Applying scales to a lizard

Hi guys, I’m having trouble finding a non painful way to put scales on my dragon. My first thought was to use a stencil but that is super tedious so far and only really works from specific angles. I was hoping someone could offer advice on how to scale this.

Model.

Reference Image.

And the scale.
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Attachments




You could try painting many scales onto the Dragon at once by taking your scale stencil and expanding it into a tiled pattern.

Then there’s another option and that is using the displace modifier to displace a UVmapped scales texture on top of the sculpt work (using vertex weights to limit it to the needed areas).

I wouldn’t bother trying to place modelled scales on that. Just a texture file with a bump map and some manual UV map manipulation in the tricky areas should work well enough. For high-quality texturing you have to develop some real artistic skills. (Not saying you don’t have any!)

make a low poly version of the scale and use a particle system to get the inner scales, then place the outer scales by hand.

Thanks guys, what I think i’m going to do is UV unwrap the dragon after all the other non-scale details are complete, draw the scales over the UV’s and then apply it as a displacement modifier. I don’t think I can get enough control out of the particle system to do this kind of work so I don’t think that is the best option.