A looooong time ago, I promised I would start writing blogs in English. Well now is the time. A good friend of mine, Viktor Dragosani, is a brilliant 3D sculptor who was lucky enough to work on Conan, the Boardgame which was successfully Kickstarted recently by Monolith Board Games.
He wrote an article on how he worked on one of his masterpieces, Belit, one of the characters of the game and I asked him if I could share it.
Well, time to let the artist talk. Enjoy !
The Making of Belit
First I will say what an honor it is working on such an epic project as Conan by Monolith. The amount of creative people involved is extraordinary and I have been humbled to work with this team.
Secondly, I really dread showing renders of my work because it creates a digital illusion! I will explain this illusion further, please keep reading if you are interested (if you are not I will share some pictures also).
Third, I rarely show work in progress images, but today is an exception that I hope will provide insight to my work process.
First we have an excellent illustration by Xavier Collette.
The first thing I have to do is translate a 2d image into a 3d model.
What is beautiful in one may not work in the other. First she is striding forward yet her upper body is squared (great for illustrations, not so much for a miniature), so I know i have to take into account some shifting in the body on the miniature, mostly a slight twist to actually make it look like she is striding forward. Also I take note of where body parts must be enhanced, in this case here feet, hands, head, and yes, her breasts. Why must you do this, she looks perfect in the art?
Because we are looking at her on a giant screen! So in the next image that is literally taken from my working file (you can see my cursor in the corner!) I have taken a ‘full size’ version and a reduced version to give a sense of scale (I measured tiny Belit to be about 36mm on my monitor, do the same if you want to see the difference).
As you can see all the parts I enhanced now look accurate at 36mm. It is the illusion of 3D that you are being caught in! Beware!
So you say ‘no’ to the theory of 3D illusion do you still? Ok, more! When working with an illustration like Xavier has provided I try to stay very true to his proportions (yes, I know, you are thinking I have been drinking again because you have seen the Kickstarter update with your own eyes).
In the images below I take you into my work file again to see how I have used the illustration for near exact matching proportions, the only difference is that I have not added the decoration covering her breasts and upper body which also must be enhanced to show on a miniature. The 2nd image is a transparent overlay, though difficult to see you should be able to make out the shadow of my sculpt matching the shapes of the illustration! If you look closely her breasts actually sit a bit lower than the actual illustration and are only slightly enhanced to compensate for scale because I wanted to maintain the feel of more athletic and less artificial.
As you can see there are a lot of factors that can make or break a model when sculpting digitally. Hopefully you have enjoyed an insight into my work process! Now you know why Conan disliked magic so much, it deceives you!
Thank you to all the backers of this project and all of the feedback on my work. Feel free to track me down on my Facebook page and say hello or see what I have been working on.
Amis lecteurs Francophone, ce même article a été traduit dans la langue de Molière sur le blog Conan Chandelier.