Hobby Evolution -What comes next?
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Thread: Hobby Evolution -What comes next?

  1. #1

    Default Hobby Evolution -What comes next?

    Hey folks!

    Reading the "DaVinci Juiced-Thread" I started wondering if the miniature hobby has already covered all techniques the "old masters" have used or if there is something still to dig up from the glourios past of 2D-Painting.

    Let me explain in detail: As you might know, things like nmm were no inventions of mini painting, but were used centuries earlier (look at Rembrandt for really convincing nmm). The same thing goes for other fancy stuff like superrealistic gems, see-through effects, osl, senmm etc.
    Yet it took some time for the hobby to sort of "catch up" e.g. developing from "basecoat in gay colours, than drybrush everything and base with green sand" to what we see today. I can´t really think of a technique that art history has spawned that was not adapted to the hobby by now.
    So I wondered what will come next? Are we going to see impressionist ore expressionist minis (maybe foreshadowed by some of the rougher paintwork that some people start to use (jarhead comes to mind) Will more of the top painters branch out to sculpting or take the way to more elaborate dioramas? Will we see more projects that include electricity, moving parts etc.? Is there something sculpting wise not yet uncovered (Personally I think there is still room for improvement here, but the studio McVey line is imho steering to classical perfection).

    So, what do people think might be the future of our hobby?
    Best regards, Alex aka. Yuggoth

  2. #2

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    It is quite simple: To know what is the next thing in Miniature painting one can have a look at the Evolution of Rendering Engines (3ds max, Maxwell, Vray...)... The past showed a very similar genesis...

    The next big thing will be about improveing textures and enhancing the illusion of materiality... A plain surface will not be painted as this, but with a visible structure like fabric, stiches and such... You can already find some examples around here (like that big Space Marine...), but the effect will be much, much more precise... People will think more about Glossiness, Refraction, Shading, Texturing, Reflexions, Refraction of the Light, etc. ...

    If you know a bit about rendering you can watch out for Effects like SSS (Sub Surface Scattering...) and some others... In my Creator Vs. Creation Diorama I tried useing a real Lens for some kind of effect and there is still a long way to go... ...

    It is also important not so simply put different pieces of material together, but to TRANSLATE it into the language of Miniatures... Sounds strange, but if you do it wrong the effect will rather remind you of something else rather then create the optimal atmospheric effect (like glueing real hair on a Miniature won´t make it look more realistic, but like a Doll... How do you show hair, that looks more realistic then Hair...?... Always keep in mind what scale we are working in...)...

    My next Project -a diorama that I am already working on- will hopefully introduce some new features, that I have not seen before, like involving the spectator with some kind of action... There will be Sound, I wouldn´t be surprised to see a Mini some time that is working with Smell as well (Nurgle, etc. ...)...

    Always remember: Whatever the Future will be, it´s us who are making it... ... So let´s get back to our Work benches and make it happen...

  3. #3

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    Wow, this was the best that could happen to my tread: A reply from someone who actually stands on the forefront of the hobbys` evolution! Thank you so much!
    What you said makes perfect sense. Now I have something to look forward to;-) But wouldn`t things like SSS make the problem of the ideal spectator point (cant put it better, hope you understand me) that already occurs with some nmm and senmm effects even bigger?

    I`m looking forward to see your next project. By "involving" do you mean a special vantage point, or a "real" action like moving a lever to open up a part of the diorama previously hidden from site?

    A smelly mini? I acually thought of dusting the basework of my HE army and some terrain pieces with flowery perfume once...

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    I keep my Tanith in a cigar box and they always smell appropriately woodsy. I look forward to seeing your new WIP Matt, but do you think there are some techniques that, due to the issue of scale, may not translate into miniature?

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yuggoth
    Hey folks!

    Reading the "DaVinci Juiced-Thread" I started wondering if the miniature hobby has already covered all techniques the "old masters" have used or if there is something still to dig up from the glourios past of 2D-Painting.
    Good question! Answer: depends on who you're talking about.

    You can't replicate all the effects of traditional techniques without also using some of the same materials, so painting with acrylics/vinyls it's not possible to exactly duplicate some of what's achievable with oil paint and medium (although you can get close often).

