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Coelurus Project, Part 6



The Coelurus Project, Completed

Well, now you see the final product, all prettified for your viewing enjoyment. But finishing the skeleton is, while a major feat, not the end. AWww, you say? There is more to drawing skeletons than drawing skeletons. You have to let your viewers know what it is they are seeing. This is why I label my skeletons with three important details. First, and foremost, is the name; you want people to know WHAT it is. Second, the scale bar: you want people to know how BIG it is, or in some people, what size the pieces are. This is why I go to such lengths to detail measurements. And third and lastly, you may want to tell people WHAT it is made FROM, in this case the specimens that comprise what we know. There are times my skeletons are based on individual specimens, some more or less complete than others, or a collection of specimens when we are reasonably sure the specimens are the same animal. Here, I tell you that YPM 1991, a caudal vertebra, is the holotype, or the specimen on which the diagnostic features that tell us what Coelurus's founding features are (in this case a lateral ridge on the centrum below a shallow depression, not found in any other species of theropod dinosaur), and that the specimens YPM 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995 (caudal vertebrae and a cervical), and 2010 (all the rest) are the founding features for the skeleton. In addition, I also like to tell people who named the animal and when they did so, in this case O. C. Marsh in 1879. I do this here because I am not confident in a caption to convey this info, since if it's just in the picture, people can have the proximate, important data at hand as they open the image.

And thus concludes the Coelurus Project. Hopefully this will give you an insight into my processes. This one, spaced out over several weeks, took me about 15 hours total to complete, including the measurement taking, drawing, cleanup, sizing, etc. It usually takes me 2 hours on average, but this one was frought with a restart, and the slowing down to perform the other steps. Experience teaches one speed, while retaining the rules and comparison data available (as long as you have the resources, this is easier than not). It's not as hard as you may think in the end, and practice always makes the process easier. Plus, you can always do this completely digitally, using Photoshop's transform technique to size lines proportionately.

Coelurus Project, Part 1 by ~Qilong
Coelurus Project, Part 2 by ~Qilong
Coelurus Project, Part 3 by ~Qilong
Coelurus Project, Part 4 by ~Qilong
Coelurus Project, Part 5 by ~Qilong
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olofmoleman's avatar
All those measurements must be hell. Anyway, great job, looks awesome.