Random Render: Two Knights of OSHi–

The decision to make a model poseable is always a choice about time – sure, poseables usually can perform a whole lot better than adapting things manually, but often the major thing is that posing a poseable is much faster than a non-poseable. On the other hand, putting a poseable together takes awhile on its own, so it’s essentially about weighing time now versus time later, and the more a certain model is likely to get reused.. the more worthwhile a poseable version might be.

Which leads us to the two particular speciments of the day.

It actually took me quite awhile to decide who I wanted to hand out the plot coupons for #255 and the pages immediately following; on one hand, it would’ve been potentially interesting to have Avari Lucien returning to the role since she did it well the first time.. on the other, I’ve had quite a few interactions with the Silver Hand of Earthen Ring for the last half year or so, and it’s generally kept the same Actual Paladins impression that first impressed me about Avari.. and seeing how I’m sure I’ve hinted plenty about how much of my experience with Paladins in World of Warcraft have been rather poor.. it’s been a rather welcome sight.

So that introduced the other option – having their current leader show up for the task; both had merits, and like said.. for a long while I wasn’t quite sure which way I’d take it in. Ultimately, I think the surfing render might’ve been what finally settled it. Though it helped that it also was the simpler conversion, and that I ultimately felt I might get the most reuse out of it.

So, Knight-Commander Lander Clavius of the Order of the Silver Hand.

The interesting thing about this model is that it’s actually a kitbash of my previous model for Edwin VanCleef – remove the collar and cape, swap out the gloves and boots, reduce a few shapes, swap hair.. add some other details and done.. or so was the plan. The advantage was that it did let me finish the model in just about five hours (or so), rather than having to spend several more hours just on getting the model set and making sure the skeleton had the right dimensions. On the other hand.. it also means the mouth is a bit limited – with VanCleef I always expected him to wear a mask except for a brief demasking moment, so I never went to the trouble of adding a mouth cavity or teeth or any of that.. and the result suffers somewhat for it.

One of the things I actually really enjoyed with this model was actually the hair texture, oddly enough; one of the few (two, all in all, I believe) people I gave an early show for input pointed out that our dear Knight-Commander is supposed to have hair that’s graying at the temples.. which immediately made me got me thinking “..how might I do that?” followed by “can I even do that?”. It’s one of those types of details that I both love and hate, much like Hani’s fraying trouser ends. It serves no purpose beyond character – it won’t make the model more poseable or expressive, it won’t be useful for anything.. it’s just there and helps define them. I love those details because they can add so much to the character.. but I also hate them, because they can often be a fair bit of work for something you can’t really use.

In this case, I had to go a little beyond the Temples – I discovered quickly, much to my chagrin, that the way Blizzard designed the hair model, the part of the texture that show the front of the hair is also used for the back.. and so I ended up sneaking in a few extra graying stripes just to not make it seem quite as out of place. It was actually a rather strange process, because I suddenly found myself wondering just how hair looks when it starts graying.. and in spite of having a father whose hair has gone all gray since a few years back.. I couldn’t make a clear picture of it in my head, and Google image search only returned images with relatively short hair.

Ultimately, and perhaps very fittingly, I actually went back to Blizzard’s material for a reference, and based it on the unit portrait for Uther the Lightbringer in WarCraft III. It had the same kind of graying I was looking for, so it was actually perfect. That said, Blizzard have far better texture artists than myself, but all the same.

And then we have Knight Gaeran Rivermoore of the Order of the Silver Hand..

This wasn’t something I’d initially intended.. I was talking with one of the people I’d shown the Lander model to and it was on the topic of what goes into making a poseable model, how much work it is and what criteria is involved in making the process worthwhile, and I pointed out how I hoped to be able to reuse the model later for other things.. and since he had a Paladin of his own with the same sort of facial hair, I told him that if he wanted a render, I could probably throw one together fairly quick-ish just to demonstrate the flexiblity.

About one and a half hours later of finding the right textures, adapting shoulderpads and fiddling around with poses.. I had a result. It took more time than I expected, but it actually proved to be quite an interesting exercise as while the two share exactly the same model save for hair, textures and equipment.. they aren’t the same person, and trying to express that difference with the same base model proved to be a challenge. Ultimately, I settled for showing Lander as much more serious, dutiful and somewhat iconic, while I tried to make Gaeran seem more casual and and relaxed, with a hint of humor.

But, I’ve rambled long enough, so on to the renders! Like usual, click for larger ones, blah blah etc etc.


19 Responses to “Random Render: Two Knights of OSHi–”

  1. 1 Fokker
    March 6, 2011 at 09:44

    Oh god… seeing paladins in S5 still gives me bad memories. My face hurts.

  2. 2 Gaeran
    March 6, 2011 at 11:18

    Hah, it’s an awesome set though, no? :>

    Awesome renders, Nhans! ❤

    Especially lurve the render where Gaeran's charging, with the statue of Ol' Lothar in the background and all. Likewise, the Lander ones are zomgawesome!

    • 3 Nhani
      March 7, 2011 at 12:35

      I think I mentioned this to you, but I admittedly found it really difficult to find appropriate backdrops that carried the right angle and scale to fit the renders in, hence why the locations are rather.. scattered. The one with the Lothar statue just seemed to resonate well, so I ran with it.

