The folks at Blender Nation invited me to write a behind the scenes article about this project, check it out for some science, workflow breakdowns and lots more imagery: https://www.blendernation.com/2019/10/16/behind-the-scenes-tyrannosaurus-rex-life-reconstruction/
Hello all, I’m new to the forums, this is my first post. I’m a palaeontologist studying for a doctoral degree in musculoskeletal anatomy, and I frequently use Blender to aid both my research and hobbyist artwork related to palaeontology.
Here’s a Tyrannosaurus rex modelled in Blender 2.8. The model was constructed over a symmetrised, neutrally re-posed edit of the scan of USNM 555000 (“The Nation’s T. rex”, formally MOR 555 or “Wankel”) made available for download and use by the Smithsonian Institution
As well as being a rigged life model, this project also represents a full soft-tissue study. Every muscle that can be inferred as present with a high degree of confidence was modelled individually.
Overall, the soft-tissue anatomy presented here is conservative, though the extra-oral tisssues (lips) will be seen as contentious by some. More data is going to be required before a less equivocal scientific consensus on how we should be restoring dinosaur oral margins is reached.
Currently, the model uses a relatively basic rig with IK controls on each of the limbs, the tail and the neck. Eventually, I want to add cloth effects to simulate skin jiggle (especially around the patagia and throat), as well as simulated muscles in the limbs and neck, probably using the XMuscle System.
More images of this model including a deeper look at the anatomical process and a list of references can be found at my ArtStation portfolio page: https://www.artstation.com/artwork/banvYd