    Some traditional methods and materials aren't applicable to painting miniatures because they don't rely on thin films and a smooth finish.Certainly doable to replicate watercolour and tempera methods pretty exactly.

    Of the specific techniques/methodologies that are generally applicable across media that have been used or are in use in some way:
    washes;
    drybrushing;
    scumbling;
    grisaille;
    imprimatura;
    glazing;
    hatching;
    stippling;
    feathering.

    I'm sure I've missed out something there but that's all I can think of off the top of my head. I haven't included colour effects (e.g. mother colour, specific methods to lower chroma) since colour use is so complex and many people use multiple things at once.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yuggoth
    Are we going to see impressionist ore expressionist minis...
    Already done, in a small way. It kinda goes without saying that this is a pretty 'specialist' or idiosyncratic way of painting something, one that doesn't really work with what we're often tryng to achieve although there's plenty of scope for it with the more cartoony sculpts.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yuggoth
    (maybe foreshadowed by some of the rougher paintwork that some people start to use (jarhead comes to mind)
    Looser I think is a better term for it

    Quote Originally Posted by Yuggoth
    Will more of the top painters branch out to sculpting...
    Some will no doubt but I don't think it'll be especially common - generally, sculpting (well) takes a particular mindset which is often at odds with what makes for a good painter.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yuggoth
    Will we see more projects that include electricity, moving parts etc.?
    Undoubtedly. But I don't think they'll remain uncommon.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yuggoth
    Is there something sculpting wise not yet uncovered (Personally I think there is still room for improvement here...
    LOADS of room for improvement on sculpting. Only when things look at first glance to be a real object seen from further away will one of the key pinnacles be achieved and that's extremely rare, even with higher-end sculptors than this sector of the hobby tends to attract (think $$$$).

    Quote Originally Posted by Yuggoth
    So, what do people think might be the future of our hobby?
    Greater and greater realism becoming more common (it's available now, just not the norm). Methods to 3D print from computer data or laser scans of real-world objects will probably have an impact in a few years, where we'll begin to see the product becoming more common and the resolution increasing to the point where little or no post-casting refinement is necessary.

    Although I suspect it'll remain a specialised area I think we'll see more basing options like shadow boxes/boxed dioramas that force a particular viewpoint (which helps NMM and similar effects work just right).

    Einion

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Einion View Post
    Good question! Answer: depends on who you're talking about.
    grisaille;
    hatching;
    Grisaille, which is essentially monochrome painting, is used pretty often. I distinctly remember whole dark eldar (or may be dark elf) army painted like this.

    Hatching is less common but you can often see it no a bigger miniatures to immitate texture of clothes. In general, use of repeated patterns to imitate texture is limited by scale. What looks good on 54 mm miniature will look very much out of scale on 28 mm and will be impossible to reproduce correctly on 25 or smaller figurines.

    As for impressionist/expressionist miniatures I am not sure. It is always interesting as a challenge but whether such an approach will become "mainstream" is hard to say. On the other hand, some elements and some techniques, for example Pointillism (use of small colored overlapping dots), to imitate texture are in use even now, just not very often.

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    This has given me an itch to paint four identical models in different hues, ala Warhol. Or render a mini in Lichtenstein's pop art nod to old comics, with black lines for shading and flsh tones made up red/yellow dots. Of course, I won't, what with being lazy and it being a bizarre idea.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by skeeve
    Grisaille, which is essentially monochrome painting, is used pretty often. I distinctly remember whole dark eldar (or may be dark elf) army painted like this.
    I meant grisaille as an underpainting rather than simply a monochrome finished paintjob. It wasn't common before in the hobby - can't think of it being mentioned more than 6-10 years back - but preshading or prehighlighting forms in essence a grisaille, even if it's usually done with spraying rather than carefully blended by brush.

