Award winning Paleoartist Tyler Keillor uses digital technology to create the authoritative full-body reconstruction of Dryptosaurus.
Thanks to the overwhelming generosity of my backers, I've reached my initial goal! Any additional pledges will now provide me with the capability to do so much more! (See "Stretch Goals" below) Thanks again so much for your support! - Tyler
Who I am
I collaborate with paleontologists and museums to create lifelike restorations of prehistoric creatures. The twenty-three and counting new species I have restored represent a “who’s who” of significant recent paleontological finds, appearing in documentaries, national news features, magazines, books, newspapers and scientific publications; my reconstructions are on permanent display in the collections of over twenty natural history museums in the US and around the world, and have toured over twenty-five major national and international venues as key showpieces in traveling exhibits. Please browse my website if you'd like to learn more about my Paleoart: www.tylerkeillor.com
How Kickstarter works
The process behind this site is crowd funding, and the power of crowd funding comes from as many people as possible seeing my project and contributing, or passing the link along to other people. Even the smallest donation helps! With Kickstarter, the funding is all or nothing, meaning that if I don't reach my goal in the timeframe, I will receive no funding and none of the backers will be charged. If I exceed my goal, I'll be able to do so much more to bring Dryptosaurus into reality...Thanks for your help!
My Kickstarter plan is to create the most realistic, accurate, and up to date life-reconstruction of the predatory dinosaur Dryptosaurus. Surpassing the traditionally sculpted life-sized dinosaur busts I've become known for, this will be a full body digital sculpture. I will use the latest paleontological information as the foundation for my creation, and have my work reviewed for accuracy by paleontologist Steve Brusatte, lead author of the most current in-depth study of Dryptosaurus. My references will also include discussions with paleontologist and theropod expert Dr. Thomas Carr.
There are several reasons for my decision to create Dryptosaurus digitally:
*Scale - working in the real world, a life-sized dinosaur sculpture requires tons of clay, vast amounts of molding and casting rubber and resin, and an enormous investment of time...The digital model requires no physical space or supplies as it is created three-dimensionally on a computer screen, and can exist at any scale for a variety of uses in a fraction of the time.
*Editable - a life-sized dinosaur sculpture is a permanent commitment of design, pose, and detail...The digital model is infinitely editable, so I can change the design if new fossils shed light upon the specimen; I can alter the pose through any imaginable range of motion; and I can refine such details as covering the skin in scales and also in feathers as a speculative alternate. This same model can also be edited by transforming its scale and proportions, so I can modify it to create the entire life cycle of Dryptosaurus, from lanky hatchling to grizzled behemoth.
*2D plus 3D - the digital Dryptosaurus will exist as a high quality, archived, editable model on my computer. This model can be "photographed" within the program, creating still images that can be used in newspaper or magazine articles, slides in lectures, images in press releases, or as a reward for you! The digital image can also be displayed on a computer screen museum interactive or video, either as a still image or a rotating 3D model, for example. The model also serves as the foundation for digital animation, which could bring the beast to life for a documentary clip, for instance...But the real thrill for me as a traditional sculptor comes from the ability to output my digital sculpture into the real world at any scale. Prototyping and computer driven milling machines can take my digital data, and create anything from a miniature that could fit in the palm of your hand (one of your rewards!), up to a full life-sized carving of my model. My real-world artistry is still needed to finish the output models with color and other details; however the amount of labor and supplies that have been saved by using this workflow is staggering!
I've previously created a traditionally sculpted life-sized head of Dryptosaurus for the Lake County Discovery Museum in Wauconda, Illinois. The museum is currently in the planning/design phase for relocating to a new facility and staff are considering purchasing the remainder of the Dryptosaurus - the full size body - for permanent exhibition.
Here's what I need to create this project and share it with the world:
1. ZBrush - this is the digital sculpture program that I will use, which I have been studying for almost a year through books and webinars.
2. Digitizing tablet - this is how I will interact with the program, using a "pen" on a tablet to control my digital sculpture tools as I sculpt my digital clay.
3. Dedicated laptop - I need a powerful new laptop that can handle both the sculpture program and the level of detail I intend to create.
4. Prototyping services - to create the proof of concept real-world models from my digital sculpture, I'm working with Acme Design, Inc. to generate my miniature Dryptosaurus reward.
If I exceed my initial goal, there is so much more I can do with additional funds -
* Life-sized tests - I want to ensure that the appearance of my Zbrush model's details (that I view on my computer screen) also appear natural when 3D printed at life-size. I'll work with Acme Design, Inc. to run a series of tests with a section of my digital Dryptosaurus, outputting it in EPS foam on a FROGMill 4 axis CNC router for inspection and testing. Within Zbrush I can alter the intensity of the skin texture, for example, to determine the best solution for the real-world full size sculpture.
