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Old May 26 2010, 11:59 PM   #1
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Default Pern study

Well, this is my first post. I came across this site while looking for some Pern reference material. Why am I look for pern stuff? Well, I'm trying to learn a new art program, and I remembered how much I loved the Dragonriders series, so why not use the world of Pern subject matter. I hope to create a dragon, watch wher, globe, maybe a weyr and a hold. Not sure if this is the right area to post images because a lot of them will be work in progress images for feedback from the community. Hope you enjoy.

First up, the globe. While browsing through the Pern museum and archives, I came across the globe images of pern. I noticed that the map used was the one with only one hemisphere. The first images gives you an idea of what the globe might look like using one of the more complete maps. I used one of the fandom maps by Raalynthslair.


This second image is closer to what I want to accomplish.


I think that I'm going to stop wth the globe at this point, because I saw that Todd was creating a map of Pern. The image on his blog was just a wip, so I might come back to this when he's finished. I am still looking for references of the southern continent with the major moutain ranges and other features.
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Old May 27 2010, 12:55 AM   #2
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Anyone have a link to Jayru's site? He had a great Pern globe, didn't he?
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Old May 27 2010, 02:40 AM   #3
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Good globes, James. Especially the first set!

Yes, Kath, he had a nice one. Think his site was called Rukbat3. I still have his Pernglobe render in my gallery: http://www.pern.nl/art_gallery/fan/hurst.html
Jamie didn't do a set though, as far as I can remember.

I must say, however, that I descovered a great artist, called Christine Graham (on deviant art) who did a better set/globe and got her permission to show them on my site: http://www.pern.nl/art_gallery/fan/graham.html
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Old May 27 2010, 08:08 AM   #4
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Thanks for the replies.

Hans, I had not seen Christine Graham's globe set. They are really good too. I'm also going for the realistic look myself. That second image I posted was just a test using a mask and the a mars planet texture and an atmosphere layer. I did notice that Graham used the same incomplete map of Pern. It looks to have the same distortion at the poles when I tested a similar map.
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Old May 27 2010, 11:01 AM   #5
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Question about credits. I'm going to start working on a dragon, and I would like to post in the learning forums for the program I'm using. I just started using this program and will most likely need feedback on the ins and outs. I know this franchise is heavily regulated. Do I need to get some kind of permission? Is the credits I already put on the image enough? Should I just post it as "dragon" and not mention the Pern franchise?
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Old May 27 2010, 11:05 AM   #6
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As I understand it, if the dragon is based on McCaffrey's concept of dragon anatomy you need to add a copyright notice of 'Dragonriders of Pern is (c) Anne McCaffery', or something close to that. Browse some Pern art on DeviantArt and you will see some commonly accepted copyright notices.
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Old May 28 2010, 02:42 AM   #7
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No permission necessary. What is copyrighted is the "Dragonriders of Pern", like Semantre remarks. Nowadays it seems no problem to show you take on a Pernese dragon but as soon as you are coming near making money off of it (or anything you call Pernese) you're in trouble.

Semanter, the name is McCaffrey, not McCaffery. Sorry, pet peeve
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Old May 28 2010, 04:07 AM   #8
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Ah Semantics for Semantre!
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Old May 28 2010, 09:04 AM   #9
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Semanter, the name is McCaffrey, not McCaffery. Sorry, pet peeve
You'll notice it is typed both ways in my post - the incorrect one is a typo. And, my name is Semantre.
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Old May 28 2010, 11:41 AM   #10
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Thanks for the info Hans. When I post the finished images they will only be for portfolio. I'm working through the basics pretty easy, so I don't need to go there yet.
I've already modelled the basic shape of the dragon. SHould I post images or do you want to wait until it's more finished? Thanks for the responses.
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Old May 29 2010, 03:27 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by James View Post
Thanks for the info Hans. When I post the finished images they will only be for portfolio. I'm working through the basics pretty easy, so I don't need to go there yet.
I've already modelled the basic shape of the dragon. SHould I post images or do you want to wait until it's more finished? Thanks for the responses.
What you should, should be what you want

