(BWC) "A Daughter's Tōrō nagashi"

Not sure if the title would be quite right but that should give an idea of what I’m going to try and make.

If you do a search on my previous models, you could see how newbish I am with Blender3D, But I’m still going to try my best to win in this contest since it would be the best way to motivate the hell out of my to learn enough to be able to get the 1st prize (I sure would like to have that creature factory DVD seeing how broke I am lol). I don’t have any good drawing skill yet so I can’t post a sketch of my scene up here But here is a good explanation of my concept. Any C&C is welcome.

The title is simply “A Daughter’s Tōrō nagashi”

[quote=Tōrō nagashi: (excerpt from wikipedia);]
Tōrō nagashi is a Japanese ceremony in which participants float paper lanterns (chōchin) down a river. This is primarily done on the last evening of the Buddhist Obon festival as a way to guide the spirits of the departed back to the other world.
The ceremony may be done on some other days of the year, for similar reasons, such as to commemorate those lost in the bombing of Hiroshima and those who died on Japan Airlines Flight 123; or in other areas of the world, such as Hawaii, to commemorate the end of World War II. Obon takes place on the thirteenth to sixteenth of August or July, depending on the calendar you go by. The white lanterns are for those who have died in the past year. Some Japanese believe that we come from water, so the lanterns represent our bodies returning to water (the sea).[/quote]

I figure that I could adapt this particular idea to show a daughter releasing a primitive floating lantern (a bark with some melted waxes poured on it to hold the candle and a picture of the mother) into a river.

If I do it good enough early enough, them I may expand the scene to include the husband, daughter, and brother in that picture attached to the floating lantern. I would also add the brother body so the view will be first-person view looking from the brother to the sister with his hand on her shoulder and her hand on top of his hand there.

the shore itself will be a slightly littered “nature”-type place similar to a park with many peoples using it. this usually result in some wears into the grounds and some litters like cigarette butt and candy wrappers and whatnot. I have a park nearby with it’s own lake so I could use that for references.

however when i did a image search on Japanese girl (for facial and proportion reference) I keeps getting too much nudes and nothing of what I needs so any tips on searching for the right references for modelling a Japanese girl?

I will try to start with the floating lantern itself soon then do a few of the tutorial from the “Introducing Character Animation with Blender” book I’ve recently purchased.

Sorry for not posting any renders yet but I’m posting this as a promise to follow through with this project as I have a habit to drop projects that nobody knows about.

P.S. there is no story about the mother passing or anything. the important thing in this concept is to show the daughter feeling for her mother.

Great idea! But I am still confused- Can you re-create a part of REAL history? Or do you have to make up your own story?

This image will not have any story, just a daughter’s grief over her mother passing. and I don’t want to use a REAL history cause I could defeat myself in the details (focusing too much on the details instead of the overall feeling can be really bad at times for beginners) and the same could happen if I create a story, I would try to tweak the design and story soo much that I would not make any progress on the work itself.

I don’t think a story is a requirement for the BWC, just need to make the viewer feels like it is part of something bigger going on.

Ahhem! Quoted from the Blender World Cup Homepage direct…

The image should tell a story, and should be self explanatory

But either way it sounds like a cool idea. I wanna see how this one turns out.

ah thanks, but the viewer would think up a story from this themself? this kind of image is what would make peoples think about what happened to her mother and daughter.

maybe I can add a newspaper there that show some kind of title related to her mother? like a new article about her mother being killed in a robbery or passing away from cancer or something along that line. though I would prefer to ask about the story thing once I finish the majority of the scene since it is rather easy to add elements that could hints at what happened.

got the easiest part of the candle done for now. can’t go any further cause of upset stomach and late night so good night y’all. hopefully I’ll be able to figure out how to add in the wax droplets realistically. and to figure out the wick’s texture.


just added the 2nd pic. ended up trying to add some wax droplet and messing around with the wick’s material. I’m trying to give the wick a slightly ashy black look. If I can, i want to add a slight glossy shine to the bottom of the wick itself so I could emulate the melted waxes on it.

Hey… can you tell me where you found some of those nudes? :slight_smile:


Sorry for no updates so far today. had to help a deaf friend find the court place downtown and get her there on time for her trial (some case of discrimination causing her and roommate to owe $$$). Also had spent the rest of the day installing Xubuntu and have just tried out Compiz, really awesome :RocknRoll:

Either way, once I get my USB numpad to work, I should have an easier time with Blender3D for this project since i wouldn’t be able to play too much games on it lol.

