Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Face of a Dragon

There is something I've always drawn, since I was six or so. I drew a few happy houses with sunshine and my family, or maybe a kitty (oh I drew lots of kitties), but there was one thing I drew, for as long as I could use a pencil. Dragons.

As I grew up and kept doodling through class, they evolved into a certain shape. In fact, just for yucks, here's one of my drawings from when I was thirteen! Awww little thirteen year old Siyu.


So anyway, grown up Siyu plucked the idea that was always so clumsily rendered in two dimensions, and gave it one more. Finally, with Zbrush and SL, I was able to create my vision of a dragon, or at least just that lovely face.

One of the first masks I made (I think it was my fifth or sixth) was a dragon mask, which was really absurd compared to this. Evolution seems to be a theme lately...

But for the more technical side of things, the mask changes color on the face and horns, and on the scales, so you can make any variety of color combinations that you like. Blue face, orange scales? Can do! Want to prance around like a My Little Dragon? Pink scales and a white face could be your option. All of the colors are very expressive and rich. I also made two fits for this one, one for wearing bald (as in the picture obviously) and one for wearing with hair. The only difference is in size and position. The skin is a new release by Selos (of Trap, next door), but the black and gray version isn't for sale quite yet. I only have it because I pestered her for a monochrome version.

Speaking of Selos, she popped it into my head to create a matching one, from the other side of the world.

Xuanlong in Chinese means "Black Dragon". Technically he isn't black, but he can be, since he shares the same script that changes the color of his "scales" and his face. He comes with or without a beard, which is traditional while the beardless version isn't. I just like a clean shaven draconian chin *strokes*.

The rules for creating a Chinese dragon are actually incredibly precise, and there's a whole series of symbols and numbers involved in creating them. To the Chinese, dragons were the embodiment of the "Yang" concept of male energy, as well as the five-toed dragon being the symbol of the imperial family. In fact, if an artist not especially commissioned by the emperor dared to draw a five-toed dragon, he could be executed as a traitor. Three-toed dragons were considered appropriate for common people, while four-toed dragons were only for nobility. Not only were the number of toes of incredible importance, but even the number of scales. A set of auspicious numbers relating to yin and yang combinations were used. For this reason, the bearded Xuanlong has 117 prims, which is 81 (9x9 being very lucky and a Yang number) + 36 (9x4, a Yin number). Since the beardless Xuanlong isn't traditional, I didn't bother watching my prims as closely.

I know it's been ages, longer than it's ever been, since I released something. So I want to thank all of you for hanging in there, and being so patient while I've been so unproductive. Enjoy, raaawr :)


thema felix said...

Wow; talk about attention to details! I'm so happy to see someone researching their creations before diving in. Very special!

Siyu Suen said...

Thanks Thema :D Normally I end up finding out a few facts while looking for source photos, at least with historically accurate things. I really like sharing what I learn :)