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Old Dec 17 2010, 12:22 AM   #1
Rhodalle
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Default Pern Art!

(I'd like to add that I gave a heads up when introducing myself in the general discussion forum that I'd post this and I invite suggestions and critiques, so please, don't hold them back! I always did want to discuss riding straps in detail so this is a good opportunity to answer many of my questions!)

There's a lot to discuss in this drawing. Espeically since I MADE UP the riding straps and blah'd through the rider's gear. I guess we can attribute that there were some changes in the way weyrs did things over time. Or we can just ignore them to look at dragon anatomy for now, since I just wanted the effect, seemed not right to draw a dragon and rider chillin, with no riding straps, since they take so long to put on, might as well leave them on during a busy day.

Neck ridges have been my most recent question... I swear the exact number of ridges was stated somewhere, but can't recall, and my books are gone so, may need your help to make adjustments, guys.

As for size and configuration of neck ridges, I understand some people just think of them as vertebral bumps, but a little more pronounced than we have, and recently read a qote from one of the books about fire lizard neck ridges beginning immediately after the head knobs.. mine start sooner, but... this was began before I read that and I'd like to look into it more anyway.

I did my ridges the way I did because I do remember reading that the rider sits between the last two ridges, and can hold onto the one in front of them if need be for stability. So they might be pretty protrusive ridges though soft and unlikely to concuss the rider... I just -assumed- that kitti ping made room between the last two ridges, scooting the last a little onto the shoulder? Likely, they're there more for meat sheild from falling thread than aerodynamism. After all, while thread's gnawing on the ridges, the dragon has an extra second or two to go between before it hits the spinal nerves... The books repeatedly mention eye ridges as well... likely the same purpose, to protect the eyes from falling thread. These are theroies but we know Kitti ping was brilliant and thought ahead, right? lol

I also realize, Ramoth had a six foot long head, though may have been growing just a bit still in the story at that time.. this dragon's head is -not- six feet long, the rider is slouching and the dragon's head is quite a bit nearer... And for all we know this rider is short, lol.



http://rhodalle.deviantart.com/art/P...ider-189847872 (here's the link if image didn't work)

Last edited by Rhodalle; Dec 17 2010 at 05:05 AM. Reason: invitation for critiques
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Old Dec 17 2010, 01:53 AM   #2
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Default Re: Pern Art!

That's really, REALLY nice. Great interpretation of a Pernese dragon.

I will make a general comment about riding straps, for general benefit/interest/discussion. Simply because I can be awfully anal about details, and your lovely illustration has inspired me to think about them in a bit more detail.

Metal buckles and loops. They'll get ice-cold in between, and if you can avoid having them touching bare skin, you really, really should. Most of a horse's tack avoids having buckles in skin contact anyway, for comfort and also to prevent sweat rusting, I imagine, so it's certainly something a dragonrider could do for the added benefit of fewer freeze-burns. Stitched leather around the joins, placement of buckles on top of the straps rather than beneath them or as solitary connector pieces, sleeves and baffles to cover up the metalwork in other places...

From a writing perspective, I'd also see any bit of the leather in close contact with metal as a REALLY likely point of failure - prolonged contact with cold metal will increase the chance of freeze-cracking of the leather way more than just the effects of between on the leather alone. A rider would need to pay special attention to those areas of his/her straps, or perhaps invest in some wool or sheepskin insulation between metal and leather.
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Old Dec 17 2010, 02:57 AM   #3
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Look like to me, your talons on the back are stick out too much. I can tell for the background.

You know if you wanted to do background gray or black might work. Over all not bad, my sight might not be as good but then I can sometime 'see ' things in my mind.
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Old Dec 17 2010, 04:58 AM   #4
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Default Re: Pern Art!

thanks for your input guys, I was certain I'd end up redoing the straps, with some suggestions, and changing some other things, and oh is it killing me not to have a background! as it says in the descrip on deviantart, I started arguing with the color of the ground and decided to come back later when I got reinspired. fortunately this image is done in layers so I can edit things quite easily! Since dragons can handle outer space... I wasn't too worried about the metal on dragon hide, but you know, during threadfall they go between an awful lot, and that metal would get darn cold, and not only would it compromise, I agree it could dammage the leather, so I'll go with you on that. I like your suggestions, and I'll start making some sketches. Insulating between metal and leather is a great idea... and there are probably such better ways to go about connecting the different kinds of straps. Also, the lower strap is not held up the way I did it, so it would slide down if you hung say, extra firestone sacks, on the chord going under the wings... just noticed that. Glad my idea got you thinking though. The best ideas form when minds can be put together and I would LOVE to read your future post on straps. It's a topic I have wanted to bring up for a long time now. I figured that there was a loop going around the tail/legs to hold the straps, outside the range of the image.

