JeremyMallin's avatar

Legoland Castle

By JeremyMallin
16 Favourites
26 Comments
2K Views
3D Rendering of a Lego castle set I had as a kid. Modeled and rendered with Lightwave 9.6.

This was one of my favorite sets as a kid because it was before Lego started making all their castle sets out of large prefab parts that required very little assembly. Even the horses in this set required assembly. Lego geek heaven! I actually still have this set displayed on a shelf. Modeling it was almost as much fun as building it was as a kid.

Plus I learned a couple more rendering tricks. My system kept screeching to a halt when I tried to load the scene with all the objects subpatched, but when I froze the most complex object (the castle), it loaded just fine. Also, in my initial hour long render I didn't noticed that the red swordsman in the lower right corner had messed up textures. I saved an hour by rendering the scene again with only that one object visible to the camera and used the original botched render as a background composite image. It took about five minutes to salvage the render and get a much better looking final image.
IMAGE DETAILS
Image size
3600x2400px 3.48 MB
Make
Synthetic Camera
Model
Perspective Camera
Shutter Speed
0/1 second
Aperture
F/16.0
Focal Length
109 mm
Date Taken
Apr 18, 2012, 9:15:18 PM
Sensor Size
22mm
Published:
Comments26
anonymous's avatar
Join the community to add your comment. Already a deviant? Log In
godzillaSan's avatar
godzillaSanHobbyist Traditional Artist
Very nice castle here; great work!
svenart's avatar
svenartProfessional Digital Artist
very nice work, good realism!
JeremyMallin's avatar
JeremyMallinProfessional Interface Designer
Thank. I still have the real one too but it's missing some pieces.
Jim-Zombie's avatar
Jim-ZombieHobbyist Digital Artist
I think I had the same set. Nice recreation.
JeremyMallin's avatar
JeremyMallinProfessional Interface Designer
I actually still have it on display. It's quite a bit dusty. And a couple pieces are missing now because of clumsiness on my part.
Jim-Zombie's avatar
Jim-ZombieHobbyist Digital Artist
My whole Lego collection mysteriously disappeared.
JeremyMallin's avatar
JeremyMallinProfessional Interface Designer
You could reverse engineer that and market it as stealth cloaking technology. Sorry to hear about the Lego though.
KoppKnakka's avatar
yeah lego wuhu cool
JeremyMallin's avatar
JeremyMallinProfessional Interface Designer
Thanks.
Al-Kabeer's avatar
A thread holding the pathway is not looking correct
JeremyMallin's avatar
JeremyMallinProfessional Interface Designer
Thanks. I tried to correct some of that, but ultimately could not get it 100% perfect. I created the thread by using a path extrusion along a polyline curve. The curve interpolation is a bit funky and the only way I know so far to fix it is to ad tons of points to the curve, which is time consuming and taxing on my older computer system. Some day maybe I'll have a better system where I can handle any geometry I throw at it. And hopefully I'll learn an cheaper way to control curve interpolation better too.
Al-Kabeer's avatar
Why don't you create a spline with some size?
JeremyMallin's avatar
JeremyMallinProfessional Interface Designer
Yes, actually I could have done that. The problem would still be there. The spline curves are a bit funky. They don't seem to interpolate the points well and add a lot of extra squiggles.
innactpro's avatar
innactproProfessional Digital Artist
Awesome! I had this set when I was a child. Younger cousins and various dogs managed to dispose of most of the pieces over the years.

As far as bricks not lining up, I was an OCD kid and insisted on everything being perfect. So, my castle looked like this. I'd not have had it any other way. Poses too were kept fairly exact, though even an OCD kid couldn't keep those exactly the same.

Nice work.
JeremyMallin's avatar
JeremyMallinProfessional Interface Designer
Younger cousins and dogs made me smile. Memories...

Too funny. I used to have pretty serious OCD too. It's managed now and not as noticeable. I used to annoy the heck out of family and roommates with the things I did when I was younger. As a kid I had all my Lego sets lined up on top of a dresser in my bedroom. Before I went to bed I used to spend a half hour or more lining up each figure exactly where I wanted it in exactly the direction and pose I wanted it. As an adult, I'm still fairly particular about how things are lined up on my desk, but I don't spend nearly as much time or effort on it anymore.

One more crazy OCD Lego-related thing I did when I was a kid... I used to deviate from the Lego instructions if I didn't like how the seams of the individual blocks lined up. I used to hate for multiple levels of block to have the seams aligned all the way up. I preferred to have them staggered like masonry brick layers do, which is actually better for structural integrity, but is way crazy for a nine-year-old to be worried about with respect to a toy.
innactpro's avatar
innactproProfessional Digital Artist
Oh yeah, even still I have to put things in their place. Though, like you, am not as particular as once I was.

