Hamlet Reflecting (2nd update: Final Render in top post)

Original Render/post: Hamlet Reflecting is something I created for the Elysiun Weekend Challenge (reflections theme). Pure Blender 2.37, no post processing.

Updated (6/24/05): Here is the 2nd update and final render.

This piece, obviously inspired by Shakespeare’s play, is, in a more private way, a 3D progression of literary interests I pursued a few years ago concerning the characters of Hamlet and Yorick in a prequel to Hamlet.

As always, any feedback is deeply appreciated. Thanks for looking,


I’d give you top marks for this if you spent a month on it… but a weekend!!! :o

For me the highlights of this piece is the lighting (especially on the skull) and cloth (especially the laces on the shirt… crazy!). I think you could have done a better job on the face if you gave it more time. The beard looks clearly painted on.

Always a pleasure to see your work. Keep ‘em comin’! :smiley:

Yeah, the hair and the beard really detract from it, but based on the time frame to get this done, exceptional work Robertt.

Lighting is indeed the eye catcher in this image. The head is much better than your previous attemtps, which is good. Glad to see you pushing the organic modelling to a higher level.


sketchy: Wow :smiley: thanks so much sketchy! A lot of hours went into this over the weekend. I didn’t time myself, but it was probably around 15 hours. I had a much different scene in mind when I began this. I was going to have Hamlet sitting on some stairs holding the skull, but then it seemed too passive and meditative rather than the drama I really wanted, so I took this direction, which saved me from having to do the legs :wink: The lighting helped create the atmosphere I had in mind. Lighting is such a powerful component, maybe the most powerful in 3d. I spent a few of those hours working/reworking the lighting. The hair and beard are uvmapped. I have a mild bump map in there as well. I wanted the beard to be not too developed and the hair to be not too full. Particle hair tests weren’t coming out too well, so I went the textural route after I LSCM’d the mesh. Thank you again for the great feedback!

BgDM: Thank you very much BgDM. This was an important piece, in my mind, something I didn’t want to rush, despite the time constraints, so I paid no attention to the time and just kept working at it. I care about these things I make and work in hopes of improving, so all the feedback assists me immensely in that regard.


Wow. I wish I had the command over lighting people such as yourself possess.

The only odd thing that really caught my eye was the angle of his left eye. It seems turned just a bit too far inward.

I’ve noticed in my own works that my eyes.look.at empty is rarely placed exactly where the image is meant to convey. (Er, I presume you’ve got some lookat point located in Yorick.) The right eye looks fine.

man robertt that is very difficult to do, modeling humans i mean
all made in a weekend, you are advancing so quickly!
great work!

I’m alright with the modeling and composition (although, admittedly, I think you’ve done better before), but what really gets me is that it looks like Hamlet has a bit of a lazy eye. Maybe it’s just me, but his left eye (the one on our right) seems to be rotated a bit too much.

Out of all of the other Blender ‘All-Stars’ you always seem to have the best cloth meshes. Did you model your cloth that way just by pushing and pulling verts or is there a secret :wink:

Well, I know who I’m voting for this weekend! :smiley:

This is just inspiring. :smiley:

Great pic, I relly think your human modeling is getting better and better: this is by far the best human model I’ve seen from you yet.

I dig the atmosphere too.

Cloth is great - reminds me of the Shrek outfit.
Skull doesn’t look like it’s supported right in the hand, as if it’s floating. Skulls have a huge hollow area on the bottom so the only support is from the siide facing the camera, which is unnatural.
The left eye is squint. If you make the eyes face the same way and then make individual track to contraints to a couple of empties. Then parent the two empties to an other empty, you can just move that empty to the point you want to focus the eyes.
Great lighting too.
Phenomenal work for a weekend if that included modelling/rigging the character.

My only crit as well is that his left eye is pointing in the wrong direction.

There are many great aspects of this piece, and it being done in one weekend is even more impressive. I too really like the volumetric lighting, the cloth texturing and cloth modeling (those threads down his front must’ve taken some time!). The material on the skull is great too. A more realistic mesh would have helped (some proportions and details of the face are cartoony, and the shoulders don’t look correct [too broad]) but for just fifteen hours it’s damn good. I think this piece surpasses your F1 2005 entry by far.

Also, I took a gander at your play… trying to create a prequel to a masterpiece of one of the greatest writers of all time (let alone, in the same style) is practically impossible, so I appluad your efforts even though It didn’t really hold my attention.

Keep up the good work!

Duoas: Thanks! Just keep at it and you’ll do wonders :wink: In my haste for the wc I tracked both eyes to one empty instead of two, which makes a big difference. I’ll be posting an update below. Thanks for the feedback!

