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Markus Bilz

Lego minifigure made with Blender

October 06, 2014 | by Markus Bilz | posted in blender, cycles, LEGO | Tags: , , ,

Ever since I have been addicted to LEGO. LEGO was one of my most favourite toys to play with. Now I’ve created my very own LEGO minfigure in Blender.

Modelling a LEGO

modelling a minfigure in Blender is rather straight forward. I used some blueprints and a ldraw mesh as a reference and started by doing some easy box modelling. This miniproject wasn’t about improving modelling; it was about creating some realistic shaders and lighting a scene properly. Recently I’ve joined Grant Warwick’s Vray shader course, though I rarely use Vray. Many techniques that are shown can be applied to Cycles as well. That’s why it was definitely worth joining. Some of the knowledge I’ve gained, went into the little guy you can see below.


Lighting a LEGO minfigure in Blender

To generally light my scene I used an .hdr file published by Peter Guthrie. Furthermore I used a sun lamp to place this distinctive highlights. So nothing fancy.

lego minifigure

Creating some proper plastic shaders

The shaders were most fun to create. First I fetched a real LEGO Minfigure, to learn about the surface constitution.

What I noticed is that the surface is covered:

  • with fingerprints,
  • micro scratches,
  • micro cracks
  • some displacement
  • some dust/dirt
  • some flashes

I created a basic plastic shader using a diffuse and a glossy shader, combining both with a mix shader. As a factor I used a fresnel value that’s being influenced with a rgb curve. You might want to learn about this technique in Grant Warwick’s course or in this video. I also applied a fingerprint map to break up the uniformity. By the way the colours are all original. There are useful charts online showing the original colours. The one I used was this one.

For bump I used this image. The small flashes were also faked with a bump map. It’s easy as that. The only thing I didn’t fake is, that the surface is sometimes not 100 % flat, which results from the way how LEGO is produced. But this wasn’t necessary for the LEGO pieces I was going for.


Soon I am going to upload the .blend files. I hope you like it.