I think that it's totally distracting when things arent reallistic, so I don't mind anyone being a stickler at all!

I just wanted to dive in while inspired so I'd be on a good start. You know how inspiration is...

Last edited by Rhodalle; Dec 17 2010 at 05:18 AM.
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Old Dec 17 2010, 10:44 AM   #5
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Default Re: Pern Art!

Like I said before on your introduction thread, I like the picture, and I'm not the best person to comment (honestly, I see no flaws whatsoever), but would love to see any picture you make of Pern, cause there aren't that much of those on Deviantart.
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Old Dec 17 2010, 06:08 PM   #6
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Well, I think it is wonderful. I'm often in awe of those with the ability to "see" and portray such scenes, as I'm totally unable to do so. So I'm not the most critical of viewers. It does strike me as very realistic.
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Old Dec 20 2010, 11:50 PM   #7
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I really enjoyed getting to see this lovely artwork...you have done a beautiful job with your computer art skills.
I do have to agree with Kath, I don't believe that they would have metal on the riding straps...because of the cold on the leather. I also think if they did they would be on top of the strap, no next to the dragon skin. It would also be larger, thicker strap, one where the rings would more easily reached by the rider during falls.
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Old Nov 13 2011, 09:48 PM   #8
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Well, I figure that even though I was brought here almost a year later with a new question, I'd better update what I started in this thread! I've attempted straps a second time! (I would probably avoid them if it just didn't seem so wrong to leave them out when drawing dragons and riders together. :P)

In this version, there is no metal touching skin. You can't see some aspects, but there is minimal, if no, metal touching leather either. I'm STILL working on them. There's a missing chest-strap here. But it just didn't seem needed! Perhaps there are multiple versions of riding straps depending on the size of the dragon and what they are being worn for at the time.

I suppose you can remove the rope connecting the neck strap to the tail. But the ones under the wings are for carrying things. I just want the neck strap to be as immobile as possible, and connecting it solely to the front legs might not be good enough.

I assume that the leather ropes are woven of many smaller leather ropes something like a chinese finger trap so that they actually have a little bit of tensile strength. So if the dragon bends thier body the ropes which are measured correctly can give a little if they need to, but they are also meant to be a little loose.

What I'd like to know is: is the way I'm imagining these straps to work realistic? I value the way others might interpret it, and trust anyone in this forum as well as I trust myself on the matter, lol.

Link below: (this is a commish of someone else's OCs, she gave me permission to share. Also note, this dragon is scaled to a little over 60 feet so by feet scale thats a bit bigger than Ramoth, but that's not what we are discussing here. 0_o I shut up now.)

http://rhodalle.deviantart.com/#/d4enoj6
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Old Nov 14 2011, 07:19 AM   #9
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Default Re: Pern Art!

Lovely pic!

Anyway, you asked for thoughts, so here you go...

Leather will stretch a little anyway, and you'd want the fit to be fairly snug to avoid chafing. I'd also expect the straps to actively avoid parts of the body where there IS a lot of movement for exactly that reason.

Start simply, and build up from there. The simplest strap is a single loop (or two) around the dragons neck, that you can clip to a rider's belt with cords or whatever, and which could have integral toe-holds for ease of mounting in the case of the larger dragons. (I'm thinking of reins for disabled people here - a girl I once rode with had reins with loops built in, so she could adjust her hold on the reins through the full range of lengths even without hands.)

Like a horse's girth, the main strap(s) would be a fairly snug fit, but not too snug. Even with horses, you do risk slippage - the girth and saddle can work their way forwards or backwards out of position, or slide around the horse's torso if the forces are off balance and can overcome the natural friction. At first glance, a dragon's neck is not dissimilarly barrel-shaped, but it's probably contoured enough that you'd worry about slippage forwards but not backwards. So, I'd only expect to see a breastplate if it's needed for some other purpose - carrying-straps to be slung under the dragon's belly, say, and I'd go and re-read Moreta before thinking too hard about that one.