    Quote Originally Posted by skeeve
    Hatching is less common but you can often see it no a bigger miniatures to immitate texture of clothes. In general, use of repeated patterns to imitate texture is limited by scale. What looks good on 54 mm miniature will look very much out of scale on 28 mm and will be impossible to reproduce correctly on 25 or smaller figurines.
    True that. It is used when painting minis a fair bit although often in a feathering-type way with very dilute paint, so few discrete brushmarks are visible

    I've seen one or two figures painted in an Impressionist manner but I have to say I don't think they worked at all; but I'm not a great fan of the style in pictures to begin with

    Einion

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Einion View Post
    I've seen one or two figures painted in an Impressionist manner but I have to say I don't think they worked at all; but I'm not a great fan of the style in pictures to begin with

    Einion
    Well it just seems like impressionism is sort of the opposite effect we try to achieve when working with models. Maybe I'm wrong, but isn't impressionism eschewing precision in order to capture an image as quickly as possible? It's used so the artist can convey the image to canvas fast enough that the small amount of time passed won't alter the lighting and change the tone of the piece. Since we're working with a piece that doesn't have a real world reference (or if we have a reference it's from objects caught in photographs where lighting and tone don't change), and we have a relatively large amount of time to work on the piece it seems like impressionism isn't all that useful for us.

    We also tend to praise the high technical skill and accuracy of a piece over other aspects. (though certain artistic license is encouraged)

    I don't know exactly where the hobby will lead, but I'm beginning to wonder if metalheads will start playing a bit more with textured paints and surfaces. We already do it by changing the viscousity of the paint. Will we take precise metal files or knives to the metal in order to create hatchmark effects to promote texture? In traditional canvas painting you wouldn't take a knife to scratch up the canvas in order to obtain a textured effect, but with our medium there really isn't too much of an issue with it. Instead of simulating a textured surface we have the ability to contour the metal.

    Perhaps we'll begin adding extra fine balast to the paint to give it a rougher texture. Maybe someone like Valejo will come out with something like a whole set of red paints, but each hue having it's own density and consistency in order to achieve different effects. (I don't think this is probable in the near future) Perhaps we'll alter the use of our hardcoats? We've seen people take basing far more seriously in the last decade, and perhaps better and more realistic products will come out for those.

    Something I've noticed in the background of this hobby, and it's never really gone away, is a surreal approach to coloring on models. Maybe we have the future Salvador Dali's of miniatures that will come forth?

    Probably the biggest thing that will be coming is further improvements in sculpting and molding. It's been getting better and better through the years, and I think it'll get even better. You'll probably see better designs for interlocking metal pieces that'll give it more stability when you assemble the model. (damned Carnosaur)

    My 2% of a quid.
    Nosus decipio - We Cheat

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by IdofEntity View Post

    I don't know exactly where the hobby will lead, but I'm beginning to wonder if metalheads will start playing a bit more with textured paints and surfaces. We already do it by changing the viscousity of the paint. Will we take precise metal files or knives to the metal in order to create hatchmark effects to promote texture? In traditional canvas painting you wouldn't take a knife to scratch up the canvas in order to obtain a textured effect, but with our medium there really isn't too much of an issue with it. Instead of simulating a textured surface we have the ability to contour the metal.
    Actually this is becoming quite common. Not only changing texture of metal but creating completely new texture on the surface. I know I do it quite a bit

  11. #11

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    I`m looking forward to see your next project. By "involving" do you mean a special vantage point, or a "real" action like moving a lever to open up a part of the diorama previously hidden from site?

    ... You... Will... Seeee... And Hear... ... It is Crazy...

    wouldn`t things like SSS make the problem of the ideal spectator point (cant put it better, hope you understand me) that already occurs with some nmm and senmm effects even bigger?

    This is exactly what I mean by saying "translating it into the language of Miniatures"... It is not simple, not copying the techniques from other sources onto Miniatures... Those things mostly fail or look out of place... You must find a way to achieve an effect with techniques you sometimes yet have to invent...

    I agree, even NMM is so difficult to achieve because we are trying to get a 2D technique applied on a 3D sculpture... Still, it can be done if you trick the eye and paint a good compromise between a stunning momentary View from one side and a good overall view...

