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Blaz Berlec




Location: Podgorje, Kamnik, Slovenia, Europe
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PostPosted: Mon 10 Jan, 2005 2:52 pm    Post subject: Sword from Ljubljanica, Slovenia         Reply with quote

I first thought to post this post under the topic about computer game Half-life 2 sword mods, but I thought not many people would look there, since it's primarily about that game mod and Albion's swords used for models. I hope this post is somewhat interesting and on topic, since it's picturing a real sword.

I tried myself in making a replica of sword from our National Museum, and since I don't yet have the skills to make it in steel, I first decided to image it in computer program for 3D modeling. This has been my hobby for several years now, but I mainly use it for simple projects. This is a second time I tried to make a sword - first time was years and years ago, and I tried to make a sword from Manowar's first album back cover. It came out horrible. You'll be the judge if I had more success this time.

This is a drawing of a sword from Slovenian National Museum:



Sword No. 22, T. 6:22.




I have yet to scan some black and white photos of the sword, but they're small and a bit blurry.


Some info on the sword:

Founding place: River Ljubljanica, year 1832.

Description: Double edged steel sword.

Some measurements: length = 116,1 cm, weight = 1695 g, blade length = 90,9 cm, blade length at cross = 4,9 cm, at half of blade = 3,0 cm, thickness of blade = 1,0 cm at cross - 0,7 cm at half of blade.

Blade has brass inlays on both sides – two swords side by side and two “number ones” side by side. Pommel has a small clover stamp on each side of tang below.

Date: Beginning of 15.th century

Literature: Tancik, Orožje in bojna oprema, 1971; Gotika, Premeti; Tomaž Nabergoj, Oboroženi stan srednjeveške družbe na slovenskem na osnovi materialnih virov. Primer: Meči, 2001

Ofcourse I had many more information for modeling the sword - Nabergoj's book has tons of info and I haven't seen any book that lists that much measurements. Everything is measured in all axis and thicknesses, so modeling was really a simple process. Below are some “final” pictures I made – I have discovered that making a 3D image of sword is almost as hard (if not harder) as photographing it in real world – you have to use the proper lighting and notice the reflections in steel… There is still much work to do, but it’s a good start.


Modelling the sword in Lightwave 3D, here you can see the background picture I was using for reference:




Half finished sword, still need inlays and a grip:








Nearly finished, only the material looks a bit too "plastic", and several details still bug me (like cross-section of the blade):







Some backgrounds I now proudly use for my computer desktop:






I wouldn't mind at all having this sword custom made. Anyone volunteers to do it? Happy Sword is really interesting with its beautiful blade, elegant pierced cross and simple pommel. It’s massive (it must have weighted more than 1,8 kg when new), but I guess since most of the mass is concentrated near the hilt, it is very wieldable.

So, any comments, questions, requests? Feel free to ask.


Blaz


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David McElrea




Location: Canada
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PostPosted: Mon 10 Jan, 2005 3:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It was you, wasn't it? Laughing Out Loud

With regards to this sword-- beautiful original and excellent graphic design on your part! I'm impressed! So you found the sword's measurements in Nabergoj's book?
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Gordon Clark




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PostPosted: Mon 10 Jan, 2005 4:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very Nice!
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Mon 10 Jan, 2005 5:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Blaz;

Great computer graphic work and good sword design: Now I will have to spend some of my sword and armour money on new software. I mostly use Photoshop and an older version of Painter: What I don't have is an affordable 3D program with user friendly tools and a reasonnable learning curve and compatible with Photoshop 7 on Mac

I have used 3D programs from the late 1980s and 1990s were the menu structure and tools seemed designed to drive you crazy: The more skill you had with freehand drawing the more the tools felt as if you were trying to draw with boxing gloves on ! ........... LOL.

I can do a good job drawing stuff with Photoshop but obviously 3D modelling combined with 2D effects has a lot of advantages in not having to redraw everything just to see it from a different angle.

Any advice on what to look at as possible 3d software ?