But - dragons have neck ridges! And if they're prominent enough to sit between and to hold onto, that's an in-built advantage for the dragon. You don't want the straps to be too loose anyway, so providing they're reasonably snug, you don't need a crupper either. Those straps will stay put where they are.

The only remaining concern is the straps sliding in situ. Given that dragonriders use them to haul themselves into place, sliding is a real possibility that they must have some way of countering. Again, I'd be inclined to use the neck ridges as the first solution here. Have the main strap divide either side of the ridge, and bingo, no more slippage! The other option is some kind of ferret- or cat- or puppy-harness type arrangement, utilising the front limbs. Perhaps something like you have, but at that point it depends a lot on how each individual imagines the dragon's anatomy, and where relative to the withers you start the wings. Personally, I'd have a good length of leather running from the top of the second neck-strap (the one furtherst from the head), down behind the dragon's armpits and back round again. Nice and padded behind the limbs and across the chest, with another length running from the middle of that strap (somewhere in the vicinity of the sternum) down to the low point of the second neck strap.

To sum up - I like the look, and I find it pretty plausible apart from the crupper.
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Old Nov 14 2011, 04:29 PM   #10
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Thank you for being so helpful with all of my persistent questions, lol. Yes, I began to give more merit to the neck ridges for holding the neck strap in place. So I might utilize them more in later images, and remove the strap on the back - which you have identified for me as a crupper (thank you!). Just seemed the obvious solution to keeping any leathers from moving at all, but a comment from someone on DA said that straps connecting to the tail are highly unrealistic because they'd snap if the dragon moved. To which I said that the ropes carrying things are not tight. I don't picture them flapping around loose, but they have to be just loose enough to have some stretch and some allowance. If they are made and measured well, they'll allow the dragon to move and serve the purpose of carrying.

Under the wings seems the only reallistic place to carry firestone sacks or whatever they'd be moving, just because not all dragons are tall enough and even for a dragon as big as the one I've drawn here, having stuff banging around between the legs is going to be awkward.

The membrane on the wings will have to go at -least- to the tail for these creatures to fly realistically, and even with plenty of wing membrane, they won't fly without the aid of telekinesis... but I could swear in one of Anne's descriptions she said the membrane goes all the way to the tail. If this is the case, a cat or ferret leash design is impossible. The tail, or hind legs AND tail, would have to be utilized. I figure a dragon's hide might be very durable, but if anything was going to have leather rubbing on it, the very last place you'd want it to, is on that soft wing membrane. Even with the rumples of protective hide I drew on it.

