The Calgary Zoo’s Junior Resident Dinosaur Expert: Sam
• Designed and fabricated by F&D Scene Changes Ltd.
• Stands 4 feet 8 inches high.
• Designed using ZBrush and Photoshop.
• Steel frame covered in foam and encapsulated in hardcoat and fiberglass.
Meet Sam the Junior Paleontologist at the Calgary Zoo. Sam is your guide through the new Dinosaurs Alive exhibit in Prehistoric Park, coming to life both in sculpture and in interactive signage.
The making of Sam began with our creative design team, and he was first drawn in Photoshop to create a 2D initial concept that was presented to the client. Next, Sam was developed as a fully 3D digital asset so that he could be moved, posed, and modeled to fit any situation. This 3D modeling phase was completed in ZBrush, a program that we use extensively in house to develop dimensional characters and objects.
Once the model was created, the file was tool-pathed onto a CNC machine where the basic form of the character was carved out of foam. The foam was then carved by hand to accommodate a steel armature to add strength and rigidity. The piece was then hand finished with care by our talented Props & Sculpting Department.
At this point we encapsulated the sculpture in hardcoat. Next, a layer of fiberglass was added to prepare the sculpture for the rigors of life outdoors in the Calgary climate. The last stop in our shop was the paint department where our renowned scenic paint team airbrushed Sam with a scenic paint job and an automotive clear coat that will protect the paint against UV and environmental damage.
Once complete, the sculpture was installed along the path along with additional signage. Sam’s image is used extensively throughout the park on various interactive signage, and his presence assists with communicating programming and educational messages to children of all ages. Stop by and explore the Prehistoric Park with Sam next time you visit the Zoo. It’s well worth the trip!
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