Wu: Thank you very much Wu :slight_smile: It was a very long weekend, and after the wc I continued working on this. The WCs have been a steady source of good personal challenges. Humans are tough. While it may be a little quicker for me these days after all the other models, there’s always that extra time to take something that’s made and take it from being just an object to something that could be alive. Exciting stuff!

Fweeb: Thanks Fweeb. Yes the left eye was definitely off. I cut corners here and there due to time constraints, but I’ll be updating this below.

dante: Wow thanks Dante :smiley: Sometimes I use proportional editing (which I used a little here), whereas sometimes I use a variety of techniques including fractal subdivision and manual mesh smoothing. For more form-fiting clothing I sometimes will make a partial duplicate of the mesh figure that will wear the clothes and then make adjustments off of that. Lots of ways to do this, but the direction seems to be dictated by the type of clothing needed for a particular character. Yes, sometimes it just comes down to pushing and pulling lots of verts too :wink:

lemmy: Thank you very much lemmy! I appreciate that.

Hippie: I’ve been pushing harder yet these past few months, so I really appreciate your feedback! This was a special project for me, so some extra enthusiasm went into completing this.

osxrules: Thank you for the excellent feedback osxrules! I am posting an update below to address some things including those you’ve mentioned. The two empties make all the difference. Yes, everything here was done from scratch. Modeling went relatively quickly after the head was finished. The rig for this was minimal, only for one hand, which was then duplicated. Everything else was parented to the body mesh and then a massive empty for placing the character. I did that mainly to save time since I knew in advanced I was going to model a very specific fixed pose. I used object centers for pivot points on the sleeves. Hands are parented to the sleeves which are parented to the body. The figure can still be posed in a few different ways in this setup.

sornen: Thanks sornen. I’ll be posting an update below.

Aristotle: Thanks for the very helpful feedback Aristotle. Good observations! I’m soon posting the revised (post-WC) version below.

Thanks for checking out the play too :slight_smile: It actually “picks up” towards the middle. The idea was to flesh out this legendary character Yorick based on lines from Hamlet. In the play I try to show how Yorick wound up being reduced to the skull Hamlet holds yet remembers warmly. I’ve written a few plays in a similar vein, including ones about such characters as Falstaff and Penelope (from Homer’s Odyssey).

Lol, this is the kind of stuff I was creating before Blender :slight_smile: I do intend to incorporate more of my literary interests in Blender. In fact, this character may be part of a series of literary characters I might do in Blender depending on available time and what direction I feel like taking when the opportunity arises.

Update coming soon!!


(Edit: This post has been edited to point to second update / final render.)


Here is a new render comprising various adjustments, including hair/beard displacement maps, angle, materials, and more.

Thanks for looking!


Much improved Robertt!
Now it is quite wonderful.

I think most of it looks better but the light isn’t orange any more. I think the warmer colour gave it a more sinister appearance. Also, the rays coming through the windiw were more noticable in the first.

His facial expression and his pose looks more excited/happy than in deep thought as the title (reflecting) suggests. His mouth should be closed and his eyes not wide open as if he’s just seen a ghost. If he’s reflecting he should be leaning backwards with his weight on the back foot and maybe his left hand could be at his face.

Either that or change the title to something like “Hamlet, excited about finding a human skull!” :stuck_out_tongue:


paroneayea: Thank you :slight_smile: I updated the image again, for the final time, in the top post.

osxrules: You were right. I see what happens: I had this rendered huge, but for the web I rendered at 50%. Apparently the glow plugin produces different results based on render sizes, so the effect it had on the volumetric lighting was skewed in the first updated image. I have updated my first post with the final render that addresses this.

mystery00: Haha, I didn’t mean for him to be giddy or anything :slight_smile: although during the play, while reflecting on Yorick, he’s not completely solemn but rather in a bittersweet recollection, as I saw it, as he fondly remembered Yorick’s past antics and was asking, in literary apostrophe style, “where be your jibes now?” :wink: There are lots of reflective posing possibilities, but this one was exactly the scene I had in mind, even though it diverges from the play for the sake of drama and to be more representative of Hamlet’s “to be or not to be” aspect; hence the alternating light and darkness, the light versus the skull, the air versus the stone, and Hamlet in the center pivoting in it all. In consideration of your comments I updated my top post to include the second update and final render that hopefully improves upon the expression. Thanks for the feedback!

Okay, if no one read any of the above posts, I’ll say it again:

2nd update and final render has been added to the first post in this thread.

Thanks again for all the feedback everyone! It really does help!


For what it’s worth, I posted this on CGTalk