SVP teaser/Playing with renders

I’ve been trying to jazz up my talk for the Society of Vertebrate Palaeontology conference in Berlin next week, and also been using the opportunity to play with Maya’s rendering abilities (and also avoiding writing a lecture!).

So, you might expect to see a longer, more polished version of this at my talk at SVP:

This is a render trying to show the sinuous nature of the middle digit, Digit  III, in a Jurassic dinosaur track.

I’m coming at this with zero training in design, so there’s still a lot of trial-and-error polishing to do.  For instance, I think the colour of the fossil makes using a red laser light not ideal, so I may change it to green. The positioning of the track off-centre in the view is stylistic too, and perhaps not the most efficient view.

I’m also worried that viewing the track isometrically means people not familiar with it might not be able to orient themselves easily.  However, if I use plan-view, I won’t be able to show off that cool depth of field effect (which means my priorities are currently wrongly skewed towards ‘looking cool’ rather than ‘communication’).  Perhaps I can find the best of both worlds by starting in plan view, then moving the camera in to this isometric view to convey the 3D topography of the track.

I welcome comments and/or suggestions on what I’m doing right/wrong.

The talk I’ll be giving at SVP will be similar to the one I presented at SVPCA, but I still like to alter talks and experiment with digital data both so that I can learn new techniques, and also to entice people along who may have seen me talk previously at other conferences.

You’ll be able to see my talk (if you’re at SVP) on Thursday, November 6th, at 4pm:

Falkingham, P., Gatesy, S.   The birth of a dinosaur track: sub-surface 3-D motion reconstruction and discrete element simulation reveal footprint ‘ontogeny’.

I’ll also be contributing to other abstracts, so be sure to check those out too:

5th November: Carney, R., Molnar, J., Updike, E., Brown, W., Jackson, J., Shawkey, M., Lindgren, J., Sjövall, P., Falkingham, P., Gauthier, J.   Archaeopteryx in 4D

6th November (poster): Bäker, M., Hage, J., Falkingham, P.   Complex substrates reduce the specificity of the Goldilocks effect in track formation.

6th November (poster): Razzolini, N., Vila, B., Falkingham, P., Galobart, A.   Substrate properties and foot anatomy: Two of the variables controlling dinosaur track morphology.

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