Also, a graphic like this should be a great way to show a custom swordmaker exactly what you are looking for when commissioning a sword. You could also use the suggestions from the swordmaker and easily modify the graphic in a continuing process. A wilder idea is that many animation programs use a realistic physics model to control motion and imputing the mass ot the elements of a sword and animating the results could give some preview of the feel in hand of the sword.

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Russ Ellis
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PostPosted: Mon 10 Jan, 2005 8:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nice job on the modeling, I'd buy the sword, except I'd like something a little less simple in the pommel department. Of course I realize you are just modeling what was there. What don't you like about the cross section?
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Nate C.




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PostPosted: Mon 10 Jan, 2005 9:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Greetings all,

Blaz - Nice work! I'd be interested to know how you did the blade geometry (boolean operations, by eye, etc.). I think I'm gonna have to give that a try again. My first attempt at a Rapier wasn't pretty (at least not to me Worried ).

Jean - Blender is a program that I play with occasionally for 3d modeling. It's free (or was when I got it) and pretty powerful. Be prepared for asteep-ish learning curve as it was written by nerds, for nerds and only makes sense to them until you've practiced a while. For a free program it's definately worth trying.

Cheers,

Nate C.

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Blaz Berlec




Location: Podgorje, Kamnik, Slovenia, Europe
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PostPosted: Tue 11 Jan, 2005 10:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Uh, lots of questions. So, first things first.

David McElrea - no, I don't do any game modding. And my computer is a bit too slow for that game anyway.

All the measurements I needed were in Nabergoj's book. The only things missing are perhaps balance point of the sword and COP - but these cannot be measured exactly on a blade without a grip. Geometrically looking I had all the measurements I could wish. Almost. More cross sections with better drawings would help. Best thing is, the book describes 26 swords from our National Museum with such detail, so this is surely not the last project.


Jean Thibodeau - sorry, I can't give you much advice about 3D software. Most of the programs seem confusing to me. Sure, full of options and functions, but very though to learn. I've been using Lightwave 3D almost since the day it came to PC from Amiga. It was much simpler back then, and it grew slowly, so I kind of understand it. But I'm a bit rusty, because I don't use it regularly.

I agree, such images would be a great tool for a sword designer or a smith - you can visualise all the details and proportions, before you begin your work. Not that Peter Johnsson needs that - his drawings are really accurate.

Oh, and I don't think that physics models from 3D imaging programs are accurate enough to draw any conclusions from their calculation. Well, they should find the center of gravity and calculate mass pretty accurately. Unfortunately, Lightwave has no such tool.



Russ Ellis and Nate C. - about cross section:

Well, I made a quick render to show the problems:




(No blade was harmed during the taking of these pictures)

Drawn cross sections are from the drawing in a book. As you can see, they look pretty rounded and ill-defined. But the images of the sword show quite crisp cross section - well defined double fullers in upper part and sharp "ridge" in lower.

Here are two photos of the sword - unfortunately one is a photocopy and other is a bad print in a book, so they're not the best.








Therefore I made the cross sections much crisper than the drawings. Unfortunately, I have very little knowledge or information about sword cross-sections. I can't remember if I even saw an actual drawing of a cross section in great detail! Hm... Bummer...

Nate C. - I made the rough geometry of the blade by tapering the trapezoid, shaping it to sword profile and then subtracting the fullers with boolean. I'd rather do it with splines, but Lightwave handles them very badly. I'd like to try the Alias Maya just for this reason - spline solids and booleans...


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Joel Whitmore




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PostPosted: Tue 11 Jan, 2005 10:28 am    Post subject: Nice work Blaz         Reply with quote

Very nice work Blaz. I am impressed with Lightwave's renderer. The sword is a nice one too. If I remember correctly, Raven Armoury had a pic of a very similar sword at one time on it's gallery page, which I think is taken down now. I use Softimage XSI and there are some very steep price discounts if you are a student or teacher. The spline tools are excellent, the polygon tools are great and the mental ray renderer is top notch.


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Alexi Goranov
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PostPosted: Tue 11 Jan, 2005 10:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Blaz Berlec wrote:

All the measurements I needed were in Nabergoj's book. The only things missing are perhaps balance point of the sword and COP - but these cannot be measured exactly on a blade without a grip. Geometrically looking I had all the measurements I could wish. Almost. More cross sections with better drawings would help. Best thing is, the book describes 26 swords from our National Museum with such detail, so this is surely not the last project.


