Paint and texture add realism
I paint the maquette with acrylic, using gloss medium in some places to add specularity, or a shiny wet look. For feather textures, I snip off the bristles of an old paint brush and attach them with white glue. I cut more dino silhouettes from cardboard to cast shadows. I move the light and the camera to find the POV that best matches my sketch.
Cardboard cutout silhouette for casting shadow Foreground figure out of focus Second cutout receives cast shadow of main figure