Tag Archives: modelling

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.