” (If I had a dinosaur as a pet, I would call him Ollie). 

Now that you know the background story, let’s move on to my step-by-step process.

References

It all starts with research and choosing good references to guide your work. As the theme was “dinosaurs,” nothing was more inspiring than the Jurassic Park franchise. For this scene, I chose to make a baby velociraptor and the Blue character from the movie Jurassic World was my biggest reference for guiding the shapes and colours of my model.

Another important point was to create an environment to represent the birthday party. By searching on Pinterest and Instagram, I discovered that there is a huge market focused on pet parties. There are dozens of photographers specialized in this type of work and it was a lot of fun to find these profiles on social media.

To organize the references, I often like to create a mood board with the images separated by themes and displayed on a large panel using PureRef.

Modelling

The modelling of the dinosaur was done with ZBrush. Initially, I always use the DynaMesh for free-form sculpting, defining a general base mesh and fixing the primaries shapes.

As I had a short deadline to finish the scene, I made a choice to make the retopology using ZRemesh. You can create different PolyGroups by selecting areas with the mask that allows you to organize the mesh. It will also give you more control and help the software with the retopology process. As you can check, the ZRemesher gave me a more organized geometry, with a clean mesh, and an edge flow that fits my needs to continue sculpting the secondary and tertiary shapes.

The interior scene is very simple and all the objects and props were modelled poly by poly using 3ds Max Standard Primitives and Edit Poly, except for the balloons that are free for download on the Bertrand Benoit website. 

Texturing and Materials

With the model defined and retopology completed, it’s time to start the textures. The first step was to export the model in .obj format to 3ds Max and unwrap the UVs, applying an Unwrap UVW. For the dinosaur, I chose to break the mesh into 5 different Islands (UDIMs) and work with textures in 4K.

After the UVs process, I sent the model back to ZBrush to create the textures. To guarantee there are sufficient polygons to support the details, the dinosaur’s geometry has 6 subdivisions and almost 30 million active points.

The diffuse map was painted directly on the model’s surface using PolyPaint, with several alphas

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