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Reaper Bones 4: Enthusiasm and Commentary Thread

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14 hours ago, Goop said:

Can someone explain the below images to me? Anyone else feel that some of these sculpts are a little too WoW-looking?  I was really enthusiastic about pledging in for my first Reaper Core Set, plus some extras, but looking closer I'm not so sure. Many of the weapons look positively cartoonish, and the big smooth features remind me of HeroForge, and not necessarily in a good way.

Or are these just temporary images of incomplete projects?   

 

Modern mini aesthetics are more and more cartoony, even Reaper seems affected. It must be more profitable or the artists must enjoy working in that aesthetic more. It's either something you put up with, or something that forces you to go search Ebay for oldhammer lots.

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1 hour ago, pinkymadigan said:

Modern mini aesthetics are more and more cartoony, even Reaper seems affected. It must be more profitable or the artists must enjoy working in that aesthetic more. It's either something you put up with, or something that forces you to go search Ebay for oldhammer lots.

 

Can also look further back in the Reaper catalog. They still make a lot of their older style stuff. 

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On 5/8/2018 at 1:49 AM, paintybeard said:

 

 

Yes, I'll sign the "Save the Dead Caribou" petition.

 

I keep going back to the latest update and getting more and more disappointed with the renders. They are perfectly decent figures, but somehow the svelte menace of the original artwork doesn't come across.

Full disclosure is that I've been disappointed in some way, shape, or firm with most of the renders generated since the campaign ended. I'm hoping it's just how the digital looks and in person they look better, but I'm not as thrilled with Reaper's digital renders as their sculpted greens. 

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Are there some Bones 3 digital renders that we could compare with the finished product for reference?

 

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2 minutes ago, Cyradis said:

Are there some Bones 3 digital renders that we could compare with the finished product for reference?

 

Possibly bones 3 Sophie, but she's a really soft mini. I'd have to go back through the previews and my actual minis to see, but I'm not remembering as many renders in Bones 3, though I do remember being disappointed with several of them, like Sophie and the Valkyrie from the Pretty Deadly set. 

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I think it's iffy. For monsters, I don't mind 3D renders of monsters as much (like, i've seen Jason Wiebe's tyrannosaurus rex in person at the last ReaperCon, and it looks just fine, has all the detail i could want).

The turtle and zombie shark also looked pretty good to me

 

but humanoid renders seem to, as someone else put it, go into world of warcraft-ish cartoony style. I'm not sure why this is. maybe it is the sculptors. I will say that Jason Wiebe's frost giantesses are not bad, i just miss the caribou. So maybe it does come down to the artist doing the sculpting

 

i mean, i definitely prefer Julie Guthrie's dragons over the T'rauk that came out, simply because her scale design makes sense and is uniform while T'rauk's just...end. No transition from bigger to small, they're just laid onto the dragon as an afterthought. And i think if it had been a green instead of a 3D sculpt, more attention would have been paid to the scales. I bet that if Julie Guthrie took up 3D modeling, she'd still keep all the fascinating detail and personality she puts into her dragons. Or at least i'd hope so.

 

anyways, i think it boils down to the artists doing the sculpting, because i've seen 3D renders that look just as good as green stuff physical ones

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Strange things happen when you look at different incarnations of the same thing.  Here's the art preview of the duelist from "Sophie and Friends":

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1513061270/reaper-miniatures-bones-4-mr-bones-epic-adventure/posts/2034198

 

She looks really, really smooth.  Like strangely so.  But if you look at the image of the metal version from the store, it looks like she's got a bad skin condition or maybe a lumpy primer coat.  http://www.reapermini.com/OnlineStore/duelist/latest/03867

 

Then there's the actual real metal version of the model that I have already purchased.  And she looks fine.  Better than fine, she looks closer to the concept art in a way.  So I think there's something that the render preview software does that doesn't quite look right, but in the end it doesn't have it any more.  Or at least, that's the way my eyes see it.  

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On 5/11/2018 at 10:39 AM, pinkymadigan said:

Modern mini aesthetics are more and more cartoony, even Reaper seems affected. It must be more profitable or the artists must enjoy working in that aesthetic more. It's either something you put up with, or something that forces you to go search Ebay for oldhammer lots.

 

 

Is it related to the transition away from physical sculpting?  Perhaps the artists hired to do computer modeling are just more used to that style.  

I've been getting most of my minis from Ebay: really enjoying old ral partha and reaper models.  I can't afford to buy old school Reaper models retail at the moment.  There are still a lot of great Bones options in the old style that I plan on buying, but I'm feeling iffy about the number of new style sculpts in this Kickstarter package.  Perhaps if these new Blizzard style sculpts are really what people want, as you suggest, I can get the Kickstarter, keep the models I want, and sell the rest on eBay.

