04
Sep
11

Random Render: The Tiny Future

One of the many things I thought was interesting with the idea that eventually became Letters from the Front was the opportunity to visualize a post-restoration Rei “Tiny” Featherstorm. I’ve long said that I think the reasoning that keeps her from trying to restore herself is far more interesting than what shrunk her to begin with, and with that in mind I wanted the full size Rei to be both similar to what she used to be, but at the same time also significantly different.


Unlike both Hani Foonmall or Te’len Nila who are considered adults – however young – at the start of Beyond the Tree, Rei is still the night elven equivalent of a rebellious teenager at that time. She hasn’t taken the step over into adulthood yet and, quite frankly, she hasn’t wanted to; she’s perfectly happy as she is. The Cataclysm-era Rei we see in Letters from the Front, however, has finally taken that step – she’s passed into adulthood, and with that change she’s also had to stand on her own again, and rethink just who she is and what she’s about. Though certainly still feisty, the adult Rei isn’t driven by the same need to rebell, and is more free to be who she wants to be, rather than simply trying to not be what others want her to be.

As a result, I wanted her to have a bit of the same kind of personalized look and feel that Hani does, but with her very own spin on it. I wanted very dark and red colours because that tends to be her particular place in the colour spectrum, I wanted it to be full of personality, and I wanted it to include a very large gun in some form.

The gun was a given from the start – Rei has shown aptitude in both mechanical devices and explosives, and I could think of no more appropriate weapon for her than one that combines both those aspects into a single object. It couldn’t be some small peashooter or high precision rifle or anything either – this being Rei, I felt the weapon would almost be halfway towards grenade launcher; something she could load an explosive shell into and play mini-artillery whenever she feels bored of regular penetrating rounds. It had to be large, it had to look somewhat cobbled together and still like it had been crafted with affection and care.

Much of the rest of the look really came out of that decision; I was bouncing various ideas on the topic off of a friend of mine, and we drew the conclusion that since the gun was of somewhat Liefeldian proportions, Rei needed pouches. The pouches needed something to hang off of, so she needed a harness. And then the hair came out of the idea that I thought since she’d be running around fighting on her own feet, she’d probably have cut her hair down a bit for practical reasons, and since she’d fire a gun a lot.. I figured she’d pull that side of her hair back behind her ear to avoid her hair getting stuck in mechanisms or accidentally catching fire or anything like that.

The wrench just came out of the feeling that she should have at least some tools with her for various purposes – I considered giving her a melee weapon, and failing that a bayonet, but it really struck me that Rei wouldn’t do either of those – if she ended up in melee, she’d just use her gun either to deliver rifle butts or just use it as an impromptu club – and make sure it was reinforced properly to survive such use.

One of the interesting things on a technological level is that Rei’s full-size model isn’t actually new as such – due to the harness being a separate model and thereby adding depth, I could actually keep the clothes as painted on without additional definition and thereby actually reuse Te’len’s model complete with facial expressions (which are otherwise the big issue) – I simply applied a few additional morphs to change some bits and shapes around to better match Rei’s look. It was rather convenient to be able to do that, because it saved me the the hassle of having to re-do all the facial expressions for her particular model iteration – something that would’ve been especially bothersome since full-size Rei isn’t something that’d happen anytime soon within the comic itself.

Anyhow, like usual, click for larger.







Also, BONUS IMAGES.



Edit: A few late additions because cosmic rays invaded my brain and now I can’t get them out aaaaah~



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15 Responses to “Random Render: The Tiny Future”


  1. 1 LoLDrood
    September 5, 2011 at 00:06

    Ahhh my dear Mr. Badger, we meet again at last. Although, I do believe you’ll find the advantage to be quite in my favor, this time around.

    Hani doesn’t enjoy playing Mecha-Shiva anymore. 😦

    I’m diggin’ her asymmetrical hair. 😀 If I may suggest, her harness could use a chest strap (I’m sure there’s a real name for what I’m thinking of, but I dunno. That thing that connects the two gear-holding lines together, sits right below the collarbone.) One doesn’t need their pouches going all willy nilly.

    • 2 Nhani
      September 5, 2011 at 11:05

      I actually thought about having a strap at chest height, but it felt like it might end up a bit too visually busy if I did that. I might still give it a try, mind.

  2. 3 Noriam
    September 5, 2011 at 10:13

    Nice work as ever, I have to admit that’s pretty much as I could possibly hope to imagine her. Although, a note on posing in the… Uh… 9th, image down.

    I know it might well be a restriction of the size of the model, or how large the rifle is, but typically aiming down ironsights or a scope, the butt of the weapon will be against the shoulder rather than the elbow, since one’s shoulder muscle absorbs recoil (especially with high calibres) rather better than the elbow.

    It’s a nitpick and might well not actually be your fault (especially since the stock is very angled), but it’s worth noting.

