Yep, I did it. I purchased a template to render LEGO bricks. Given the many years spent developing my own, I never thought I’d say that. To be fair, it was about time. Mecabricks creator Nicolas Jarraud (aka Scrubs) developed a great product. Below are my first two renders and the results, as expected, are fantastic.
Inspired, yet again.
Brickset.com recently posted a great article called “The anatomy of a BrickHeadz.” In it, they walked through the latest line of collectables from the LEGO® group. Chunky and cute, they should do well. Personally, I’m not a big fan yet, but might still grab the Beauty and the Beast ones for my wife.
In that article, they show cased Will Kirkby’s creations, including Greedo. Will’s designs looked like digital creations, given the lack of bevels, sparking a desire to render my own. Smitten by Greedo design, I set about building it in Mecabricks. And there it sat.
Time and other distractions conspired against me. Greedo sat there in my account, ignored for a month. But, then Scrubs’ released his Blender Advanced script. I’ve been using his so called Lite version for months with excellent results. To be honest, it’s worth the buy; especially if you want to an easier way render your models.
For me, the added realism is what drove me to buy it. I’d been toying adding scratches and dust to my renders, but the Advanced script does it for you. As a plus, it removes much of the initial setup I had to do in the Lite version.
Armed with my Greedo model and Advanced script, I tried it out. The results, below, looks great, showing off Will’s design quite well.
Not quite done.
The render was well received, but I wasn’t satisfied with the look. Scrub’s noted that the antenna weren’t round, which threw off the realism. My attempts at using Scrubs’ subdivision.py script often break some pieces geometry. Instead, he offered a suggestion.
Disable the edge split modifier and add a subdivision modifier on the top of the bevel modifier. You shall also click on the eye of the bevel modifier so that it appears in the viewport. It shall work ok for the taps used for the antennas.
– Nicolas Jarraud
I’d already been tweaking the lighting of the model, so I took the opportunity to try his fix. The more rounded pieces and updated HDRI better show off the script’s materials. Notice that the pieces on the left side of Greedo’s head aren’t flat.
I’ve already begun rendering other models with the new script. Needless to say, I’m liking the results.