I-Dramon DM: Dragon+Metal=Fun

From time to time I take a break and do some modeling of cartoon or otherwise tv show characters especially if they have some relationship ( even if only remotely ) with dragons. This guy here had been on my todo list since quite some time but just recently I stumbled across usable reference images.

I tried to get this guy done quickly but the head and armor details have bitten me in the ass. Roughly 2 afternoons full of work to get here. He’s missing the hind legs and the wings. So far he gets along well.

I’m still a bit fighting with the reflective material for the metal parts as well as those stupid plastic like material. Just can’t get them to look good.

Attached some renders. The rotation video will be added later in an edit as it is still rendering ( and taking ages with those reflections :frowning: ). Once done I’ll low-poly, rig and normal-bake this guy. Just love playing around with models like this in interactive game engines :eyebrowlift:

Rotation video ( 2.6MB ).


That looks like a pretty neat character, though I don’t know what show he would be from.:smiley:

Please don’t attack me just because I posted in your thread though.

No problems with a post if it is not out of the line. It’s from a TV show called Digimon ( no idea though which of the many versions ). Full name is Imperial-Dramon DM.

Nice! I loved Digimon, personally I thought the 1st and 2nd seasons were the best. This guy is an Ultimate/Mega evolution of Veemon right, and isn’t there a knight Imperial Dramon? The front gauntlets should extend past the wrists and curve much more. Basically make the front feet more like dragon feet, not tiger paws. Such as the fingers are claws attached to the base, like (-\>. Great Start so far!

Yeah there is but I don’t like that one too much. This form here looks better in my opinion. Now what goes for the comments I have a couple of images around here and the most annoying part is that they are mostly different. The shape of different parts alter and even the colors often are incoherent. So I tried to get some sort of middle ground which I think looks best. I modified a bit the gauntlet/claw part. In one image the front is nearly like a sphere while in another it’s plain flat as I have. I think I stay with the flatter look as it looks better to me. A new image with the changes. Better like that?


Another batch of work tackling the hind legs. Hopefully everything attached as it should. Now missing only the wings. Should not take that long as they are simple in shape. I really need to put up some special nodes setup to get the glow actually to work. Not something Blender can do well out of the box :stuck_out_tongue:

Rotation view again once it finished rendering.


Damn ATI decided to freeze my PC in the middle of rendering the video. Got pissed and called it a day. Rendered for like 2 hours this one. More and more reflections :stuck_out_tongue: . Here it is.

Rotation View [ 2.7MB ]

Nice, I see you fixed the feet, but the ring on the armor’s booster should angle upwards and the cylinder shaped rockets should be welded to the booster and be sharper at their ends. Finally there should be more armor on the back legs.Oh and are you going to texture the lines on the armor or manually model them in?

The ring of the cannon ( never heard that term armor booster but that means nothing :stuck_out_tongue: ) is actually angled upward, around 5 or 10 degrees. The majority of images I have around here have roughly that angle. Have though also some where it is less or more. Not sure what’s correct there.

About the rockets I can wield them on. Have actually no idea how they are connected. Not recognizable on the images I have ( too low quality and too small ). I’ll make them more pointy later.

What goes for the armor on the back I stuck there to the images I have and except one image all have the armor end before the leg starts which is around the area the rocket things are attached. So I think this should be correct. One of the few areas where the images all say the same thing :smiley:

Which lines on the armor you mean? In general I modeled in all the ridges and stuff I found on the images. That said in some I see additional lines which don’t exist in others. But missing ones can be added to the texture later on.

Okay, fast forward. Had been national celebration day today but I still managed to squeeze in some work time. I wanted to get the model done for what goes for the mesh work. Tackled therefore the wings. Thought they would be easy but somehow underestimated this a bit. They have an unusual shape ( for dragon wings ) so I hit some walls as I had been used to model realistic wings which got in the way this time ( as this dude is anything else but realistic by design ). I think though I managed to capture the essence of it. Something though feels odd but this can be just because the wings are not rigged and therefore not posed yet ( easier to rig in this posture ).

Except smaller fixes as mentioned above I would call this one done. Needs now a rig and then we see how this dude poses.

Rotation view coming later. Too late to start that render now.


Eventually the new rotation view rendered. Enabled Ambient Occlusion and some other tricks but I’m not fully happy with it. I really need to make a proper light setup. It’s a bit too dark I think.

Rotation View [ 3MB ]

Changes since the last time:

  • Rigged and weight painted the model
  • Added a podest to the render scene
  • Reworked lighting into a proper 4-light studio rig ( still needs some work though
  • Added red glow lights to put emphasis on the glowing

Rotation view will be available once finished rendering.

I’m still fighting with the lighting setup. I tried the 4-light studio rig mentioned in some tutorial. I try added approximated AO but this turns all the shadow areas totally dark. On the other hand ray traced AO took ages and yield no results. Also the glow lights blender seems to not really take into consideration. Any ideas on how to create best a presentation lighting rig?

EDIT: Slight change on the pose of the wings to look less cramped.