Dinner In The Dinosaur Process
The Crystal Palace Dinosaurs are incredibly interesting part of history and a part of the project that I was really excited to get to make. The idea itself sounds like something from Monty Python, but it actually happened in 1851.
I initially stumbled upon the event reading up about the Great Exhibition and from there I researched more into it. The depictions of the Dinner come from etchings , and they show it to be a busy but small affair. One account from Punch Magazine from the evening discussed how much fun they had eating inside a dinosaur, and what a fanciful event it was. What I found even more interesting was the actual invitations sent out for the dinner. The invitations are Illustrations created by the sculptor and creator Benjamin Waterhouse and showed the event to be inside an enormous towering dinosaur which required the guests to climb up to get to the table.
For me, I felt this was a chance to recreate and add my own ideas to this crazy event. I decided to create my own version of the dinosaur using elements of the Crystal Palace Iguanadon and Megalosaurus. The dinosaur would be enormous and require the guests to climb into it using a staircase from the underside of the dinosaur. I wanted to make the head menacing while also allowing space in the main body for their to be a dinner scene. I feel it's a great middle ground between the invitations and the actual dinner.
In terms of creating the model, I drafted the front and side of the dinosaur after some initial tests and developed ideas. I was really pleased with the drafts and they made the building of the dinosaur more straightforward and quicker. After modelling it, I had to deal with some technical difficulties such as attaching the legs to the body. Which was slightly awkward to do as it required stitching verticies together; which was far more time consuming than I'd thought it would be.
The next step was texturing the body. I created some resource sheets in pencil which would be coloured digitally and then placed onto the body. After that, I worked on the staircase and surroundings of the dinosour, such as the plants and pathways into it. Of course, the dinning table had to be created, and I used reference books of Victorian life such as Stella Margetson's Book 'Victorian High Society' which depicted and commented on dinning and formal code.
Overall, I'm really pleased with the outcome of the Dinosaur Dinner Scene. It keeps the madness of the event, while also showing my own interpretations of the events. It's believable while also ridiculous and allows the scene to have lots of interesting camera angles and the animation to take place. However, I'm not too pleased with the texturing of the dinosaur. After speaking to JR about the texturing, he suggested using a bitmap which would add definition to the scales and body armour. This would allow for more interesting lighting and contrasts. Something I will do in the FMP.