I think this idea has plenty of potential. Even if you are not comfortable puting up sketches here I would suggest doing them for yourself. it will help you figure things out and the “story” might form in the process.

For references you just need to narrow down your searches a bit. You might still come across the odd nude, but even those can be useful if they have a particularly good shot of the face. Try these for a start:


Should be enough for modeling refrence and proportions.

All the best and looking forward to seeing you progress.

Found tons of references for Japanese landscape, culture, and one particular book seems to have a lot pictures of schoolgirl with a few of them in traditional clothing.

Update on story: I’ve decided to base the mother’s (and possible father too) death on the atomic bomb dropped in WW2. there will be a newspaper being held in one of the girl hand with a Japanese wordings with some English words (like some of the foreign friendly Japanese published papers. Not sure if this is the best way to show how the mother died. The daughter will be in her school clothes and I’ll try and figure out how to make something that would let the viewers know that she was on a school trip when the bomb got dropped.

Any suggestions on how to show that the parent died (in either Hiroshima or Nagasaki)? what about showing that the girl was on a school trip when it happened? (remember, the girl will not be with the class. she ran away in grief)

I’m currently doing another project to warm up some more to this one to help familiarize myself with various techniques that I would need to use in this BWC entry. http://blenderartists.org/forum/showthread.php?t=129520 so once I’m done with that warm-up, expect to see much faster updates from then on.

Parents’ relatives sent her telegraph.
(Telegraph image: http://www.ndl.go.jp/modern/img_r/059/059-001r.html)
In this situation,they can’t use a letter(snail mail) .
and at the end of WW2,Japanese newspaper often tells a lie.

By the way, you should see this movie if you have not seen yet.

this is true sad story.

I’ve seen that movie on the DVD. too sad for me to watch it again. sorry, I can’t stand any sad stories about children struggling like that and dying in the end. Thanks for the suggestion of using the telegraph idea, sound like a better idea of what I’ve thought up. now the only issue left with this is how to keep the Japanese language on it while still be able to convey the story to the majority of the english-speaking viewers.

anybody knows how to block myself from going to certain sites? I’ve been addicted to a manga/anime site lately ever since I’ve sealed away all of my PC games and it is taking me away from the project too much.

I’ll be doing the face today based on the book “Introducing Character Animation with Blender”, be ready for better updates from now on, epecially if I could block those addicting sites lol.

what am i doing wrong with this face? I can’t seem to figure out why I have an empty tri.


You added a line somewhere where you shouldn’t. Look again at the middle picture on page 41. You have too many polys surrounding the eyes. You should never make any triangles at all when using that book.

Delete the edge that connects the upper right vertex of the tri, and then make a new line with a vertex in the middle so you get a quad. Of course you will have to continue that face loop though… I would post a pic if it wasn’t for this spam link filter, it is really starting to bug me.

that advice worked, thanks :smiley: turned out that I forgot to continue one of the edge on the nose before filling in the faces. now The face look better. Look at where the nose bridge is on the previous pic and this one and you should be able to see where I went wrong.


Yah, that looks right. I never finished modeling this whole head. The author kind of stops and says, “Well, if you want to finish it, go ahead. Here’s what it should look like…” Considering the difficulty that I had even attempting to finish it, I think that he should have carried the project through to completion, or at least he could have explained the overall method. I started out by extruding the trailing vertices, and you learn very quickly that that ain’t gonna work! Also, the nose geometry was very difficult as explained.

yeah the nose is a bit difficult for me. somehow it just doesn’t look right. right now I’m trying to tweak the overall face geometry before going any further so editing the face in the future would be easier to fix.

I’ll have to figure out the ear soon though once I finish tweaking, nostril, lips, and other parts.

here is a link to my mostly complete model of the head.

gif half-rotation of the head (1870.9 KB)

though there is some geometry issue I’m having with the head. I’m not too sure if I should just let the hair cover that part or fix it first to avoid issues in the future? I would like to fix it first so I could save this as a base model for other projects in the future but if that will take too long then I’ll use some shortcut to cover this up.

:EDIT: forgot to throw in a wire