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Evolution of the Badgerblood Pendant

In Badgerblood, the main character owns a special bone pendant.  This small piece of jewelry has an important place in the story so a fair amount of work has gone into designing the look of it.

From early sketches to fully fleshed out 3D models, here’s the evolution of the Badgerblood Pendant…

Shannon’s First Sketch

early sketch of badgerblood pendant.

Early in the writing process Shannon made this sketch of what she envisioned the pendant to look like.  She took inspiration from bone amulets from New Zealand and other cultures across the pacific.

Steven’s Book Cover Design

After looking over the sketch, I made some refinements to the design and created a more refined color drawing for the book cover.

Badgerblood book cover and pendant drawing.

Rubber Stamp

It should also be noted that our sister on the Monson side, Kim Monson, also designed a very nice rubber stamp for Shannon as a Christmas Present.

Kim's Badgerblood pendant stamp


Commissioning a 3D Model – Going Through The Revision Process

This week we decided to commission a 3D model from a character modeler in the UK named Maxim.   We went through two major rounds of revisions, and by the end we were very pleased with the outcome.

3 drafts 3D badgerblood pendant.

1st Draft

The first draft was understandable rough.  It got the general idea right, but the details needed a fair amount of refinement.rought first draft pendant

Once I got the model, I opened it up in Blender and inspected it from every angle, and talked it over with Shannon.  Then I took it into Photoshop and marked it up with various notes on revisions we wanted.   I made the following image along with some written instructions to make sure I could clearly explain what changes we wanted.

first draft revision markups. Badger head pendant.
I asked the modeler to make various improvements and changes with this sketch.

2nd Draft

The revised version was notably improved.  The mouth, nose, and eyes were much more refined, and nose look fantastic!  But there were several parts we still weren’t satisfied with, but luckily we had one more round of revisions included in the package we paid for so…

2nd draft
The next version had notably more refined characteristics.

the carving around the face felt a little softer (sort of weathered), and the ears weren’t quite developed enough.

The spirals at the bottom look good when viewed straight-on, but had an awkward bend when viewed from the side.

The texture if the fur wasn’t quite thick enough either, so we sent this second image with requested revisions.

2nd draft revision requests.

Final Draft

The next day we received an updated model.  We were very happy with the final product.  The details felt refined and he carried out our lengthy list of revisions admirably.  At that point we left the artist a positive review and a tip.

Badgerblood pendant - final draft.

Adding Materials and Lighting

I’m far from an expert when it comes to 3D modeling, but I was able to take this model and place it in an environment  and crest a basic material that looked similar to other bone pendants I’ve seen.  Here’s that result…

Badgerblood. 3D pendant model inside an environment.

close-up of badgerblood pendant from low viewing angle.

3D Printing

We’re currently talking with some friends of ours about  a 3D resin print, so we’ll have a few physical pendants soon.

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