* Protofeathers - The fuzzy coating of protofeathers on my original full-sized head were individually created and hand applied one at a time, a process that required close to a week for just the bust! For the full sized body, I'll need another technique. I'm going to develop a custom-created fiber on a stretchy fabric backing to replicate the look of the filamentous feathers that I've already established. National Fiber Technologies is the company that I'll be working with to create my feather fabric; they've created the furry coverings for most of the amazing creatures you've seen on TV and in Hollywood blockbusters.
* Surface scanning services - I'd like to be able to import my traditionally sculpted Dryptosaurus head into Zbrush, so I can digitally sculpt the body to meet up and blend with it. To do this, I'll need to have the head sculpture surface scanned, thus digitizing it and coverting it into a format that can be used within Zbrush. I'll be using the services of Exact Metrology, Inc. to scan the head and process the data so I can manipulate it within digital space.
* Documentation - I'm very excited at the prospect of working with a Chicago filmmaker to chronicle my project and progress as I bring Dryptosaurus into being.
* Augmented reality - I had originally hoped to include some augmented reality as a backer reward, but it proved a bit too complicated for me to tackle at the time. However, I'd love to do some experimentation with my digital Dryptosaurus and a company that creates Augmented reality interactions. My idea is to create a card with a code printed on it, which you will hold up to your enabled computer cameras - then, on the screen, the Dryptosaurus will appear to be standing on the card, and can be rotated or moved around with the movement of the card in your hand!
Thanks for your interest!!
Steve Brusatte - American Museum of Natural History
Clint Borucki - Acme Design, Inc.
Thomas Carr - Dinosaur Discovery Museum
Steve Furnett - Lake County Discovery Museum
Ryan Kingslien - Visualarium
Photo credit (initial photo): Jess Smith, Photo Smith
Video clips featuring Tyler's sculptures:
I describe the head as a miniature, scaled down version of the full size sculpture I created. This small cast measures 2.5 inches long. I added a more detailed description with images in Update #1 (see top of page to click).
I have added a short video (Update #2) to the Update section at the top of this project page, in which I describe the Alioramus heads in more detail and demonstrate their appearance.
pledged of $6,000 goal
seconds to go
Sep 7, 2012 - Oct 7, 2012 (30 days)
Pledge $1 or more
Thank you! You will receive a digital copy (jpg) of my completed Dryptosaurus digital sculpture! This will make a great memento of your support for this project as your computer's wallpaper, or throw it into your next family slideshow to tout your Kickstarter participation!Estimated delivery: Feb 2013
Pledge $5 or more
57 backers Limited (143 of 200 left)
Thank you! You will receive a signed and personalized postcard from my Paleoart exhibit. This was my first solo art show, and will be a very collectible piece of ephemera! The postcard shows a different dinosaur sculpture of mine on either side. You will also receive the digital copy (jpg) listed in Reward #1!Estimated delivery: Feb 2013
Pledge $10 or more
50 backers Limited (50 of 100 left)
Thank you! You will receive a photo print of my Dryptosaurus bust sculpture, suitable for framing. I'll autograph the front or back, your choice. This is a photograph that I took of my traditionally sculpted head, which was reconstructed for the Lake County Discovery Museum in Wauconda, Illinois... it's the head that got this whole Kickstarter project going!Estimated delivery: Dec 2012
Pledge $30 or more
80 backers All gone!
Thank you!! You will receive a cast of my dinosaur sculpture, Herrerasaurus. This reward really exemplifies the power of using digital technologies: I started with a life-sized, traditionally sculpted head. Next, the head was surface scanned to digitize it. That digital scan was then scaled down, and 3D printed using a prototyping machine. The resulting miniature version of the dinosaur head, perfect in detail and proportion, was molded and cast to create your reward!Estimated delivery: Feb 2013
Pledge $30 or more
25 backers Limited (25 of 50 left)
Thank you!! I've brought back this sold-out reward due to popular demand. You will receive a cast of my dinosaur sculpture, Herrerasaurus. This reward really exemplifies the power of using digital technologies: I started with a life-sized, traditionally sculpted head. Next, the head was surface scanned to digitize it. That digital scan was then scaled down, and 3D printed using a prototyping machine. The resulting miniature version (2.5 inches) of the dinosaur head, perfect in detail and proportion, was molded and cast to create your reward!Estimated delivery: Mar 2013
Pledge $60 or more
12 backers Limited (13 of 25 left)
Thank you!! You will get a half Alioramus head, suitable for wall hanging. This an unpainted (off white) small scale resin cast of my traditionally sculpted head of Alioramus altai. This species is a distant relative of Dryptosaurus, and was described by Steve Brusatte. 12 inches long. Extra charge for international shipping.Estimated delivery: Feb 2013
Pledge $80 or more
27 backers Limited (13 of 40 left)
Thank you!! You will receive a cold-cast bronze wall hanging of my traditionally sculpted Alioramus altai half-head. In this process, real bronze powder is mixed into resin and cast into a mold, resulting in a replica with the look and feel of solid bronze, and can even be polished to a shine with steel wool! 12 inches long. Extra charge for international shipping.Estimated delivery: Feb 2013
Pledge $100 or more
21 backers Limited (4 of 25 left)
Thank you!! You will receive a model kit version of my digital Dryptosaurus sculpture. This will be created by taking the digital sculpture data and 3D printing it with a prototyping machine at a miniature scale. You can assemble and paint this resin model, which will be about 12 inches long when assembled. This is a great collector piece! Extra charge for international shipping.Estimated delivery: Mar 2013
Pledge $250 or more
5 backers All gone!
