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Howdy!

My name is Dom and I'm new to the world of minis. I started fiddling away with Procreate in the fall of 2017, trying to make some minis for a D&D campaign I play in. I roughed out two ghoulish-looking figures (which weren't supposed to be ghouls), grew pretty frustrated with it, and shelved the whole business for 2018. I decided to give it another go in January, and started another five for a new D&D campaign. Progress was slow but better than the first go-round, and spurred on by an opportunity to apply for a mini design talent program with a large company, I finally finished my first two minis last week!

My photographs highlighted plenty of issues I wish I'd had time to address, but the deadline for the application was upon me. 

They're mottled because I was trying out different mixtures of putties, trying to figure out what suits my purposes best. I have a good bit of sculpting experience from a former job (not at this small scale) and am more used to an add-then-refine method, rather than having to get it just-so because the materials don't like being sanded or carved. Once I got some Aves Apoxie Sculpt, I became much more hopeful.

Here's Aldin Peaksplitter, a Dwarven battlerager who doesn't wear armor and likes to fight hand-to-hand, and Albrecht Glasser, a human divination wizard who masquerades as a fortune teller.

The funny bit between Aldin's left thigh and elbow is just a vent for casting purposes. I did make a mold of him because I wanted to submit photos of nice primed castings, but it hit a snag and I didn't have time to redo it before the deadline. With Albrecht you can see some copper armature in places - I thought I'd found a good way to negate some of my Procreate frustrations in the armature phase, but it went awry. Once I learned of the program I wanted to apply for, he was too far along to start over, so I made do.

I'd love to hear your thoughts.

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Edit: These are 28mm or about 1/60 scale, based on the character's height. Aldin would be about 25mm tall if standing erect (he's a tall Dwarf), and Albrecht about 30mm.

Edited by CivilDungeoneer
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Welcome to the Forum!

I'm more of a painter and can only say that I think these look pretty good!

 

The Sculptors that roam around this place will have more useful comments/advice for you I guess.

Anyway, have fun!

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I am not a sculptor, so do not know from a technical perspective if good or not... but from a mini buyer perspective, I think they have a lot of character and look good!

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Nicely done!

 

I love the suspenders on the dwarf.

 

And I can just imagine the human dropping the book (which is, I'm sure, the Marquess of Queensberry Rules) and adopting the formal stance of a pugilist.

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2 hours ago, CivilDungeoneer said:

@Gadgetman! That's good to hear; thanks! My molding and casting skills are more practiced, if a bit rusty, than my sculpting, so I hope to make minis to sell someday.

 

Well, if you want to be able to sell to me remember that I'm all in for the femmes.

Sexy femmes, strong femmes, strong AND sexy, striking, different...  

(One of my all-time faves is the 'Half-Orc Barbarian' from Oathsworn's 'Heroines in Sensible Shoes' series. Check it out. It's awesome)

 

Have you considered other scales also, if you plan to be doing your own casting?

 

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5 hours ago, Gadgetman! said:

Have you considered other scales also, if you plan to be doing your own casting?

As I'd intended making minis for the sort of basic 1" = 5' D&D mini market, I have been intending on this specific scale. Larger scales would definitely be easier. Did you have something particular in mind?

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From the Double Barreled Critiques thread:

 

48 minutes ago, CivilDungeoneer said:

I do wonder what's up with my photography, because neither the fur nor the hair translate well compared to what I see on the figure in person. I used a similar technique as you described in the hair comment, but I'll work on that too

 

I'm not the sculptor guy, so I didn't want to respond in that thread. But one of the things I do is photography. What I'm seeing is some combination of the following:

  • Your primary lighting is coming from the top of the figures rather than the front. I'm guessing that this might be from a lightbox of some sort and they don't really work very well for minis.
  • Your background is currently very bright, some of which is bleeding around the figure.
  • And because of the bright background, it looks like the original photo might have been underexposed and the exposure boosted in post processing, which reduced the sharpness of details.
  • And I suspect that you might have done quite a lot of cropping to get to the shots you have here.

So suggestions:

  • To show texture, you want to have low, raking light. This works best if it's going across details rather than with the grain of them. (This is rather like the way that when you drybrush, you don't run the brush along, but rather across, the detail you want to emphasize.) Specifically, the light above the hair makes the shadows that define the detail mostly disappear. If you light more from the side, the detail will show more.
  • Much of the front of the figure is in shadow, again because you're lighting from the top. Rather than using a lightbox, put lights mostly level with the figure and forward of a line perpendicular to the line from camera to subject. This will give you the light to see the shoe detail.
  • The white background that takes up most of the frame of the shot can be a problem, especially for an automatic exposure mode. Either set your exposure manually, use exposure compensation to increase the base exposure of the photo, or use a darker background (mid-gray works well).
  • And if you can get decent focus on a smaller field of view by moving the camera closer or using a longer lens (not digital zoom, which is just in-camera cropping), that might be useful. But it will also reduce your depth of field, so consider that. FWIW, and if you aren't already using one, a cell phone camera generally has very good depth of field for any given distance from lens to subject.

For more information, you might want to take a look here:

 

https://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/55357-miniatures-photography-101/

 

HTH

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@Doug Sundseth

 

Hi Doug - your eyes don't lie!

 

I slapped together a lightbox in my workshop because (reasons that don't matter). I did have to crop in - the square photos are just about 1/5th total pixels of the original shots. It would've been about 30% if I had kept the aspect ratio.

 

I did boost exposure in post. I was using a DSLR and I was using a very narrow f-stop to give me a better depth of field, and something like a 3-second exposure, and it got me close to what I wanted. Next time I hopefully either won't be on a deadline or will have managed my time better so I can get those settings lined up properly - garbage in, garbage out! My smartphone doesn't seem to play nice with depth of field on these little guys - if I'm close enough to get it to focus (even with my setting the focal area), seems like half the figure is too close/far to be in focus.

 

I'll give that link a read, and see what I can rig up for lighting in the manner you describe. I'll incorporate your background suggestion, too. These make logical sense.

Thanks for the help and support! What a great bunch of folks around here :)

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