I have been working on making an accurate (as much as I can) model for a male of the harvestman species Thunbergia gretae (named after Greta Thunberg).
I don’t have much experience sculpting, and also no stylus, so I made this “by hand” (without sculpting or retopo). I focused on first mapping out edge loops for the various tergites and sternites (the armour plates) and then trying to reconcile everything in between. I believe everything is quads except for a few triangles where things meet at a point (e.g. the horn on the back).
It’s been quite a challenge working from line drawings and trying to translate this into 3D, and some structures were not measured (e.g. all the legs). In these cases I had to rely on photos and measurements of species that were in the same genus or family. I couldn’t find any good diagrams of the mouth structures behind the chelicerae (it’s been a while since I worked on harvestmen, and you don’t normally dissect the mouthparts) - so these are a sort of “indication” of some structures I do know are present, but are not 1:1. I do know the author of the species description, so I will ask him how close I got when I get a little further along.
I need to sort out the back end, as the anal operculum as not that accurate and is a bit of a bodge. Also tweaking some of the overall form and smoothness of the tapering. This species has various little spikes on the palps, etc., as well as some hairs (setae) which I will need to add. At that point I may be able to thin out some of the topology a little (but I don’t think I can face retopo’ing this). Then will be to rig the model - I’ll need to think about the best way to do this. I’d like to have constraints so that the legs and palps move with realistic limits on their bending.
Texturing also will be interesting - this species is mostly black with little golden spots, so it won’t be the most impossible thing to do, but I do struggle getting a realistic looking cuticle/integument texture.
This has taken me about 2 days to get to this stage, inclusive of looking for reference photos and trying to decipher diagrams, etc. I know some would sculpt this in a few hours, but hey ho. Sculpting with a mouse is horrible.
Palps and chelicerae (awaiting details of spines, etc.)
Edge loops highlighted
The legs of these families of harvestmen are ridiculously long.
Without subdivision modifier, the mesh is about 12K vertices, which I think is not too bad. Obviously some areas are still heavier than others so it could be optimised. You can also see how I at one point applied the subD on the main body then decimated back, which I haven’t done on the legs or palps.
The reference line drawings. There are no photos I can find of this species.