Tag Archives: maya

MTG Zombie Token Preview


This pose struck me while I was orbiting my camera. This guy will be ready in a couple of days. #staytuned.

You can watch his development in the Scrying Pool, over to the right. If you catch me working (usually early mornings EST) you can watch the screencaps accumulate in quasi-realtime.

Leaping Rat Fail

I’m working on a pack of rats, five or six different poses all based off my Magic: The Gathering Rat Token. There’s only so many ways you can pose a rodent before they start looking the same, so I thought I’d try something more epic in my latest rat.

rat fail

This little fella hasn’t gotten past the low-resolution test print stage on my Replicator yet. His only points of attachment to his base are the tip of his tail and his feet, which form fulcrums for the rest of his body. Invariably around 40% of the way through the print, right at the hips, the stress of being wiggled by the extruder head detaches part of the model.

I’ve tried all kinds of wily 3d printing tricks, slowing down the extruders, increasing the number of shells, etc.

I have a gallery of Lovecraftian rats-but-not-rats in the scrap bucket. Here’s what he should look like.

leaping rat

I might give it one more go with slightly thicker legs that are less likely to break off. Stay tuned.

You can download the model here and give it a shot yourself. It’s not Forge-worthy until it can be verifiably printed. This looks like a job for a non-FDM machine like the mUVE 1, Form1, or b9Creator. Have at it, bots.

A Veritable Smorgasbord of Rats

Paul Lynde as Templeton the rat in what is perhaps the greatest example of voice casting, ever, in the history of ever.

Careful watchers of the Scrying Pool will note that I’m taking a brief hiatus from working on the Drake token. I felt the need to crank out another model quickly, so I’m switching to an MTG Rat Token for a while. We’re about 75% done with the model here.

I have models for several Squirrel tokens in the Forge, so it’s not a huge step to do an evolutionary K-turn and go from Scuridae to Murinae.

MTG Rat Preview

The big difference between the rat and squirrel models is that I can open the rat’s mouth and arbitrarily pose him. The squirrels are limited to sitting on their haunches, mouths closed.

So that’s your basic rat. Whoopledy-doopelty. He’s really not worthy of the title MTG Rat Token yet; needs some scabies, matted fur, and maybe some open sores.

I’m planning to do some work with pose and surface textures to try to make this guy a little creepier. Scaly tail and some sharp fur tufts will help alot. Then I can go down the plague rat avenue, and hot diggety, I could make a rat swarm model. This could be a veritable smorgasboard of rats.

Stay tuned for test prints and the inevitable rat fails.

The Long Arm and The Paw

This post is out of chronological order for building the Magic: The Gathering Drake token. I got a little excited by the progress I was making on the wings and forgot to post it a week ago.

Building a 3D hand is one of those things that looks really hard at first but really isn’t that big a deal once you’ve done two or three of them. This is a low-resolution fantasy model, so I’ve got some leeway in the anatomical accuracy. The most important modelling technique here is keeping the mesh as quads while dealing with the transition between the first knuckles and the metacarpals.

The day may come when I forsake quadrilaterals and take the easy path of willy-nilly geometry. BUT IT IS NOT THIS DAY!

MTG Drake Paw

The yellow octagon is a NURBS circle that’s more or less aligned with the lead face on the digit. I curve-snap the finger vertices to the circle to keep the digit mostly circular.

MTG Drake Paw

After all eight verts are snapped, I move the circle up to the next digit and repeat the process. I’ll still have to go back and clean up the edge stars between the fingers so that the hand deforms properly, but this is a good start for a hand.

MTG Drake Paw

For some reason I can’t get the refrain to “Becky From the Block” out of my head while I’m working on this. Hera, give me strength.

MTG Drake, Day 5-ish

I have no idea how I’m going to print this, especially once I get the membranes in the wings done. I’ll figure it out, though. My mon Zheng don’t shiv.

MTG Drake

I haven’t added much detail to the head and body yet. He’s going to need a proliferation of cool spines, scales, and wing tatters before he’s ready to play Magic: The Gathering with his other 2/2 drake buddies.

But first things first: the next step is making a temporary skeleton to make sure the wings, tail, neck, and legs deform properly, and then I’ll take a look at those wings and body details.

I’m coming for you, wings.

Gray Anatomy, with Extra Gingold

Here’s day 4 of progress on the Magic: The Gathering Drake token.

I want the drake’s arms to be a little stringy, like a really jacked 70-year old. In order to do that I’ll have to increase the detail around the muscle edges.

I’m going to model these as an in-scale human arm, and then distort them to turn them into drake wings. I’m trying very hard to model the forms and volumes that are actually there, not the forms and volumes I think should be there. Muscles can be a challenge.

These arms are eventually going to have membranes attached to them, so I’ll have to keep that in mind as I develop the geometry.

MTG Drake Token, Day 3

Got a start on the MTG Drake Token’s pectoral girdle today. It’s got me thinking about adding detail to the muscle mass so that when the model’s finally posed (I’m predicting two weeks from now or so) we’ll be able to see the striations in the pecs.

It’s important not to get too caught up in details at this point; I want to keep the geometry simple for as long as possible. I’ll move on to the deltoids and biceps tomorrow.

#markmywords, there will be no nipples on this model. Scales, maybe, but no nipples.

I’ve got a grab bag of interesting posts coming this week, so don’t touch that dial.

MTG Beast Token, Day 7

I’m preparing the model for posing now. No more geometry edits.

The idea is that each bone in the character’s skeleton affects the vertices around it. Rotate, translate, or scale a bone and the vertices go along for the ride. This is Character Rigging 101, no fancy dynamics or muscle deformers or puppeteering controls.

Maya does a pretty good job of deciding which vertices are affected by which joint, but sometimes it needs a little assistance. I help it along by painting weights on a per-joint basis. Black vertices are not affected by a given bone, white vertices are totally affected. Gray vertices have a percentage assignment, which helps smooth out transitions between two joints.

Read my original post showing the completed model, or you can download it model here, completely free.

No printer? I’ll print you as many as you need at my Etsy Store. A half-dozen should do it for most games.

This model is distributed under the Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 US license. Please remix and enjoy.