  3. 4 MysteriousP
    March 6, 2011 at 14:35

    My two favourite player Paladins!
    I’ve already squeeed at you loads this week when you treated me to an early preview, so you know how much I love ALL of these. Initially I felt kinda bad bringing up the greying temples when it seemed it would be alot of work, but I think its that final little detail that nails Lander and I’m still amused that it was Uther images that solidified the look! The addition of the visable Libram is an added little bit of perfection. Love Gaeran’s hand on the hip and sword over the shoulder too.

    It’s been a few days and I’m still really enjoying them 🙂

    • 5 Cobs
      March 6, 2011 at 15:13

      They both look awesome!

    • 6 Nhani
      March 7, 2011 at 12:32

      Admittedly, the Libram was something of a last minute change – it wasn’t there for the first few test renders I did, and then I remembered Lander’s opinion of its inclusion for the upgraded Areen model.. and I decided to sneak in a scaled up version for him.

      It works, because one of the things I wanted was just for him to look like the iconic paladin leader ideal, as that’s somewhat the role he represents.

  4. 7 Lorthaiel
    March 6, 2011 at 16:19

    I found myself drawn to the one of.. Gaeran in front of the Lion statue. He looked so.. streamlined but serious. And somehow slimmer than the male human model usually is. It just appealed to me for some reason.

    • 8 Nhani
      March 7, 2011 at 12:24

      I can’t actually recall if it truly is slimmer or it’s just a trick of the eye with the tabard and whatnot.. I don’t remember if that was a detail I tweaked on Edwin or not.

  5. 9 Xel
    March 6, 2011 at 16:53

    Havta agree with everyone here; these are fantastic renders, Nhani. Both paladins look quite iconic, you did a great job with them.

    I should also note that I’ve really liked the dialogue that we’ve seen from the paladins located within Stormwind City. Back in the earlier chapters of BTT, Delgren was almost a bit of comic relief as much as he was a quest-post. Here in the Eastern Kingdoms, you’ve really painted the paladins in a proper, chivalrous light. I just wanted to add in my two cents that I think you’ve been writing them very well ever since the characters of this story arrived in Stormwind City, especially Areen.

    • 10 Nhani
      March 7, 2011 at 12:23

      I always felt Delgren got a bit of a bum rap by most of the fanbase; personally I felt he was at least reasonably competent and even proved himself clever enough to manipulate Tiny into getting the duo to do what he wanted in the end. That said.. Tiny never forgave him for failing to protect Te’len, and Hani simply didn’t care about him, which meant that he got quite a bit of grief from the duo, or in the least ended up the punchline on a fair few of Tiny’s remarks.

      Of course, he was also an outsider in a strange, faraway land populated with people far older than him. I think he’d spent a fair bit of time just proving to the nearby Sentinels that he shouldn’t just be dismissed as some “manchild playing at war”.

      On the Eastern Kingdoms, Paladins are more in their own right, with the group of night elves being the ones painfully out of place.

  6. 11 Noriam
    March 7, 2011 at 01:09

    Well, I can’t say much else than nice work. One thing I can’t cameo in for obvious reasons, so nothing I hold against you =p Thanks to the addition of librams (and posing that actually makes sense for the weapons) it looks much more true to what it should be. The cathedral too, actually, the absence of pews to me is very conspicuous in the game.

    Did you do a model reshuffle of the two female ones too, or are they straight out of the box?

    • 12 Nhani
      March 7, 2011 at 12:07

      Apart from the necessary removing invisible surfaces that screw up lighting, they’re pretty much straight out of the box – while I have a poseable human female model I could base them on.. it’s not quite as simple a conversion to make, nevermind there’s two different models in this case rather than just one I could swap out details on, so I really didn’t feel like it’d be worth it to add 1-2 more days of work just for that.

      Like said, it’s always about time, and performance is really only important to characters that’ll speak and directly interact.

  7. 13 Avari
    March 7, 2011 at 15:26

    Wow, you did a great job on them! Your models and renders really make the characters look like they should.

    I just caught up with the whole story, enjoying it very much and looking forward to reading on. It’s given me some more drive to get back into RP too!

  8. 14 saila AKS Wester
    March 10, 2011 at 15:38

    Nhani the tittle is it supposed or was that youst the error my fast reading coursed.
    making oshi– to oh sh***.?
    anyone eles.
    //ps not sure if this gets out my net… terrible,

    • 15 Nhani
      March 10, 2011 at 17:52

      It’s intentional; the Order of the Silver Hand tends to be abbreviated into OSH; I have a tendency to transform it into OSHi– for my own amusement.

      • 16 Gordrake Thunderhoof
        March 11, 2011 at 23:15

        Which is also the thing most Death Knights say when they tick off one enough to warrant their demise.

  9. 17 Gustavo
    March 11, 2011 at 02:01

    you must work for Blizzard, you are a artist.

  10. 18 Raukangren
    March 28, 2011 at 12:14

    I love your choice of weapons for characters. Gives the feeling those are real weapons and not some parade junk. I love it. That hammer has it’s weight and that claymore is really slash-delivery! Fitting to say the least.

    More importantly – there’s no gleamy ugly stuff! 😀

  11. 19 Valmandûr (Udûn-Khadgar)
    April 12, 2011 at 19:41

    Gaeran… How he charges there really brings back some memories of my faithful black haired paladin with exactly the same haircut =). Ah, the good old time when judgement was still logical. Flash! It hurts!!! Seal of Command… =)

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