    • 4 Noriam
      September 5, 2011 at 10:21

      … Inside, of the elbow*, rather than the elbow itself. You follow.

    • 5 Nhani
      September 5, 2011 at 10:22

      I know. Actually putting it to rest against the shoulder, however, is effectively impossible as things presently are. If I keep using her model I may have to do some serious adjustment of the rifle grip or in the least the way she holds it, because right now there’s no earthly way I can line up the rifle so it actually rests against the shoulder while still actually letting her aim.

      It really comes down to a few different proportions and a few joints not being quite as flexible, in this case mainly around the lower arm and hand area.

      • 6 Nhani
        September 5, 2011 at 10:42

        Actually, I’ll elaborate a bit on this.

        When first putting the rifle in an appropriate grip, I actually put her body into a firing position first and then tried to match the rifle up with that, and then adjust her hands to grip the weapon and see how many things I could line up to look right.

        If I try again, I think I might simply have to put her body at less of an angle, make the stock a little shorter and quite likely take another look into how twist joints work, because one of the more significant trouble zones is actually the left hand holding the front of the gun up. The thing is, when we rotate our wrists, it’s not the actual wrist that rotates – it’s the two bones in the lower arm that twist around, so it’s the entire lower arm that does that rotation. For most simple 3D rigs however (including the bipeds that I use), that rotation is contained entirely within the wrist joint, so in several cases where the wrist rotates around in a way that is completely natural for us, it looks absolutely horrible on the 3D models.

        It’s a bit like the problem with how the models (and textures!) only have a single finger joint – most of the time I can sort of work around it, but occasionally I’ll hit a pose or situation where it just isn’t enough.

        • 7 Noriam
          September 5, 2011 at 12:07

          Aye, I thought it might have been something like that (obviously none of the detail), but particularly in the event of you wanting a scene where she’s actually firing it, it’ll be quite hard to visualise it without it looking like she’s shattering her arm in the process. I think there is an inherent problem, as a fair few of the actual Warcraft animations for firing rifles, to wit, are quite silly.

          Although the night elven one actually does have the stock to the shoulder, as far as I recall, it doesn’t look particularly… Natural. Although that’s often true of many of the animations. It might be worth just looking at the bone/limb positioning on that one, and seeing if it can be “naturalised”. Having just gone to the “Hold Rifle” animation (for nelves) on modelviewer, it’s not as bad as I thought although the eye definately does not line up with the scope/ironsights.

          I have no idea if that was helpful, but, if there’s one thing I can try to help with, it’s ballistics phizzicks. <_<

          • 8 Noriam
            September 5, 2011 at 12:14

            As a further addendum to that, actually, you mentioned the wrist twisting – I don’t know if that prevents you from moving both of Tiny’s arms forward a bit. The left hand is a bit farther down the rifle than seems necessary, and you could substitute moving the rifle further away from her for shortening the rifle itself, although the latter is probably easier to do in modelling terms.

            • 9 Nhani
              September 5, 2011 at 13:21

              Alright, I spent a few hours doing some prodding and not only did another try at figuring out how the optional Twist Links the Biped structure offers work and how to best use them with the Physique rig, but also modifying the rifle around the grip and stock (along with some tweaks to the scope and the bolt), and I think I’ve managed to make it slightly better.

              See here

              The stock still intersects with one of hte pouches, but I might simply move them down to fix that. As an aside, I also slightly changed where the leg bones actually start, so I’ll have to figure out some excuse to put this model to more use just to try it out and see if it’s an improvement or not.

            • 10 LolDrood
              September 6, 2011 at 05:02

              😀 She looks more secure now.

  3. 11 Moltrazahn
    September 5, 2011 at 11:41

    Love the one were they try her sitting atop Hani *grins*
    Future Rei is awesome ^^ Your adaptation of how she ends up is great 😀

  4. 12 Noriam
    September 6, 2011 at 10:01

    Looking slick, now, stellar work right there!

  5. 13 saila AKS Wester
    September 7, 2011 at 20:15

    can some one tell me why I get the feeling that an small gun “backup” would not be to off for tiny?

  6. 14 saila AKS Wester
    September 11, 2011 at 20:40

    Funny bit when I re read it again.
    Rei some how remind me an bit of Saila Koroamatsy.
    booth use there gun in melee even if Saila use an crossbow but still. I’m still mad about blizzard about that.
    In rare case saila use an two hand sword http://www.wowhead.com/item=25987 but its usually an spanner.
    Also she has one harness going from her left hip to her Right shoulder whit 4 bags attached to it.
    and am buzzbox on her back.

  7. August 30, 2013 at 12:05

    Whats up are using WordPress for your blog platform?
    I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying to get started and create my own.
    Do you need any coding knowledge to make your own blog?
    Any help would be greatly appreciated!


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