Sirius Chess Set

Sirius Chess Set


A new set of beautiful chess men
Authoring a set of chess pieces from scratch is not as easy as you might think. At least if your aim is to meet several goals at the same time:

New and unique design.
Pieces must be easily recognizable.
Aesthetically pleasing.
Low center of mass for a pleasurable playing experience.

What started as an exercise in using Blender has now turned into an obsession. Every little detail and curve is under scrutiny, and I even consider starting a kickstarter project, in order to allow me to get it absolutely perfect, and turn the design into a real physical product that people can buy.

So far I am reasonably satisfied with the knight and the rook. The bishop needs some trimming still, as I think it has some lazy curves and an unintended comical quality. It needs to be slimmer and some sharper tension on the curves. The king and queen are basically still just stand-ins the final design. Only about a couple of work hours have gone into them, and you don't need to tell me that they need to be taller and sharper. Also the "hands" have been copy-pasted from the bishop. I don't intend them all to be in a prayer pose. The queen should raise an arm in greeting, and the king should display a commanding gesture, whatever that means. I kind of like the pawn, but still there is something slightly off about it that I can't really express in words. I suppose it is a matter of fine tuning the proportions. Either that or a complete redesign of the piece is needed.

I suppose I could re-mesh the pieces and dramatically decrease the poly count, but although the general shapes are fairly simple, there are occasionally places where I need the high granularity to get the details just right. Once the pieces are re-meshed, I loose some control over those details, and since this is still work in progress, I don't want to do that yet. However with the interior lighting and the cycles renderer, the render time for a full HD frame is approaching the limit of what my aging PC can handle within a reasonable amount of time, so I thought I would give a render farm, like this one, a shot.

Anyway, let me know what you think.

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