[BWC 2010] To be, or not to be

Hi, this is about my BWC 2010 project.

I liked the idea of the imaginary meeting the photorealistic in the contest’s theme. It made me think of RPG miniatures. In this pic, a tin miniature warrior dwarf will be holding a 10-sided die as if he had found a fantastic jewel.

The posture will mimick Hamlet saying “to be or not to be” while holding Yorick’s skull. In a sense, an RPG figure looking at a die is gazing at the force that shapes its existence!

Here are some reference pics:

I’m not a great concept artist, but this sketch gives the general idea:

I’ll be posting updates here!

Thanks for any comments, suggestions, etc.


Sounds like an amazing concept, cant wait to see it!

great idea :smiley:
(But don’t forget the Stop Motion style ;))


…but what would you call the “stop-motion style” ? As far as I know, a stop-motion clip could be made with anything, right? The fundamental being : taking pictures of real objects to tell some sort of a story. Making stop-motion with normal toys is a big trend these days.

Here’s a preliminary render with Lux:

Here’s the base mesh in pose with accessories. It needs some sculpting yet.

you should totally upload this to shapeways when you’re done :smiley:

well, of course stop motion can be done with bascially anything… But the images they showed as examples all where clay stuff…

Very good looking base mesh!
I like the concept.
You’ll have to nail the facial expression to really get your idea across, I look forward to it!

@Kram : You’re right. The clay look would just make no sense here, so I’ll just leave the organizers to judge the compliancy to the topic. They do say : “I’d suggest looking for your own inspiration to find your own style”.

Here’s a render in Lux. I saved my markings on it and don’t want to re-do it just for this forum (this renders are looong!)

-The material is off. It looks more like chrome than white metal and it’s hard to distinguish the features.

  • The hand has a strange angle
  • The armor motif doesn’t look like anything.
  • We can’t see the dice numbers
  • It’s overall too dark.

To make it brighter, try to add walls and a ceiling. Never underestimate wall reflections, especially with an unbiased renderer.
But don’t do fully white walls. Go to roughly 70%. Most paper is only about 75% white. Unbiased renderers will thank you that by being faster, as the rays get executed earlier (as soon as they are dark enough or have enough bounces behind them)
Generally avoid super bright materials or super saturated ones. ('till now you did avoid them, it seems :))

The darkness of the metal probably comes from the blackness of the ceiling.
The reflection on the die obviously requires a light source of different angle :slight_smile:

If there is a ceiling, try to do the lightsources on a higher spot, so they can light more of the scene. Therefore make them brighter :slight_smile:

I love this so much. I would love to have that figure on my desk. :smiley:

@Mike & Ward : thanks. I suppose it could be done on Shapeways in stainless steel. I suppose the die would have to be metal too though. I’m also not sure the thing would be balanced :wink:

@kram : I got the invisible walls closer and even got them to illuminate a bit to add ambient lighting. I studied metal miniatures and found they were not really reflexive, only specular and pretty rough too. So I changed the shiny metal material to simply glossy with a low exponent. The piece of paper isn’t 100% white, but it definetely should be even less!

I haven’t fixed the sculpting yet. The pencil and paper need textures, some modeling and resizing.

Looking great!!

really coming along nicely! one nitpick: at first glance, the die looks to be metal as well; it’s only on closer inspection that i noticed the red hues. i might suggest toning down the reflectiveness of it, so more of it’s natural color shows up. just my $0.02.

Wow this looks really good. Almost photorealistic, very close. I think the only things holding it back from that are the pencil and paper(which I know you are still working on).

I thought the red die looked fine.

to throw down the reflectiveness, choose a lower IoR. Just in case you wondered :slight_smile:
Most plastic probably has an IoR of around 1.4…

The lighting already is way better than it was :slight_smile:

Hmm… Maybe you could do an old style piece of paper which already yellowed and has a lot of spots… And maybe rolls a little bit.

Wow this is looking amazing! I envy you for your creativeness! Although my $.02 is to maybe change the idea of the pencil and paper because it sort of detracts from the dwarf and gem…giving the audience TOO much to see. And not a single thing to stand out. Maybe a more simple background would suffice, can’t wait to see the finished product!!

That looks awesome, Although I agree that the pencil is kinda distracting, since it doesn’t quite meet the realistic level of the rest of the scene. I would just have him standing on some paper (maybe some text on the paper too…). Still, great job with it all!

Thanks for the comments and suggestions.

  • I think the pen and paper are more realistic now. Do you still find them distracting? I like the fact that they give a sense of scale and suggest the miniature’s character is actually defined on this paper.

-The die is a bit more transparent and saturated in order to attract more attention and give some punch.

  • Some small things have been fixed on the character.

They look better then the previous image,
The only thing that I’m not sure of is all that space at the top.
Whats gonna be happening in that portion?