Stippled Hand
September 30, 2014

Just playing around some more with non-photorealistic rendering in Blender.
I really like the look of old scientific illustrations. This seems pretty close, but I need to work on that banding. Larger version.
 Bit of Green
September 16, 2014

Not much to break a hiatus with. But the OCD dictates we must go in chronological order.
This is the same compositing setup as the previous post, just with different colors and models. Click the image for a larger version or here for the full 1920x1080 version.
 Kitt Color Experiment
January 30, 2014

I don't think the Minimate vehicles get enough love so I started experimenting with the KITT model I made a couple years ago. I also found this interesting Blender compositing setup. Combine the two and this is the result.

 Skeleton X-Ray
January 16, 2014

After creating a skeleton model the next natural step has to be X-Ray-like renders. Right? For me that's how I visualize bones.. a glowy form on a black background. Kind of like this:

You can click the images to get larger versions. I found a way to render these in Blender that gives a nice edge glow but is more transparent in smooth areas. It uses material nodes and the Cycles render engine which is a lot different from how I've used Blender in the past. I'd like to do more with nodes but I'm not sure that you can use both methods in the same render. We probably won't see Dr. Strange examining X-Rays anytime soon.

That makes me want to get a couple of these printed as transparencies. They would look great backlit by a light box or something. If I do it, I'll post images here.

I've generated even larger versions, 1080x1620. Here are those links.
Blue: Anterior, Lateral
Red: Anterior, Lateral
Green: Anterior, Lateral
 Skeleton Half Views
January 14, 2014

Here's a series of images that show how the skeleton from the previous post fits inside the basic Minimate body.

This obviously shows the detail in the model more than the previous renders. I tried to strike a balance between the complexity of a human skeleton and the simplicity of the Minimate form.

Here's a video turnaround just because I can.

Another skeleton post coming on Thurday too.
 Minimate Skeleton Sketches
January 9, 2014

Apart from a cancelled Skeleton Crewman from the Calico Jack pirate line and a handful of Ghost Rider and Red Skull heads, there really hasn't been a study of the Minimate skeletal structure. About time that changed, don't you think?

I've wanted to make these images for quite some time. Of course the concept is inspired by the Freeny Lego cross-section poster Micro Schematic from several years ago. In the process of digging up that link just now I found many more 'dissected' pop culture figures, from My Little Pony to the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man. I didn't realize so much work had been done in this vein. Always room for one more right? Thankfully, I think my take is unique enough that I won't be branded a hack.

The hardest bit to get a handle on were the feet. They kept coming out clunky and thick. But I came to accept that, realizing that Minimate feet are clunky and thick by nature. The hip bone took some effort too. It was tough trying to get a natural looking (and functional) construction to fit inside a Minimate crotch piece. I did enjoy figuring out how to fit a fibula/tibia and radius/ulna into the legs and arms respectively. Though they did have to get turned around a bit.

I think I'm going to be doing a lot more with this concept... musculature, nervous system maybe. I'll probably have to modify things a bit. In some areas the bones are right up against the Minimate 'skin' leaving no room for other tissues. So it goes...

Oh, and yes, this conclusively proves Minimates have four fingers (including the thumb).
 RGBY Mirror
January 7, 2014

I wanted to play a bit with Blender's indirect lighting capabilities and this was the result. There was a lot of trial and error to get a decent amount of indirect lighting on the floor but not wash out the details on the Minimates themselves.
In the end this effect is probably better accomplished with colored spot lights.
 Rendered Torso
January 2, 2014

After getting a bunch of real-life stuff done, I rewarded myself with some Blender time.