Brought up in the ancient arts of mouse-painting :D
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And I was asking myself all the time how the right perspective is achieved in the final artworks ... Overpainting the 3D Model requires first of all skills in 3D modeling (which I don't have) so is there any other way existing about how to keep up the correct proportions? Ofcourse using perspective guidelines ... but the more the design becomes complex the harder it gets to follow this working-concept ...
lord regenschirm & nirudafat: Basically, lord regenschirm already gave the answer: following perspective guidelines and constructions. For a complex shape that's almost the only way without using 3d reference. There are shortcuts and it is possible to guess certain things, but unless you have a lot of experience with constructing this will never look as good as a well constructed drawing. Guesses will only help you to a certain point. You might want to check out my mentoring thread in my signature if you want to know more about perspective constructions.
i dont know if this will help, but another and older process i used to use in college to produce dinosaur images was to first create a plactasine version. Then just pose it anyway you wish, and then use lighting to create the mood you want. Its a fun alternative way, especially if your not great at using 3d programs. Plus it teaches you basics of 3 dimensional structure, whether its organic or industrial.