But I can tell you, I would love progress pictures! I love to see how things made that I will never achieve myself
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Old May 29 2010, 03:28 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by semantre View Post
You'll notice it is typed both ways in my post - the incorrect one is a typo. And, my name is Semantre.
Semanter was a typo of course
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Old May 29 2010, 09:46 PM   #13
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So here's the basic shape I settled on. It's a little slender than most of the versions I've seen. This measures out at 45 ft from nose to tail with a wingspan of about 70ft. I put in a 5-1/2 ft female and a 7-ft horse to give you a sense of scale. If your wondering about "jay-mo," it's a name I use on a different forum.




Before I start the next round of refinements, I just want to make sure the hind legs have three toes, and if it is that pincer configuration like the firelizards. Right now I have a basic three toe configuration with the inner being opposable.
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Old Jun 2 2010, 02:44 AM   #14
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SteveB did a nice one with a fishing buoy did here? I know is at Han's site.
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Old Jun 2 2010, 10:01 AM   #15
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Nicely done! I can't wait to see further progress on these

Yes, the dragons definitely have three toes on the hind limbs, all forward facing. But the forelimbs have four fingers and a thumb.
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Old Jun 3 2010, 09:31 AM   #16
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SteveB did a nice one with a fishing buoy did here? I know is at Han's site.
I saw that. It's really cool.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spaceman Spiff View Post
Nicely done! I can't wait to see further progress on these

Yes, the dragons definitely have three toes on the hind limbs, all forward facing. But the forelimbs have four fingers and a thumb.
Thanks! I'm working on a couple of versions of the toe configuration. The current version has two facing forward, but I made the inner toe opposable for grasping puposes. It points forward, but at an angle. I'm also trying to work out the "pincer/claw" configuration. I read over at KT that the pincer/claw configuration might be the right one, although I'm not sure how solid that info is. I hope to post something before the weekend so you guys can take a look.
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Old Jun 4 2010, 04:22 PM   #17
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I saw that. It's really cool.



Thanks! I'm working on a couple of versions of the toe configuration. The current version has two facing forward, but I made the inner toe opposable for grasping puposes. It points forward, but at an angle. I'm also trying to work out the "pincer/claw" configuration. I read over at KT that the pincer/claw configuration might be the right one, although I'm not sure how solid that info is. I hope to post something before the weekend so you guys can take a look.
The pincer configuration is exclusive to the native firelizards. The forelimbs of mentasynth enhanced firelizards and the dragons were definitely altered to have five digits. I can't find any specific references regarding the enhanced firelizards other than the DLG, but it is explicitly stated in Dragonsdawn that the dragons have five fingers on each hand.
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Old Jun 7 2010, 09:28 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Spaceman Spiff View Post
The pincer configuration is exclusive to the native firelizards. The forelimbs of mentasynth enhanced firelizards and the dragons were definitely altered to have five digits. I can't find any specific references regarding the enhanced firelizards other than the DLG, but it is explicitly stated in Dragonsdawn that the dragons have five fingers on each hand.
I think James is talking about the pincer configuration strictly for the hindlegs? I haven't seen him mention the forelimbs at all.
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Old Jun 8 2010, 06:15 AM   #19
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Very cool globes James! I like the dragon too, but I picture them with a face similar to what you have drawn and a little more flesh around the torso area. Thats just my vision though. Really nice stuff! Welcome aboard!

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Old Jun 8 2010, 11:32 AM   #20
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I think James is talking about the pincer configuration strictly for the hindlegs? I haven't seen him mention the forelimbs at all.
Yes, thats's what I was wondering. There was some discussion over at KT wether this was the case. Thanks for clearing that up.

