Scaled reference drawings of architeuthis?


O. vulgaris
Aug 30, 2004
Hi everybody,

I'm into 3D computer modeling, and am trying to find some good clear reference images to use in modeling a variety of squids, particularly architeuthis. Good line drawings showing the essential details would probably be easier for me to work from than photographs. A set of images showing the top, side, and front view at the same scale would be excellent. Also, something showing the arrangement of arms and tentacles would help. I’ve searched the web and not spotted this, though I could easily have missed it.

Thanks in advance for your time and input, :)
Hi Carl,

I know this isn't exactly what you are looking for, but there are some excellent illustrations on the "Tree of Life" pages. For example:

Architeuthis dux

It's a little awkward to navigate around that site, but once you get the hang of it the information contained there is excellent.

Here’s a first cut at a front view of architeuthis showing the arrangement of the arms and tentacles.


The image is probably way out of proportion, and I doubt the cross-section is circular as shown here. Any criticism, tips, comments, or pointers to help make this more accurate would be more than welcome.:)

--Carl – who just got some use out of PowerPoint

That's absolutely brilliant! That's exactly how I imagined the arrangement to be, though hopefully Steve and/or Kat should be able to verify it.

For your interest, here's a diagram that (hopefully) will be of interest that I adapted from a image on the TOL pages for an old post which compares the arm arrangement in the various groups of coleoid cephalopods. If interested the original discussion was here, buried deep in the archives: Why Eight Arms?

I'm looking forward to seeing your finished images!



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Hi Phil, thanks very much for the comments, and thanks too for the link and image. :)
On the Decapodiformes, do you know if the angles between the arms are accurate?

It’ll be a while, but I’ll post some images if I can get anything decent built and rendered.

Hi Carl. Scale drawings .... hmmmm. Problem is that individuals between ~ 6cm mantle length and 90cm mantle length (male) are unknown.

Your image looks like it's based on the Monterey Bay Archi model, in which the tentacles come from within the arm crown, from separate pouches, between the 3rd and 4th arms on either side. They should be between the 3rd and 4th arms, but outside the arms. I probably do have some pics in the office that will help explain this, and will post them online when I'm back in.

There's also a very well-developed 'web-like' membrane that surrounds the beaks (buccal membrane) that everyone overlooks. Go get yourself a squid from the local 'squid shop'/supermarket and have a look at this structure; trying to explain it will only confuse you to bits. I also have pics of this, and will post them (as soon as I can find them).

Are you modelling a male or female .... or both?
Hi Steve, thanks for replying here :)

Problem is that individuals between ~ 6cm mantle length and 90cm mantle length (male) are unknown.

Life size is fine then, it’ll give me a chance to exercise the “fit to screen” option on my browser. :wink2:

I’m looking forward to seeing any pictures you might have illustrating the tentacle placement and the buccal membrane. I’ll also rummage through some local bait shops and super markets and see if I can get a first hand look.

As far as the gender of the model is concerned, I really hadn’t thought it out that far yet, though at some point I’ll have to decide. If the main gender difference is size, then the same model with minor modifications will work for either gender.

Going by what you said about the tentacles being outside the arm crown, and trying to jibe with the image of the Atlantic architeuthis toward the bottom of the Tree of Life page, I modified my front view layout as follows:


This is probably closer to reality than the first image, but are the tentacle bases out far enough?

Once again, thanks for your input here, I really do appreciate it 8)

Here's a great image I found on this site. I can't verify how accurate it is but (in my ignorance) it looks pretty good to me. For some reason it was posted upside down on the website so I've inverted it for you. Please click on the image below.

Ta, Phil
That's a great image Phil, thanks for posting it, and for taking the time to invert it. 8)
It's interesting that the fins are positioned above the body's centerline - I would have assumed they were centered if I hadn't seen that. There's a typo in the URL, but it's an easy fix and the website is worth visiting.
BTW, if, as you say, you're ignorant about this stuff, then I'm probably halfway between a dimwit and a dolt. Most of this is new to me, and I think it's great that people here are so helpful. :)

For anyone interested, here is a multi-view scaled image of architeuthis composited in Photoshop from the sources you folks mentioned in this thread. In the top, side, and underviews, I tried to match the mantle length. It’s impossible to get perfect matches due to variability between individual archi’s (and artists).

Two of the images were taken from the Tree of Life page.

The frontal view showing the arm arrangement was taken from Phil’s adaptation of another TOL image. It was scaled to match the body width to that of the average top view body width.

The main top view I used for modeling was taken from Dr. O’Shea’s fact sheet.

The side view, which Phil inverted, came from this site.
Why the original was upside down, we’ll never know, but we do know that such foolish behavior often leads to ear infections in human swimmers. :wink2:

Thanks again to Phil and to Dr. O’Shea for their help and advice on this. 8)
The model is progressing and I’ll have an image of the first version online fairly soon.



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CarlS: Good stuff - it looks like your research is coming along nicely. Do you have Richard Ellis' excellent book? It is jam packed with information and pictures and might also prove useful (although as you are getting info direct from one of the best source in this thread it might not add too much detail ;) ).

What 3D modelling software are you using? Would you also be interested in making the model(s) available for other people to use? I could see people having a lot of fun fiddling with their texture maps and making nifty images of giant squid batlting whales, etc. ;)
Hi Emporer, thanks for your comments :)
Funny that you should mention Richard Ellis. I just bought a copy of "Sea Dragons", it’s excellent. Being new to this topic, I hadn’t heard of Ellis until I saw an ad for the book in Prehistoric Times magazine. I take it that the book you’re refering to "The Search for the Giant Squid"? I’ll check that out.

I’m doing the modeling in Amapi 7 Pro, though I’m just using the polyhedral modeler for this one. The first version of the model has been built, although a lot of detail work remains to be done. I need to get some info on the cross-sectional shapes of the arms and tentacles at various points along their length. Also, the beak, which I’m modeling after Dr. O’Shea’s photo of the beak of Mesonychoteuthis, still looks more like Jimmy Durante’s beak.

Once the modeling is done, it still needs to be UV mapped in UnWrap3D, then texture maps need to be created in Photoshop and Deep Paint 3D. Making it posable with the arms and tentacles independent will be a bear to do without distortion, and it will probably be done using Poser4 Pro Pack or the boning system in Carrara.

All in all, there are a lot of things to do on this, and with a day job and other ongoing projects, it’ll be a while before it’s finished. If I can get something that looks decent and is easy to use, I may check into making it available.

Thanks again for the comments :)

The Gathering of the Elders

For any body interested, I uploaded an image of the model in the Gallery right here :)
It's called The Gathering of the Elders.

To see a larger version of this image, click here.

The image was rendered in Carrara. As mentioned above, the model is still untextured and so the image relied on lighting effects.


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