Welcome readers! “Dark Helm and Wing’D Spear” returns tomorrow., so this is your last chance to get caught up.
Meantime, here’s this! I’m pleased to announce another weapon render–the Wismeyer Longsword! This comparatively simple but lovingly-crafted design completes my triumvirate arsenal for The Necromancer and the Revenant (a high fantasy revenge novel–agent pending!) And I’ve made a breakthrough in methodology! After years of griping that my designs never look the same in still renders as they do in motion, I…
…I realized I could just screen-capture from Blender. For those of you who would rather view still images, or who just want to focus on particular details with a few notes from yours truly, the standard gallery begins just below the video. Keep scrolling, you can’t miss it.
And here you are, well-behaved orderly images! If you’d like to see more from this weapon’s homeworld, its name is Canno. And while I don’t generally like to ask this–advertisement feels like bathing in rancid butter–these renders do take me a minimum 20 hours, so please like, share and comment if you’ve enjoyed them.
Remember, these are all full-HD and there’s a lot of detail you don’t get unless you go full-size. Alright, I’ll shut up now. Enjoy!
Let’s open in appropriately dramatic style–a full-size shot that I had to render at 4x its current size to stop Blender washing out the blade’s patterns! Is HD, yes?
Moving into the grip with a nice shot of the spacer on this side. These geometric shapes-within-shapes are a staple of Ceslonian weapon engravings. It’s believed the sharp, strong angles lend their strength to the weapons they adorn.
Just moving along to give some idea how light shifts on the spacer–the video lost some of this color due to compression. A shame, no?
And now we reach the pommel, one of the areas which has most benefited from my timely discovery of specular ramps. The oily colors on the interior section would’be been a texturing nightmare, once. Now, they were five minutes.
It’s the other side of the grip! No surprises here, friends.
One more pommel shot.
The other side of the spacer, a slightly different take on the same starting shape. Ideally both sides would have more detailing, but there are plot reasons why that couldn’t happen…
More color gradients!
A fun little lore note: this grip material is the dyed skin of the Mottlehide shark, a creature whose chemically-active skin rejects or accepts etching based on how the chemicals settle when the shark dies. This produces the titular mottling that you see here, and becomes more pronounced as the shark ages. Master Wismeyer used skin from an especially dignified old Haifisch.
And here we are at last, arguably the main event of all my weapon renders–the blade! As successful as most of this piece was, this easily leads the other design components. Don’t worry about the detail seeming blurry on this and the next shot, it’s just something about the way Blender handles reflections. It’ll clear up by the third blade shot so you can really see the grain and colors.
Once The Necromancer and the Revenant is picked up and published, I hope some of you will take the time to compare my in-book description to this finished result. I daresay it’s dead-on, only better than I envisioned!
Just more victory lap shots–I’m absolutely overjoyed with how this turned out. This is an excellent example of sapphire-steel’s in-universe appearance.
A quick look at the transition from the fuller into the ridgeline. It’s perfect, isn’t it? That took smarter modeling than you might think.
I’ve always had a soft spot for longswords with vicious, spearhead-like points. How could I do other than use one here?
Shots of the blade’s “right hand” side (it’s a longsword, so that doesn’t really mean anything). These double as scabbard detail shots–we’ll get to that in a minute.
One final blade shot in subtler colors.
And here we are, the scabbard–not atrocious, but the only part of the project I can’t call an unmitigated success. It’s supposed to be aged brass. It, uh, sort of looks like it?
An excellent sample of the blade’s response to light–hm, look at the guard, though. Do you feel like you’re being targeted?
The scabbard’s mouthpiece, with a moderate rough-forged look. This was easy to do, and looks pretty good. It helps stop the design from getting too busy, I think.
A few more grip shots focusing more on the silk’s color and fiber. It looks a bit more like polymer than silk, but that’s nothing we can’t fix!
One more grip shot.
A close-up on the guard showing the pearlescent textures on the white material–it’s actually stone, if you can believe it.
One final shot down the blade to close us out. I wonder if it corresponds to anything in particular? Nah, can’t be.