And I think this is all pretty much what you are pointing out? lol So if I work the neck ridges into the equation, and remove the crupper, I could keep using this strap design??
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Old Nov 14 2011, 05:39 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevia View Post
Well, I think it is wonderful. I'm often in awe of those with the ability to "see" and portray such scenes, as I'm totally unable to do so. So I'm not the most critical of viewers. It does strike me as very realistic.
oh thank you, I'm so sorry, I thought I thanked you for your compliments! ^^ Glad you like it. I have more fun drawing the dragons, but I figure that with so many technical people out there, I'd better learn to get the straps -perfect- lol I have it in me to be a perfectionist, but things that are not organic tend to bore me. hehe..
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Old Nov 14 2011, 06:12 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Lady Maelin View Post
I really enjoyed getting to see this lovely artwork...you have done a beautiful job with your computer art skills.
I do have to agree with Kath, I don't believe that they would have metal on the riding straps...because of the cold on the leather. I also think if they did they would be on top of the strap, no next to the dragon skin. It would also be larger, thicker strap, one where the rings would more easily reached by the rider during falls.
ohhhh! I don't know how I missed it. You are the incredible artist who does all the portraits on here! Thank you for saying my work is lovely. It means so much to have your art complimented by someone who's talent you admire! I think I've been remiss to thank you and Kath sufficiently for your compliments and help.
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Old Nov 14 2011, 07:09 PM   #13
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It is really good. however, I also think that the tail strap looks impractical. If I remember correctly from the books, fire stone sacks go directly behind the rider, because they have to be easy for the rider to grab and pass to the dragon.
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Old Nov 14 2011, 07:52 PM   #14
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Thanks! Right, I should have been more explanatory, I was kinda just thinking of luggage-type carrying. For an actual threadfall, you make a good point, they'd have a place near them for firestone sacks. (though not on this pair because it's of a queen, naturally, lol) But for transporting things under the wings still seems like a good place to me. Maybe I should trust the neck ridges more but it just doesn't seem very secure without something extra as a failsafe. But I'll generally go with everyone that they are not necessary most of the time. (the only time they'd be used, the way I imagine it, is if they are transporting a lot of something.)
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Old Nov 15 2011, 02:42 AM   #15
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You have a lot of wing fabric ahead of the main wing bone. While I agree that 'a dragon's back is full of wing' and would go all the way to the base of the tail, I think you could just about manage a cat harness type arrangement going from armpit to withers ahead of the wing fabric starting, providing there's less of it. The wings evolved from the central pair of the six-limb common ancestor, according to DDawn. If that makes the dragon too top heavy, cut down on the bulk of the forelimbs - most of the strength comes from launching from the rear and flying from the wings, with the forelimbs used merely for grasping and balance. I wouldn't make them T-rex or even kangaroo weedy, but I would make them significantly less muscular - somewhat closer to a kangaroo than to a big cat.

Firestone sacks have to be easily retrievable for the rider, so that's another limitation. I think the browns, bronzes and golds (if the lattermost would ever deign to be a beast of burden) would use belly-slings when required for transporting things in bulk, but in general I'd expect transport of scaks in threadfall to be a continual process of a couple slung pannier-style in front or behind the rider, continually refreshed by a new pair by weyrlings carrying them the same way - who could then go back to the Weyr to re-supply each time.
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Old Nov 15 2011, 05:16 PM   #16
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Whew, it's deffinitely a good reason for riders to build up strength and accuracy if they're tossing firestone sacks at eachother midair all the time. In the midst of threadfall no less! Guess we admire them for a reason!

Edit: yeah, I envision the membrane there in front of the wing, maybe to split air and reduce drag, or maybe it's not needed, though I'm not really worried about chafing at the front of the wing anyhow. I'm more worried about by the hips, that's why I don't picture anything that goes "around" or "behind" the wing like I've read in some articles pertaining to straps on fan-sites. Picturing what you mean by cat-type harness, and I think I'll be going with something more like that next time.

All of my projects are interconnected lol.. to make things work one way, seems something has to give somewhere else. It all starts with my project to make a dragon scale that converts the meters listed into feet EXACTLY. One that even works with the quotes from Anne's books. It's my primary goal, out of curiosity: since Kaiser and Bronzie have established wonderful scales that incorporate book quotes. I just want to know if a scale based on a 45 foot Ramoth can be made to work.. as perfect as I can get it. The straps are the secondary project to the scale because I'm building them around the dragon, not the dragon around the straps.

Shortening the frong legs requires expanding the chest and raising the wings so that Ruth's shoulder (either from spine just above neck or from the wing shoulder) height is as close to accurate when he's one third the length of a 45 foot ramoth! A lot of the bulk in the chest is part of the wings, since Anne said that there is muscles in the chest used in flight. This is as long as the arms are allowed to be to have the hop-skip gait and awkwardness dragons are said to have.

I draw the arms rather humanoid becasue it's a style thing. They are not any kind of quadruped leg, figuring they are indeed for grasping and balance rather than bearing weight. Kangaroos can grasp, but they are not an intelligent animal that will be using it's arms for as many tasks as a dragon. So I give them longer biceps, like a human. To support such huge bodies even briefly, especially if they are armlike, I imagine they'd have some "guns" lol.

What about a way to -hoist- firestone sacks hanging by the chest? It just dawned on me that they could have ropes buckled up by the rider, and the sacks secured below thier feet, and they can unbuckle them and just pull them up by thier ropes. That way I'm not tempted to put a crupper-type thing on the back to hook things to, lol. Seems better than making a rider have to reach behind hismelf anyway.

With that kind of method, we could do away with under the wing luggage carrying too.