I still follow the instructions exactly just to make sure I have all the pieces. Afterwards though, anything goes. This castle set was in fact, and perhaps still is, my favorite as I was able to make an awesome Airwolf slash Blue Thunder type helicopter thing. I still look from time to time to see if parts from this set are available, though in different colors. The three blocks high angled blocks for the outer walls are the key to the aircraft thingy, and those are no longer around. I know my wife will not let spend money trying to get one of these sets either.

I do the staggering thing as well, when doing my own thing. Damn engineering degree! Though, before that, I figured out the integrity thing on my own. I just didn't fully understand why until working on the degree. That makes me sound stupid. I understood intuitively as a child, though later functionally from school.

Wow, that was a much longer reply than I intended.
JeremyMallin's avatar
JeremyMallinProfessional Interface Designer
Wow. Too funny. I have an engineering degree too, though I am trying to forget that ;). Engineering must be a thing OCD types are drawn too?
innactpro's avatar
innactproProfessional Digital Artist
Ha ha.
Cymae's avatar
CymaeProfessional Digital Artist
It's looking great! did you want a bit of critique?
JeremyMallin's avatar
JeremyMallinProfessional Interface Designer
Sure, if you'd like to. Thanks.
Cymae's avatar
CymaeProfessional Digital Artist
I'd suggest adjusting your lego men a bit, they've all got pretty much identical poses. You've done a sweet job with the bricks too but maybe warp a few of the lines ever so slightly, like a few of the bricks didn't QUITE fit flush with one another, all these things make it look more realistic.

Then a wee bit of chromatic abberation will seal the deal, it'll look great with your depth of field.

Again though, great work!
JeremyMallin's avatar
JeremyMallinProfessional Interface Designer
Excellent tips. Makes sense. Thanks. I'll try to work in some of those ideas on future renders, maybe not this exact one but I think I might do more Lego renders in the future. I like the chromatic aberration idea, but it sounds like it might be a lot of work to achieve. I'm thinking texture image maps, but maybe something adequate could be achieved a bit easier with procedural textures? From a rendering viewpoint dust might look more like the real model on my shelf too, but artistically I like it without dust. I do notice that on most of the white pieces there is a degree of discoloration from aging. Is that part of what you had in mind for chromatic aberration?

... or I could correct a few mistakes I noticed after looking at the final render a few times more closely. In at least one spot it looks like I accidentally deleted one of the "bumps" on one of the bricks. I also noticed that the two guards standing on the "grass" on either side of the draw bridge were accidentally placed too low down. It looks like I placed them flush with the "floor" rather than raising them up the thickness of the green "grass" piece. It also looks like the bump texture I used on the tops of the "bumps" on each brick didn't show up all that well. I probably should have increased the contrast and amplitude of the texture (the word LEGO). I wonder if there are more mistakes I didn't notice yet.
Cymae's avatar
CymaeProfessional Digital Artist
A wee bit about chromatic abberation:

In Maya all you would do is add a lens shader and a bokeh to it, there's a small article about it . In lightwave it appears to be a wee bit more complicated, but I found a few articles that might help you:
DP Filter Dispertion
More stuff about nodes
What CGSociety has to say

On a wee side note, after you mentioned the guards on the grass, the green bumps are actually interpenetrating through his feet, you can see them poking through the top :)

However, if you want a quick and dirty cheat, you can just do it in Photoshop, like this:
Step 1: Duplicate your image so you have 2 layers with the same image on it. Hide the top one.
Step 2: With the bottom layer selected, click on your Channels window.
Step 3: Click on the red channel, select all, and shift it up one pixel, shift the green channel left one pixel, and the blue channel right one pixel.
Step 4: Click RGB and go to your layers pallete, you've now got a bit of fake chromatic abberation but your image is a lot blurrier.
Step 5: Turn the top layer on, and lower the opacity. I played around with your image, it depends on how strong you want the effect. I found 80% works quite nicely.

It's quick and dirty, but you don't have to re-render anything.

It's just one of those things you don't notice till it's missing :)

Good Luck!
JeremyMallin's avatar
JeremyMallinProfessional Interface Designer
Wow. Totally awesome tips on cheating the effect in Photoshop. Sounds very easy. For some reason I've been avoiding doing post-render Photoshop work because I was worried that it was viewed as cheating, but that could just be perfectionism taken to too great an extreme.

The green bumps poking through the top of the feet is what led me to realize that I positioned those figures wrong. On the initial 1200x800 render I didn't notice; but when I did the final 3600x2400 render and zoomed in I saw it.

Thanks for the links too. CGSociety tends to have a lot of good stuff. I'm mostly self-taught, but a lot of the stuff I've learned comes from CGSociety and the official Lightwave Newtek forums.

I initially chose Lightwave over other software because way back when I did, friends of mine were using it, it was a lot bigger then (Babylon 5 and other scifi productions using it), and it was thousands of dollars cheaper than anything else professionaly and commercially available. I still think it's a terrific software package, but it seems that it's not as popular as it once was.
anonymous's avatar
Join the community to add your comment. Already a deviant? Log In