    Personally, I only 2 or 3 examples of well executed Non Metallic Metal... All other NMM Effects doesn´t look even look realistic... Sometimes Beautiful, yes, technically well done... But not realistic...

    I would love to try a Mini that has some sort of rim lighting and Multi sources Light that looks subtle enough to look believable... Just like here...





    Example for Rim Light, if you don´t know what it is... the Blueish Light that emphasizes the shadowy edges of a volume, so you can see more of it´s shape...



    Something else: For some years by now, I am looking for a realistic smoke effect... I have experimented with Micro Balloon and I think that I will find a really amazing result in some time... It is important to remember that once you find an Effect that is worth sharing (and most of the "Inventions" are...), you should share it with the Miniature Community... This Hobby relies on sharing knowledge...

    There is still a long way to go and it makes me happy... If one day I don´t see any future, any progress in Miniature Painting, this will be the day I will quit... ^_^... Luckily, that day seems far away... I thank those who are constantly pushing the boundary forward...

  12. #12

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    Haa... I seem to have an incredible talent to bury each and every thread I post in...... Strange... I kinda fancied this one...

  13. #13

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    I had a thought on the future of mini painting, and I'm not sure people would agree that it was "progress". What about mechanically painted minis? And I'm not really talking about pre-paints.

    Imagine if you will, putting your mini in a box, clamped to the bottom, that a computer then scans in. From there, you open it up and have a 3D model of the, er, model. Whip out the mouse, click on what colors you want each general surface to look like, where you want the light to come from, any OSL sources, and then "save". At some point, you'd just hit the "print" key and the 3D printer next to your desk starts cranking away. But maybe a little ink-jet-on-an-arm thing comes in and applies the paint instead? It knows where the object is in the box. Maybe it is just some micro-airbrush, too.

    Anyway, the weird things my mind creates when I'm falling off to sleep, and this was last night's epiphany.

    EDIT: And I guess for that matter, maybe 3D prints are going to be the wave of the future? Imagine buying a set of 10 minis (take your pick from where), and from their website/software you pick the accessories, colors, poses (which you can manipulate yourself, or use the stock poses and modify from there), bases, etc. Then in 2-4 weeks your fully painted and customized minis show up at the door, ready for the table.

    Lose one? Break your favorite? Reprint.

    Want to use your face on the hero? 3D Scan and print.
    Last edited by PegaZus; 08-28-2010 at 08:59 PM.
    "Reality, she's a mathematical bitch from hell.", MaxedOutMama
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  14. #14

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    I guess that is possible, but for me that seems to take away a part of the fun. Namely the actually act of painting the mini itself. Though i can see how this would be useful for all those people who are more into the gaming side as the could design an army that looks neat but not actually have to go through the work of painting it. Seems like this would also be really expensive. It is food for though anyway. I dont really have my own thoughts on the matter as I a rather new to the hobby and a lot of this goes over my head.

  15. #15

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    3D Printers are very real if you look at the Yetharo Model Company... It seems as if all of their latest Products are 3D prints...

    Last Year I was allowed to use the 3D printer in my University and the Technology is way further then I would have ever dreamed... You can sinter / print all kinds of Materials like Metals and even Porcellain...^_^...

    Nonetheless, I think that conventional Sculpting will not be replaced, because of how the human body and hand - eye coordination works... If you think that one Certain Sculptor - many, many people consider the best in the world - is sculpting his Miniatures using a cut off Shashlik Stick...... Can´t really replace talent with technology...

  16. #16

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    PegaZus comment reminded me of this lil thing... it was posted here on cmon somewhere but I can't remember where...


  17. #17

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    I'm still busting a gut on

    "basecoat in gay colours, than drybrush everything and base with green sand"

    lol

    Seriously, I've always had an idea for a diorama of a couple of space marines
    approaching a cave opening on a deserted, sandy, wind-swept locale. They
    find evidence of a missing colleague near the cave opening. Imagery is probably
    from getting the crap scared out of me by the movie "Them!" when I was a kid.

    Anyway....I though it would be really cool if some motorized/mechanism would
    lift the mouth of the cave away to show a sh*tload swarm of tyranids inside,
    on the verge of an all out swarm attack.

