Insect body advice

Hey all,

I'm sort-of-maybe new to Blender and CGI in general. Not a complete novice, but definitely amateur at best. I'm trying to build a creature to explore animation with and it's complexities, and it's, in essence, an insect dog. Lots of fleshy tissue bits between hard, moving chitin parts. It got me thinking as to what the best way to actually build the model would be.

The question is best asked surrounding a particular piece of the model. On the rib cage of the dogsect, there are plates that are usually flat, but turn outwards slightly whenever it breathes, like some kind of gills. Behind the plates is connecting tissue, connecting the plates to the body. Now I'm thinking, for animation, is it best to sculpt the model with the plates extended at their maximum so that when animated, the model retains detail down to it's compressed levels, or is it better for me to build the plates separately? I'll attach an image for clarity.

Sorry for the naff image, not that good at drawing yet.

EDIT: For clarity, the image shows the maximum they will be open and seen, and will be like that in parts of the animation.

  • crew

    Hey ppaxalon , sounds like an awesome project! You could definitely go either way. I guess it depends on where you want to spend the time - if you sculpt them into one model you could control them all via one shapekey, but you'll be doing a lot of tedious tweaking in edit mode. If you model them separately, you could duplicate them and save time modeling, but then spend the time rigging them all up. I'd likely go with the second option for the most flexibility, but either way is doable.