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Very cool globes James! I like the dragon too, but I picture them with a face similar to what you have drawn and a little more fleash around the torso area. Thats just my vision though. Really ncie stuff! Welcome aboard!
Thanks Samasara. The way I envisioned these dragons had changed many times. I really wanted to make this version sleek, and I wanted to tone down the body mass so it might look like flight was a possibility without TK. I know this version looks realy small compared to the others I've seen; if you haven't guessed, this is the size of Ramoth using the 45 ft ref. The male dragons will be a little more robust. I really enjoy looking at all the diversity in size and shape of the dragons from all the different artist.
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Old Jun 9 2010, 12:51 AM   #21
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Quote:
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Thanks Samasara. The way I envisioned these dragons had changed many times. I really wanted to make this version sleek, and I wanted to tone down the body mass so it might look like flight was a possibility without TK. I know this version looks realy small compared to the others I've seen; if you haven't guessed, this is the size of Ramoth using the 45 ft ref. The male dragons will be a little more robust. I really enjoy looking at all the diversity in size and shape of the dragons from all the different artist.
Um no, I hadn't realised about the sizing. Actually the more I think of it, your dragon body does indeed look more equine then what I was imagining. I guess my view of how the dragons look comes largely from the cover art of Steve Weston, my favourite Pern artist. BTW, what does TK stand for?
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Old Jun 9 2010, 08:33 AM   #22
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Um no, I hadn't realised about the sizing. Actually the more I think of it, your dragon body does indeed look more equine then what I was imagining. I guess my view of how the dragons look comes largely from the cover art of Steve Weston, my favourite Pern artist. BTW, what does TK stand for?
I saw someone abbreviate telekinesis as "TK." I'm pretty new here, so I guessed everyone knew what it meant, sorry.

Steven Wesyon's dragons are great. They're very ornate and detailed. I used to envision Pern dragons the way Michael Whelan depicted them. Although I see them different now, I still love his cover art the most.
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Old Jul 13 2010, 07:39 PM   #23
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Quote:
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I think James is talking about the pincer configuration strictly for the hindlegs? I haven't seen him mention the forelimbs at all.
Firelizards do not have a pincer configuration on the rear limbs, I guess that's what had me confused. The hind limbs have feet that are pretty much like a theropod dinosaur foot, as far as I've seen them described. http://www.factmonster.com/images/EE...BIPCAR_008.jpg I've never heard any references to them having any type of opposable, or rear-facing toe.
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Old Jul 14 2010, 11:16 AM   #24
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I can't get it to give me the pagenumbers, but from Google books, Dragonsdawn, three quotes:

This one is from Sean, musing about how useful the brown firelizards he had just gained might be:
Quote:
The brown dragonets felt warm against his skin and a bit prickly where their tiny spikes pressed, but he was more than pleased with his success. They only had three toes, the front one folded against the back two.
It does not specify if only the front pair of claws are like this, or both.

This one is where Pol is explaining the connection between firelizards and tunnelsnakes:
Quote:
"Hmm, yes, for life evolved from the seas here on Pern just as it did on Earth. With variations, of course." Pol settled happily into his lecturing mode with an attentive if incredulous audience. "Yes, an aquatic eellike ancestor, in fact. With six limbs. The first paid-" he pointed at the dragonet still clutching his morsel in his front pincers. "-originally were nets for catching. See the action of the front claw agains thte stationary back pair? The dragonets dropped the net in favor of three digits. They opted for wings instead of stabilizing middle fins, while the hind pair are for propulsion."
There's more after that about the tunnelsnake structure, but isn't really applicable.

And then, about the changes in claw formation on the dragons, but not the dragonets:
Quote:
The claw design was one of the few physical modification that Kitti Ping had made from dragonet to dragon. The finger-like claws would be more useful, she had thought, for grabbing running animals than the dragonet's pincer-type arrangement.
So, I think that you're right about the dragon claw formation - though it isn't wholly clear on whether both sets of claws were changed, or just the front or just the back were altered - but based on this, it would still be accurate to say firelizards have the pincer arrangement. The only thing done to firelizards was a mentasynth enhancement, which would not have changed their physical form at all. And the text doesn't say anything about the structure of the hind limbs being different from the front limbs, so far as claw arrangement is concerned.
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Old Nov 11 2010, 07:38 PM   #25
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I have definitely read somewhere that firelizards were modified to have "human-like" forepaws, with five "fingers" and a thumb. And that dragons inherited that configuration. It may be in the Dragonlover's Guide to Pern though, rather than Dragonsdawn.