This is a better side angle of my dragons and the scale. I feel ready to share anyway, since I've finally worked out a lot of the kinks that were bugging me.

(big thanks to BronzeDragonrider, you know him as Spaceman-Spiff on here if I'm right? he helped me out by giving advice and linking me to his size references when I didn't have access to the books.)





if I update with a new version it will be here: http://rhodalle.deviantart.com/gallery/5010722#/d34x93i

Last edited by Rhodalle; Nov 15 2011 at 06:23 PM.
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Old Nov 16 2011, 01:33 AM   #17
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Nice.

I"m assuming you've drawn the two Greens to give a size comparison between adult Ruth and an immature, 9th Pass Green.

If memory serves, and excuse me if I'm wrong, wasn't Ruth compared to a 1st Pass adult Dragon in size and scale?
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Old Nov 16 2011, 02:20 AM   #18
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What about a way to -hoist- firestone sacks hanging by the chest? It just dawned on me that they could have ropes buckled up by the rider, and the sacks secured below thier feet, and they can unbuckle them and just pull them up by thier ropes. That way I'm not tempted to put a crupper-type thing on the back to hook things to, lol. Seems better than making a rider have to reach behind hismelf anyway.
The riders need to keep topping up their dragons throughout Threadfall, IIRC - they don't consume a single bag in one go. Ease of access is key. I'd have them slung pannier-style on the ridge in front, or beneath the rider's thighs (which would be angled forwards anyway, given the breadth of a dragon's neck)
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Old Nov 16 2011, 03:09 AM   #19
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Nice.

I"m assuming you've drawn the two Greens to give a size comparison between adult Ruth and an immature, 9th Pass Green.

If memory serves, and excuse me if I'm wrong, wasn't Ruth compared to a 1st Pass adult Dragon in size and scale?
Thanks.

Pretty much. From one of the resources I was using to make this, Ruth is said to be about half the size of his Ninth Pass peers. That makes the smallest green about twice his volume, and yep, Ruth is just a tad bigger than Carenath, who is one third the size (length?) of Ramoth. That small green is the smallest green in the spectrum for comparison.

So from Ramoth at 45 feet, to 40 feet is the queen size ranges, and from 40 to 35 is bronze, from 35 to 30 is brown, 30-25 blue, 25-20 green. I think I'll add that info in under the scale at the bottom so people know I'm showing the max sizes for most of the colors.

Last edited by Rhodalle; Nov 16 2011 at 11:55 AM.
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Old Nov 16 2011, 03:28 AM   #20
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The riders need to keep topping up their dragons throughout Threadfall, IIRC - they don't consume a single bag in one go. Ease of access is key. I'd have them slung pannier-style on the ridge in front, or beneath the rider's thighs (which would be angled forwards anyway, given the breadth of a dragon's neck)
right! I use big words but my communication skills (and probably spelling) fail me often, it's why I only show up on a forum if I'm desperate for help. ^^;; Sorry for walls of text. I thank you again for your help.

that's exactly what I was picturing too, I just mean, for carrying -extra- loads than what is already kept efficiently on-hand. For one example, extra firestone being brought to a flight for those who have run out. The one bringing it would want to utilize full carrying capacity. Maybe four, or even eight bags! I'm trying to picture how many we could fit on the straps to reduce pit-stops. Dragons can teleport, and that makes them very useful to Pern, especially during intervals when they might as well show courtessy to the holds/halls in ways other than fighting thread, such as transporting goods.

..or just when the firestone next to them runs out, they can hoist up another bag carried below. ...Assuming I can draw it to look practical. It's just a theory.

I'm working on the new strap design based on what you said, connecting higher up on the neck strap, from around the legs, in front of the wings, and it looks very stable! More what I used to imagine when reading the books too! It brings the chest strap into play too.
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Old Nov 17 2011, 05:13 PM   #21
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ok, so here's my new sketch, it's partially drawn, and I have NOT added the safety straps or tethers yet, it's just the bare bones. I think this is what you meant though, and I really like it! Thanks for all your ideas and input, I wouldn't have gotten here wihtout it.

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Old Nov 18 2011, 08:44 AM   #22
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It looks promising so. I imagine them like this when I read the books.
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