Lego Minifig [For Film/Animation]

I have been working on this Minfig appx 2 weeks or so, and its purpose is for a short film I have in mind (More on that later :wink: ) With that said, the material is pretty close to what I like in terms of style and realism, however any critiques are welcome. My main focus and reason for this post is for concerns and critiques on my model’s accuracy and finesse. I.E what could be improved. More specifically, what may be off with the Minifig’s hands.

Relevant Info:

Poly Count: 98,334 / Tris: 196,664
Cycles Render Engine || Time: 5mins 27secs on GPU (NVIDIA GTX 650 Boost TI) 333 Samples*
Scene Setup: Minifig, Plane, HDRi Light (Even out Midtones), Key & Rim Lights
Materials: Will be provided if needed (Still in the works, built from scratch)
Camera: 80mm 1080x1920 (More angles can be provided

In short, tell me what may be wrong in the fit and finish on the modeling aspect :slight_smile:


The hands look the most inaccurate, well they are not too bad maybe a little too far spaced apart.

The lighting is terrible, and I don’t think the materials are plastic enough?

If you look on the top of the head you should see a hollow part, almost like the rim of a glass. And the hdri lighting doesn’t do much, it almost looks as if this could be blender internal. Also on the inside of the hand you can make out a harsh edge, issues with subsurfacing or topology.

Other than that it’s well done.

I hope that helped you my friend!

Thanks for the constructive criticism :slight_smile: Well appreciated.

With that said, updated the lighting, focused on the skin material only, and added more angles etc. Hands adjusted, I think this is looking better.


The lighting is looking better for sure. Although the material is still confusing. Is it a skin or plastic material. It might be a little too glossy for my liking.

Check my signature for perfect material setups, I think the studio plastic will fit your needs perfectly. Hope that helped!

Ah, for clarity I meant a Skin Material in terms of Lego, not in terms of humans

IIRC the lego movie used bump maps to add realism to the lego characters, you might look into adding a bump map.

As it stands currently, I’m not necessarily focusing on the bump/scratch maps and passes, just trying to get the glossy/reflection amounts correct. But will consider in the future thanks:)

If you want to get accurate colors, use these as a guideline http://vignette1.wikia.nocookie.net/lego/images/2/21/Lego_palette_2010.png/revision/latest?cb=20100306082653

238 is light nougat, which is used for generic lighter-skin toned figures.
18 is nougat, which was used for Mola Ram and Thugees in the Indiana Jones theme, as well as some NBA players if I recall correctly.
312 is medium dark nougat, which was used for darker skin toned characters like Captain Panaka.
192 is reddish brown, which is used for even more darker skin toned characters like Mace Windu, Lando, NBA Basketball players, etc.
You may be tempted to use 308 for a really dark skin tone, but LEGO never does that themselves, so I would suggest sticking to that rule accordingly.

The gloss is coming in too sharp, so crank up the roughness a tad. :slight_smile:

I used the correct colors as a starting based but for some odd reason, they do not look correct in Camera so I modified till they looked correct to what I have at my house. I also have updated and finished the project as well (Its in Finished Projects btw). Thank you though!

This is looking very good now. If you’re planning to use it for animation, it’s fine as it is (aside from the render time :)). If you want it to be 100% super accurate…

The material is a little too glossy and also too uniform. The moulding process for Lego parts means that some parts are more glossy than others. I don’t have one with me right now but from memory, heads are more glossy than the rest of the body and arms are slightly more glossy than the torso and legs.

Lego hands have slight translucency because the plastic is so thin. Adding some subsurface scattering can help there.

As iamthwee points out, there should technically be a hole in the stud on top of his head. Heads were originally made with solid studs on top but by the time they started making flesh coloured ones, they’d switched to hollow.

The whole idea is that it is just the skin material all over, pure and untouched. The hole has been addressed and the different materials will be addressed when needed. The translucency I found is hard to use IMO, and kind of bogs it down.

Nice little guy.

The angles and corners are looking really sharp. You may want to add a lot more bevel to all of those. If you Google Lego you’ll know what I mean. It’s for children after all :slight_smile:

Not sure if anyones already touched on this and I can’t be bothered reading all the comments so I apologise if someone has already said this. Anyway, I think the part where the hands connect onto the arm, its too square, they need to become round, I would suggest using the looptools add-on to change them into a circle shape. The material is too glossy, but otherwise good. And lastly he is too perfect, he needs some scratches, dents, dust and any other grime. Hope this helps and good luck!

That’s how they look in real life. The hand connects to the arm with a round pin but the part of the wrist that sticks out is squared off.

Okay, first lighting.

Don’t build your lighting with materials in mind. Build it with all objects (exept mesh lights of coarse) with a grey diffuse shader. This is important, because it lets you see what the light is doing before you have more complex calculations going on (glossy, etc).

Here’s a video that outlines the process well:

After you do that, turn back on your materials and tweak it a bit.

Now, about the materials. The big thing that I’m missing here, is fresnel. I don’t know if you’re familiar with it or not, but it’s extremely important that you include it.

Also, tone down the reflectivity, and add roughness.

Secondly, you need more of an environment to reflect. One thing I learned when I was working on my sting render, is that the hardest part about making reflective objects, is to get their reflections to seem natural. Try and find a good HDR or even just use a flat image here.

Also, as far as the lighting, don’t try to make it flat. Try to get as much depth as you can by using shadows. NEVER overlight something. Yes, there may be a few cases where it can be okay, but it rarely is good.

Another thing, try to put your character on a mid gray. This is much easier on the eyes, and makes it a lot easier to see what is going on.

I hope this is somewhat helpful. If you need more information about fresnel, let me know, and I’ll either link you to something good that explains it, or try and explain it myself.

Lighting was created for the whole character not material. Works well for both anyways. I use an HDR. Did not try to make it flat. Most of this stuff was addressed once again in the final render. Fresnel was used as well.

Yeah, it seems somewhat counterintuitive but I had a real Mini Figure at hand to be absolutely sure

cpfeiffer - The figure doesn’t look wrong to me, but I’d encourage you to listen to people’s critiques, even if they’re essentially incorrect. It’s important to realize that even if something is geometrically accurate, if it looks “wrong” to people, it might as well be.

I don’t think that’s the case here. Like I said, it looks fine to me. But just for something to consider, there is a balance between accuracy and viewer expectations.

I hope that I’m not coming across as hostile.

I understand. This forum is just somewhat of an older one (most of the stuff addressed was adjusted for the final thing and stuff but I see what everyone is saying :slight_smile:

You keep talking about a final render. Where is it? It’s not good for us to be critiquing old stuff.