NEW - Samurai Sword, feedback wanted

Hi all,

Remember when I told you that I would start work on a Samurai Sword for my KungFu film? It’s not finished yet as I want to make the chinese symbols on the blade a little more apparent and I need to finish the end of the handle. Still I hope you like my progress so far.

Some feedback would be great

That is looking great so far! I love that handle. It all looks quite real to me… Wow…

And the chinese symbols are just about visible on the bottom picture.

cool. Try lowering the spec on the handle a tad.

hosjits not specular its reflection,

i cansee what you mean about the simbles they are apparent but only if you are looking to see them. and could we get a bettwer shot of the wrist guard?

I couldn’t tell you how to do it, but the hard vector lookin’ lines should go, along the edge of the blade. Otherwise that, and some graininess, quite nice!

If I knew how to get rid of those annoying lines at the bottom of the blade I would have done it before posting the pic. I think it’s a raytracer problem but I’m not sure. If anyone has any suggestion about resolving the problem, please let me know.

Fortunately, you only really notice the lines so much because it’s in front of a black background. It shouldn’t be so noticeable when placed into my Dojo scene. I guess we’ll see.

I’ll be posting some new pics tomorrow so get your crits at the ready.



OSA on??? if so what lv maybe knock it up a tad to get it to work properly.

Thats awesome!!

Maybe you could just make the symbols darker, then they’ll stand out like you want them.
The blade is a bit too thick, make it a little bit thinner, and bring down the spec on the handel a bit too.

thats about it.

good job so far!


sweet everything accept i think it narrows to soon, real katanas dont narrow so soon

Looks really good. So good, thats it shame that there’s that ‘noise’ in the shadow of the handle.

Simbles? Is that what that ‘noise’ is called?

Well, anyway, I noticed it right away. Otherwise, great job.

Really nice sword! Keep up the good work!

Thanks for the feedback. I’m a bit too busy to remember who said what and when so I’ll just reply on the fly a little.

I think there was some confusion with the first pic as someone mentioned that the blade was too think. But I never rendered the sword from top view. I can see how the second sword down could look as if it was viewed from above but it’s not. The blade is actually very thin.

I managed to find a way to make the symbols darker on the blade. Previously I had much difficulty because I couldn’t make it darker using colour because the RayMir was so high. I discovered that adding a spec value to the texture reatained it’s original dark colour and made it more visible. I also decided to make it look slightly etched into the balde. I hope the effect is noticable.

Someone mentioned that the blade shortens too soon. Well it’s hard to say. Samurai Swords consist of more than just the standard Katana. There are some very short almost daggar like Katanas. I’m pleased with how the Katana sharpens towards the end even if most Katanas don’t.

At the moment, I’m busy with making the sheath that will cover the blade when not in use.

In the meantime, here are the latest renders.

Thanks again for all your suggestions


Great work! I couldn’t done any better.

is all that detail worth the polys in the final output? If this is high speed, or in the background it will not be seen. But i could imagine a cool zoom up the blade to the face kind of shot.

There will be a great deal of bullet-time and conventional slow motion in my scenes. This will ensure that all details of animation and modelling can be seen and appreciated.

Besides, I always try and maintain a good quality of modelling through out my film productions.

Thanks for the feedback


I think you’ve got a lot more good detail in there than we can readily see with the present lighting setup. I believe that improvements to that setup will considerably help the picture.

I’d like to see some additional fill-light, such as a light blue fill coming directly up from beneath the sword, softly illuminating both the underside of the blade and the lower edge of the hilt. I’d also experiment with a third light, maybe yellowish, that provides that “extra ‘kiss’ of light” along the blade.

I’m being a little vague here because there are endless ways that you can three-point light a fine model like this.

I also believe that a lot of the “too much specularity” or “rough edges” comments will turn out to be eliminated by this lighting change, because what it’s really going to do most of all is to bring down the contrast throughout the picture. It’s going to help the render considerably in producing a “jaggie-free” edge line and so-forth. Swords are often displayed on cloth for this reason as well: they are naturally highly-specular, and can overpower the ability of the media (whether it be film or video) to successfully depict the contrast.

Dont mean to be picky but actually there is only one katana. The other things you are thinking are known by different names. The dagger you are talking about is called a tonto and medium length blades are called wakazashi. (sorry but I love weapons)




Anyway, your modeling is most excelent IMO close to photoreal. :smiley:

There’s nothing wrong with being picky. It just means that you seek perfection and that’s a good quality to have. Especially as digital artist.

You seem to know quite a lot about weapons. Perhaps you could post some websites that have more information not just on katanas but on all those other exciting chinease weapons.

Also, if there’s any good KungFu website with good martial arts illustrations that you know of, post em’. I’ll be doing a lot of animation soon but I need to learn more about the movements involved in KungFu.

Thanks again for the info


I can try to find some acurate weapons info but unfortunatly cant help with the martial arts because I havent got a clue about them.

Very nice work!

I was originally going to make the same comment that someone else brought up about the taper of the blade, but after doing a bit of research (on Google), I found a site with a diagram of a sword with almost this exact blade shape, the shobu zukuri. It’s definitely worth a look. The one thing that your sword is missing, however is the “hamon”, the temper line which runs along the blade edge. The site above has plenty of information about that as well. If you could add the hamon to your sword, I think it would be just about perfect.

To write Shaolin Kung Fu on the blade of a Japanese sword makes for a bit of a strange mix of Japanese and Chinese culture. They do have Shaolin Temples in Japan (there they pronounce it Shorin), but there is little if any connection with Kung Fu and it is just another sect of Buddhism. Shaolin Kung Fu would have little to do with the art of Japanese swordsmanship, or sword making, so it seems rather out of place on this sword. If it was a Chinese sword, maybe.

Well, there you have my 2 yen worth, take it or leave it.