I don't think the hind legs have been specifically mentioned anywahere, however.

Pure speculation ahead...my conjecture would be that both firelizards and dragons would also have 5 toes on the hind limbs.

Here's my reasons: I've read a bit in biology. I'm totally an amateur, but as I understand it, nature takes things that are already there, and tweaks the "expression" of them when it can. (A lot of genes that we used to be taught were "junk" genes actually modify the expression of a "non-junk" gene at a specific point in a creature's lifecycle. Some of those "junk" genes only activate when a creature is only a few cells big, other activate later in life, or upon specific events in the life of a creature.)

So the genes to make hands and feet share an underlying...design. That design is 5 fingers or toes. They end up as *specifically* hands and feet due to the way the underlying basic shape is expressed. The same bones are all more or less there...they just get grown into different shapes depending on if they're on a wing or a forelimb or hindlimb. If you research fossils, one of the things scientists use sometimes to divide species up into categories is the presence and absence of a specific bone. Two species in the same category might be classified that way due to a presence of a bone...the bone itself might be wildly different in shape due to the expression required in the specific species, but the bone is THERE.

If a dragon had a 5 fingered forepaw, but a 3 toed pincer hindpaw, I would suspect the "basic design" would be in the dragon genome twice...once in a 5 toed version, once in a 3 toed version. But that seems sloppy to me; why not encode the basic design once, and then have expression genes to have it altered appropriately for the 3 different places where it'll show up on a dragon? You have the forepaws, the wing "fingers" and the hindpaws. Put the basic design--five "fingered"--in once. Then modify the expression of it 2 or 3 times to derive the wing "fingers" and the hind limb toes.

I'd speculate that if you go in and only do the forepaws, you might end up with weird stuff where the "3 fingered" pincer variant might crop up in the wrong place later. So you'd want to rip that design out entirely, and replace it everywhere with the 5 finger/toe/whatever variant.

So. That's my pseudo-science theorycrafting.

#

Edit: Heh, now a line of dialogue for some fanfic story is floating in my head. "This is why we have whers!" (in regards to a genetic engineer being lazy and not updating ALL the instances of where a gene is expressed in the genome, and only tweaking the most obvious spots instead of being thorough and hunting down everywhere where that gene is expressed.)
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Old Jan 17 2011, 02:57 PM   #26
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Sorry for not updating this for a while. It might be a while again before I can get back to this project, so I'm posting what I have on my dragon sculpt.

This scaled out to a small blue, so I'm calling her Path, since the rider is a female and I've been testing a green color scheme.







color test


Thanks for the comments!
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Old Feb 3 2011, 03:08 PM   #27
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Here's my go at a wher. It's not completely finished, needs teeth. I went with the two toed version. Not really sure what the other toe configurations are. Feel free to input any ideas.



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Old Feb 4 2011, 05:50 AM   #28
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Thats way cool James. What does it say about how wherys look in the books? I cant quite remember how many toes they're supposed to have. I hope you dont take this the wrong way, cause I'm not trying to be rude or anything... but something about those feet just dont look right to me... I dont know why. I think it is the toes. You have done a really great job though, I could never do that. I think his face is spot on. My only attempt at drawing a pern dragon, was me tracing over the book covers and colouring them in!! Hah, I must have been like 13 or something. I've still got them, and theyre pretty funny.

BTW, I love the colour in the dragon close up. And I love the way you did the eyes.
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Old Feb 5 2011, 05:01 PM   #29
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Thanks Samsara. Please feel free to critique my work, I will not be personally offended. Good or bad, feedback is always helpful and welcomed.

I agree with your comment about the feet. I thought I read somewhere that Tod had depicted the whers as having two toes. I thought this would be a good opportunity to work in the pincer trait from the fire-lizards. I'll play with it a bit more, see if I can make it work.

Thanks for the feedback.
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Old Feb 5 2011, 07:11 PM   #30
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No probs James!
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