Thank you!! You will receive a painted, finished maquette of my digital Dryptosaurus sculpture. This will be created by taking the digital sculpture data and 3D printing it with a prototyping machine at a miniature scale. I will then assemble and paint the model for you- a combination of my digital and traditional art, and a real collectors item! Extra charge for international shipping.Estimated delivery: Apr 2013
Pledge $250 or more
7 backers Limited (3 of 10 left)
Thank you!! You will receive a cold-cast bronze miniature replica of my digital Dryptosaurus sculpture! This will be created by first 3D printing my digital model file at small scale, about 12 inches long. I'll mold that prototype, and then mix real bronze powder into resin to create a casting for you that has the look and feel of real solid bronze! Extra charge for international shipping.Estimated delivery: Apr 2013
Pledge $250 or more
8 backers Limited (2 of 10 left)
Thank you!! You will receive a painted, finished maquette of my digital Dryptosaurus sculpture. This will be created by taking the digital sculpture data and 3D printing it with a prototyping machine at a miniature scale. I will then assemble and paint the model for you- a combination of my digital and traditional art, and a real collectors item! This model will be in a different pose than the sold-out series of 5 models at this same reward level. Extra charge for international shipping.Estimated delivery: May 2013
Pledge $500 or more
2 backers Limited (2 of 4 left)
Thank you!!! I will give you a live presentation, showing how I research and create my reconstructions, called "From Fossils to Flesh". I will send you my Powerpoint in advance, and then on our mutually agreed date and time, I will connect with you via Skype, wherever in the world you are! Gather your friends and family, group, class or club, and I'll be happy to take questions after my talk. Good for one year from end of successful Kickstarter funding.Estimated delivery: Oct 2013
Pledge $500 or more
1 backer All gone!
Thank you so much! This is a special request for a true believer in my work: 5 of my full-body Dryptosaurus model kits! This is the 3D printed miniature version of my Zbrush sculpture, in kit form, ready to be assembled and painted, about 12 inches long.Estimated delivery: Mar 2013
Pledge $750 or more
0 backers Limited (4 of 4 left)
Thank you!!! I will give you a live and in-person presentation, showing how I research and create my reconstructions, called "From Fossils to Flesh". I'll use a Powerpoint show and bring in actual sculptures to illustrate my process. Gather your friends and family, group, class or club, and I'll be happy to take questions after my talk. Good for one year from end of successful Kickstarter funding. Limited to a 20 mile radius around Brookfield, Illinois.Estimated delivery: Oct 2013
Pledge $3,000 or more
1 backer Limited (1 of 2 left)
Thank you!!! Your generous support entitles you to a very interesting piece of artwork. I will create a half-head wall hanging replica of my life-sized, traditionally sculpted Dryptosaurus head! Approximately 3 feet long. One left and one right profile will be created. Extra charge for international shipping. This is not something I usually offer, and is at a significant reduction from museum pricing!Estimated delivery: May 2013
Pledge $6,000 or more
0 backers Limited (2 of 2 left)
Thank you!!! Your generous gift will allow my project to go so much further! You will receive my life-sized bust of Herrerasaurus, which is a traditionally sculpted head and neck of this ancient predatory dinosaur. This sculpture was originally created as a showcase in the Japanese paleoart book "Life Restorations of Dinosaurs", for the chapter I wrote documenting my process and techniques. Approximately 3 feet long. A great opportunity for serious collectors or museums, as this is available here as a reward at a significant price reduction! Extra charge for international shipping.Estimated delivery: May 2013
Pledge $6,000 or more
1 backer All gone!
Thank you!!! Your generous gift entitles you to a cast of my traditionally sculpted life-sized Dryptosaurus head. Approximately 3 feet long, this is the head that the Lake County Discovery Museum has on display. It will be intricately detailed and painted - for you I can customize the coloration to suit your needs. This will be only the second cast of my Dryptosaurus head in existence! A great opportunity for serious collectors or museums, as this is available here as a reward at a significant price reduction! Extra charge for international shipping.Estimated delivery: May 2013
Pledge $8,000 or more
0 backers Limited (1 of 1 left)
Thank you!!! This reward will be a very special, one-of-a-kind casting of my traditionally sculpted Dryptosaurus head. This life-sized model, about 3 feet long, will be an ALBINO variation - pink eyes, white scales and protofeathers, pale keratin...I've been wanting to create one of these for a while now, and I think it will be quite terrifying! A very unique piece for a serious collector, and still lower than museum pricing. Extra charge for International shipping.Estimated delivery: Jul 2013