 

19 hours ago, Cyradis said:

Are there some Bones 3 digital renders that we could compare with the finished product for reference?

 


I tried using waybackmachine to figure this out, but the image is the same as the current version: not a lot of digital renders.  Most of the Renders that are on the page look pretty good, but they're mostly of large monsters.  The crusaders package looks pretty WoW-y though.  [I can't upload an image at the moment for some reason - will try again later]
Does anyone know how these models ended up looking?

 

Edited by Goop
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Weapon size etc is of course a matter of taste. Personally I'm not in love with those guard miniatures in the core set (nr 14 and 15, 416-418), though they are probably very useful for gaming. Bones already doesn't look as good for human sized minis imho, so making the detail not as intricate and weapons more robust is preferable to me opposed to having bendy weapons or soft/mushy detail.

 

I don't really support the notion that modern miniatures are more cartoonish and video-gamy, I feel like there are plenty of sculptors who go with a more historical take on weapons and gear. 

 

And as others have said, the rendered turntables look unnaturally smooth and too perfect. Imho that's the medium and the fact that it's not photographed in reality. My Zbrush stuff also always looks kinda weird, because if something is smooth, it's really, really perfectly smooth in a way real things aren't. Also, if lighting and shader aren't super fine tuned and time-consumingly calculated, a rendered image will always look more like a cartoon than reality. 

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I do think that the WoW-style stuff actually works better in Bones material than the non-cartoonish stuff. It is chunkier instead of sleek, and Bones gets all warped on sleek stuff. I like the WoW-style stuff (only played obsessively for 5 years) but I like other styles too. Other styles do better in metal and resin, in my opinion. Mostly it seems like the knights and bandits that are getting cartoonish, and actually seem a bit like the space marines that are overly clunky too. **shrug** There is a variety. I don't need to complain here. 

 

@Nunae kinda beat me to it - human Bones are Meh. Fattening them up helps. 

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Personally, I don't like minis that have been rendered very much. I particularly don't like them in metal. In bones they're fine, they work better in that medium. But I feel like the metal minis that have been made from an actual sculpted mini have a lot more detail and personality. Their hair is finer, the details more proportionate, the crevasses aren't weird blank spaces, their faces aren't too symmetrical.

 

I mean, I still like them, but they don't have the same feel as hand sculpted minis. :shrug:

Edited by redambrosia
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I kind of like the WoW style (played WoW and EQ for quite a while in my younger years) so I don't have a problem with the renders. I also think that while the "cartoony" style might not look as elegant or accurate when painted (not that any of mine look elegant or realistic when painted!), the oversized bolder weapons makes them easier to differentiate on the table. 

 

Me: Okay, I am going to sneak around and stab that guard

DM: Which guard?

Me: the giant Axe one, not the sword one

 

And you can just glance up and tell, ya know?

 

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While I don't mind the renders, and like a lot of the 3D designed minis, I think they have grown a lot since the first few in Bones 2 (stiff poses, etc)

Also, I totally agree with the thought that the new Crusaders look like something out of Warcraft: specifically, they remind me of the Scarlet Crusade.

 

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20 hours ago, redambrosia said:

But I feel like the metal minis that have been made from an actual sculpted mini have a lot more detail and personality. Their hair is finer, the details more proportionate, the crevasses aren't weird blank spaces, their faces aren't too symmetrical.

I do agree with you as far as the actual miniature scene is concerned, but not when it comes to digital sculpting with no intentions to bring it to the real world (movies, video games, digital art). I think a lot has to do with digital sculpting for our particular hobby is relatively new and artists need to adapt. Sculpting digitally is quite different, and while there might be short cuts that you don't have in reality (and neat things like saving a back up before you try something out that might go terribly wrong), it takes time to master. People who have been painting or drawing on paper for years also don't learn Photoshop over night. Artists from a digital background might have more experience with the software, but need to figure out how to pose their figures for printing and mold making and how much detail will translate at what scale. All that while the printers themselves are constantly evolving. I'm pretty sure in a few years we will see miniatures sculpted digitally that look just as good as those sculpted in reality.

Good example for me are some of the unpainted Wizkids miniatures: they look super detailed in render images, with tons of little bags and pouches on their belts, but the final product doesn't read those well at all.

 

And while that of course doesn't apply to the Reaper sculpts I have seen, digital programs help you to get to something close to decent without really knowing what you're doing by using examples already in the program/ready to download and reposing them/putting stencils and stamps on. While working with all the tools is of course valid, one does need time, experience and training to produce something really good. Digital sculpting might give you the illusion that you did something already kickstarting, because a beginner's result from starting out with an already anatomically correct human does look better than a beginner's work starting out with a bunch of wires.

Edited by Nunae
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