This 3D model of a Swamp Darner (Epiaeschna heros) Dragonfly was created from photo reference taken from a recently deceased specimen. The photography, modeling and texturing techniques employed are similar to those used to create our 3D Green Crab model [carcinus maenas] previously.
Dissection and Photography
Adult dragonfly typically live only about two months. We were able to identify this specimen as female by the shape of it’s two tail-fins at the extreme end of the abdomen. The species is one of the physically largest of dragonfly in North America. Found throughout the Eastern United States and Canada, westward to Central Oklahoma and Texas, the swamp darner southern most ranges dips into Northern Mexico. Upon discovery of the specimen’s carcass, we took a series of orthographic photos to serve as a structural reference for later modeling.
After satisfactory full body orthographic capture, we begin to dissect the carcass, removing the wings, head, and legs. and captured photo imagery of each of these body segments as appropriate. We choose to leave the thorax and abdomen connection undisturbed.
The orthographic photos are scaled and aligned then brought into the the 3D authoring environment to server as modeling guides. This process is repeated for each of the major body segments: the abdomen/thorax, head, legs and wings.
The completed model consisted of 12 different meshes which consist of a total 3836 polygons [all quads and tris] and 3786 vertices, which were assembled and positioned into the below composite model.
UV Mapping and Texturing
Once the 3D geometry reaches as satisfactory state, it’s time to create the UV map of the model. UV’s translate a 2-dimensional texture projection onto the 3-dimensional surface of the model’s polygons. Each of poly-meshes was unwrapped and laid out into the below UV map.
Once UV-mapping was complete, it was time to create the diffuse texture map. This was done utilizing the photo-reference taken of the original specimen and augmented with digital painting. The diffuse map was then utilized as a basis for a normals, specular, and alpha map.
Geometry: Polygonal Quads/Tris
UV Mapped: Yes
Unwrapped UVs: Yes, non-overlapping
Keywords: dragon, fly, dragonfly, insect, wing, flying, garden, bug, flower, jungle, swamp, forest, tree, pond, wild, wings, green, nature, lake, river, animal, creature, legs.