    The same thing could be achieved, I guess, with a front-and-back view of a well
    constructed ( and lit ) shadow box. Actually....that's probably the way to go with
    something like this. The lighting effects would be key. Effervescent walls in the cave ?

    Just gave somebody far more talented than me an excellent idea for Gamesday.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by cfwheeler58 View Post
    Seriously, I've always had an idea for a diorama of a couple of space marines
    approaching a cave opening on a deserted, sandy, wind-swept locale. They
    find evidence of a missing colleague near the cave opening. Imagery is probably
    from getting the crap scared out of me by the movie "Them!" when I was a kid.

    Anyway....I though it would be really cool if some motorized/mechanism would
    lift the mouth of the cave away to show a sh*tload swarm of tyranids inside,
    on the verge of an all out swarm attack.

    The same thing could be achieved, I guess, with a front-and-back view of a well
    constructed ( and lit ) shadow box. Actually....that's probably the way to go with
    something like this. The lighting effects would be key. Effervescent walls in the cave ?

    Just gave somebody far more talented than me an excellent idea for Gamesday.
    I've imagined similar, but never stepped up to it. Was more thinking about deep perspective, using Epic scale mini's in the background to reinforce the use of regular size ones in the foreground. That background mini's and terrain painted a little fuzzy to mimic the "focus" being up close. Bit like Starship Troopers or LotR films, where the heroes are into it with Orcs/Bugs and a hilly horizon breaks the transition of foreground/background (28mm to epic scale).

    Development of the hobby-wise, I'd like to see tools designed specifically for it. As it is, we tend to make do with those designed for other purposes.
    I'd like a tool to use in holding the mini. Instead of making do with pinned corks, micro-clamps, or lengths of plumbing pipe. Some kind of hand grippable tool with a wide clamp-like grip to grasp the whole length of a slotta tab at one end, and something at the other end to grip a length of pinning wire.

    And airbrushes, the size of a brush. Made with modern materials, the kind that play with friction.

    Hell, I'd be interesting in a full on painting harness, like some 40K servitor/tech marine. An extra arm or two with mechandrite appendages.

    And a moon on a stick, yeah, I'd like one of them.

  19. #19

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    The hobby has evolved when we stop calling it "the hobby" and start calling it "the art".

  20. #20
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    I think that where the art form goes will have it's "this is how it's done now' phases, as it always has...I'm talking straight figure painting here.
    Whe I started, it was black lining to everything, believe it or not. Collars were black lined, waist bands were blacklined, wrists going into sleeves, necks into tunics, etc., etc. That was "the way"...of course, it's gone..evolved into something else (better I think). Then I remember a time, when the flats influence was part of minis...painted with a forced light source...and sunshine for instance , on the right side of the head in yellow..and down the side.
    It will change always I think. Now a dark palette is definitely the thing...it is dramatic and painterly. I wish I had way more of a command of it.
    I do feel strongly about one thing...and it falls into the FX category...It came about while I was judging. A fellow painted a fine WWII German on the Russian front...He had his head wrapped in a scarf, blowing on his hands, his nose was red, even a little runny (brilliant touch I thought). Down at his feet was a small campfire...the modeler has rigged up a grain -of-wheat, tiny little bulb that was rotating cleverly within the sticks of the fire and he used orange reflective paper or foil...and the effect was very good, as the waxing and waning of the fire, bounced off his boots and made a nice effect, even just on the table, not in a box or controlled lighting environment.
    Just one problem...when we make minis...a vignette, single or even a multi-figure diorama, we are freezing a moment in time. That's it...a fire, which embers glow brightly one second the die the next, indicate the passage of time. Why doesn't the figure move then? If the Geramn soldier was say, blowing on his hands or stamping his feet, etc., while we are watching the fire for, say, ten seconds, then it's right as rain. But if he's frozen, and another element of the piece is not, then it's a mistake IMO.
    For instance, smoke that unfurls somehow...like on a Lionel engine. Looks great...but why are all the figures involved catatonic?
    I recommend that those kind of FX, although challenging and pushing the envelope, just can't be done without the glaring error being obvious.

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