Brass Monkey

This has probably been done before, but i was listening to the Beastie Boys song “Brass Monkey” and almost instantly thought of Suzanne.

It’s an 800x600 jpg, so it may take a while to load… on the other hand, it’s only like 44k…
Edit- changed host to ImageShack.

broken link

A few things:

  1. Its yellow
  2. For no aparrent reason, it has an edge effect
  3. No shadows
  4. No environment

…It also has no balls. It must be very cold over there!


You might want to make it shinier and browner and kind-of reflective. Don’t forget some really stretched texture to give it character.

Although I agree it’s too yellow, I think brass would have a higher specular … unless it’s brushed brass … but then you would still need to change the texture to reflect that (pardon the pun). :smiley:

In the heyday of the Sailing ship, every ship had to have a cannon for protection. Cannon of the times required round iron cannon balls. The master wanted to store the cannonballs such that they could be of instant use when needed, yet not roll around the gun deck.

The solution was to stack them in a square-based pyramid next to the cannon. The top level of the stack had one ball, the next level down had four, the next had nine, the next had 16, and so on. Four levels would provide a stack of 30 cannonballs.

The only real problem was how to keep the bottom level from sliding out from under the weight of the higher levels. To do this, they devised a small plate (“monkey”) with one rounded indentation for each cannonball in the bottom layer .

When iron was used to make this plate (“monkey”) the cannonballs would rust to the plate. As a result, these plates were made of brass to prevent this problem-thus the “brass monkey.”

When temperature falls, brass contracts in size faster than iron. As it got cold on the gun decks, the indentations in the brass monkey would get smaller than the iron cannonballs they were holding. If the temperature got cold enough, the bottom layer would pop out of the indentations spilling the entire pyramid over the deck.


I have heard of a product that is a statue of a monkey you put in your yard. I don’t think it is real brass, but it is at least colored to look like brass. The statue is anatomically correct and, when it gets below freezing, the piece between the monkeys legs falls off. When the temperature warms, it can be reattached.

Thats a fantastic little piece of nautical trivia. Reminds me of Master and Commander (Great film imo) Anyway your brass monkey isn’t green enough. Real brass is actually very green… as is gold. At least in my experience. I create a gold material with Hmetalcowgirl for the procedural textures page of and if you want to try that out on your monkey feel free to visit the samples gallery: The gold texture could be tweaked quite easily I believe to make your monkey “brassier”. I love inventing words…

I’m sorry, but why would you even bother to post that? I’m usually not this blunt, but: I think that piece is a waste of my time. You probably spent a whopping 5 minutes setting that up. :<

Sounded like an urban legend to me:

…because wikipedia is such an academic-grade reference! :wink:

…darn. I always liked that story. Some of the explanations aren’t quite right though.

Cannonballs weren’t filed smooth. They fly better when they are roughened (golf ball effect).

I like it. The edge effect works very well and gives it a definite style. Doesn’t look in the least like a brass monkey, but who gives a baboon about that ?

One of the best monkeys I’ve ever seen … keep it up … maybe you could also do a tutorial for this …


md01, i hope you were kidding, i dont even really like it :stuck_out_tongue:
and munkey_mike, if it takes you 5 minutes, that’s sort of sad, cause i’m a n00b and it only took me about a minute and a half.

unfortunately i did this on a school comp and wont be able to fix the color until monday :frowning: I’ll try to make it more like brass though (after i fix the colors and gamma on the monitor i was using … lol)

oh yeah, thanks for all the constructive C&C, it helped

Edit- now that i think about it, brass is made of copper and zinc… so the way i see it the color would be about the color of an old penny with a slight hint of blue-gray

Should i also try to give her like a brushed metal type of effect?

md01, i hope you were kidding, i dont even really like it

Well, actually I was… sorry … We’ve just seen millions of monkeys flying by here on elysiun that I couldn’t help myself… <:)


Yeah, but you gotta love those flying monkeys :wink:

how stupid can i get? I forgot that i uploaded the .blend to our school website so i could show someone in another class. I love being president of the computer club! lol…

anyways, here’s a quick attempt at fixing it

edit- i decided i like the edge effect on this, i think i’m going to keep it…

Well, actually I think we’ve yet too a monkey with wings come along …that might be an idea…haha


If i put a body on her i’ll make sure to add wings, haha
or… a jetpack?

I tried my hand at making a worn brass material in blender once. Here’s what I got, might be helpful to you with your own attempt.