Southern White African Rhino

by RabbitMacht in Models


The Southern White African Rhino is a 3D model made in Blender 2.79 that forms part of a series of African Savannah inhabitants. This product has a wide variety of applications as it includes realtime and high resolution models. The model is both rigged and animated using Deer Rigger, which is a modified version of Rigify for Quadrupeds.

The product consists of,

  • 4k Color, Mask and Normal Textures
  • Non-overlapping UV's
  • Realtime Model made-up of 1186 Faces
  • High Resolution Sculpt model
  • Rig
  • Active Modifier stack
  • Animated walk cycle
  • Cycles Material Node Network


The Southern White African Rhino product consists of several files,

  • rhino_realtime.blend : A realtime, low poly version of the rhino consisting of approximately 2k polys and non-overlapping UV's.
  • rhinoSculpt.blend : High resolution sculpted rhino consisting of approximately 950k polys.
  • rhino_walk.blend : Rigged and animated rhino, with an active modifier stack that's ready to render for Cycles.
  • rhino_walk-SB-HR.blend : Same as rhino_walk.blend but with Soft Body, secondary animation on a high resolution model ready for baking. As per video preview rendering.
  • rhinoPose.blend : Rigged rhino in various product poses.
  • rhinoColor4k.png : Color channel texture map in 4K.
  • rhinoSSSMask4k.png : Sub-Surface Scattering channel Mask in 4K.
  • hornMask4k.png : Mask for isolating horns in 4K.
  • rhinoNormal4k.png : Normal map baked from sculpt in 4K.
  • rhino.obj : 3D mesh for compatibility with other software.


The latest version of the Southern White African Rhino product consists of several updates,

  • rhino02.blend
  • rhino02_SB.blend

  1. Enhanced Node Network for rendering with Cycles
  2. Updated texture files
  3. Improved animated walk-cycle
  4. Dynamic secondary animation file included with Soft Body already setup in rhino02_SB.blend
  5. NLA Strips consisting of Poses in product renders and separate strip for Walk animation
  6. Camera adjusted for HD output (1920 * 1080)
  7. Simpler setup does not require Appending Sculpt data, just open the Blend file and start rendering!

Technical Details

The realtime model is lite enough to be used in games and apps. Whereas the high resolution model can be used for cinematic close-up to wide shots.
The scene is setup such that all animation is performed on the realtime model, this information is then automatically propagated to the high resolution model for rendering. No further setup is required by the user. 

Animation Setup

The animation file (rhino_walk.blend) consists of a particular setup with both realtime and high resolution meshes within the same scene. Regardless of the final output be that, realtime applications to high quality cinema; interaction, editing, animation and rendering is always performed on the realtime model. 

The following setup can be accessed through the realtime model's modifier stack,

  1. The realtime model is setup to subdivide (through the Subdivision surface Modifier) at rendertime. Increasing subdivisions here will allow the realtime model to more closely match the look of the sculpted model.
  2. Vertices generated through subdivision will match surface points of the high resolution, sculpted model through the Shrinkwrap Modifier. 
  3. Deformation is then performed on the model through the Armature modifier. 
  4. Dynamic, secondary animation can be baked into the model with the Soft Body modifier. The file rhino_walk-SB-HR.blend has a rhino setup and ready for secondary animation all that is needed is for the animation to be baked and rendered.

The product comes equipped with the noted configuration and no further setup is required to render the rhino in a walk-cycle. Just open the file, set your render destination and render the animation. 

Five layers are in use within the scene, 

  • Layer [6] has the high resolution sculpt mesh (linked externally). Place the rhinoSculpt and rhino_walk blends within the same folder to avoid missing linked data, 
  • Layer [7] has the armature, 
  • Layer [14] has ground-plane, lights and camera, 
  • Layer [17] has the realtime model,
  • Layer [19] consists of widgets for animation.

Of these layers 7, 14 and 17 are most significant for animation, editing and rendering. Other layers are more closely related to scene setup.

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