I guess this book has no english version Worried Not the first time..................................
Is it available anywhere on the web?
Alexi
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Blaz Berlec




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PostPosted: Tue 11 Jan, 2005 11:03 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Alexi Goranov wrote:


I guess this book has no english version Worried Not the first time..................................
Is it available anywhere on the web?

Alexi


Well, not only it's not available in foreign languages, it's not available in Slovene either. Happy

Unfortunately, this book with the catchy short title "Oboroženi stan srednjeveške družbe na Slovenskem na osnovi materialnih virov. Primer: meči" by Nabergoj Tomaz is infact his Master's Degree, 200 pages long. There are only 3 copies in Slovenian libraries, and of course I photocopied one of them. I don't think you can find it on net, and I tried to contact his University if I can buy a copy of his degree, but I received no answer.

Mr. Nabergoj works in archeological department of our National Museum, and is in charge of high and late middle age artifacts. He is a bit of a sword nut, most of his published work (articles) deal with swords, he is interested in reenactment and experimental archeology... After his Master's degree our national TV made a two 30 minutes long documentaries titled "Gladius", which were by far the best documentaries on weapons I've ever seen (and I have Discovery Ch. and NGC). They even staged the knighting ceremony (in Latin, with subtitles, and complete with blessing of the sword and so on...). He appeared not long ago in another documentary, showing the swords from river Ljubljanica.

We have to thank him for letting us see some of the swords, found in Slovenia. He put 3 of them in an exhibition "Treasures from National Museum".

I met him when he searched "actors" for the documentaries - he came to the gym of our western martial arts school "Zlate ostroge". It was quite a funny sight - he was grinning like drugged, dressed in a titanium mail shirt (made by my friend silversmith) and waving with the sword...


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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Tue 11 Jan, 2005 3:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Blaz;

No problem with not being able to advise me with software purchases, ease of use etc......

These are getting easier to use as "real" artists / users are starting to influence how the tools are designed: The tools are getting more user friendly all the time and the cost less astronomical.

As to using a 3d animation programs to evaluate the dynamics of the blade: This might be possible with existing tools, but I was just thinking out loud about what might be possible in a few years.

There might be "Gaming" potential if someone could figure out a control system that could approach the spirit of real sword fighting with some form of realistic feedback to the game users hands.

But this is getting too far away from your post subject: This is good stuff for sword design and all sorts of possible artwork, graphic novels, comic books and special effects in films.

Again great work, and the more often you use any "good" software the more you can do with it: Sometimes much more than what even the makers imagined, as the variables can be almost infinite.

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Blaz Berlec




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PostPosted: Sat 14 Feb, 2009 9:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sorry for resurrecting this really old thread, but I just had to add this picture. Razz



It was taken in Slovenian National Museum in 2007 at the closure of Western Martial Arts workshop, and I had the privilege of holding this sword again last year. Still a beauty, even from close up.


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Joe Fults




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PostPosted: Sat 14 Feb, 2009 2:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Now getting to do that with the original is very cool!
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Darrin Hughes




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PostPosted: Sat 14 Feb, 2009 2:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I don't think you need to apologise, except for making people jealous Happy that is a beautiful sword. Just out of interest, how close do you feel that you got with your 3D recreations, now that you've had the chance to spend some time with the original?

D.
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Eric Bergman




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PostPosted: Sat 14 Feb, 2009 4:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Awesome blade. That sword would make a pretty cool custom order. Seriously though. More Console and PC games should look at historical examples instead of fantasy fluff.
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Luka Borscak




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PostPosted: Sat 14 Feb, 2009 4:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I like the combination of double fullers and diamond profile in the upper part. I would love to see that sword reproduced by a good maker, either custom or production. What would it be, fullered XVIIIa or what?
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Sat 14 Feb, 2009 8:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Luka Borscak wrote:
I like the combination of double fullers and diamond profile in the upper part. I would love to see that sword reproduced by a good maker, either custom or production. What would it be, fullered XVIIIa or what?


With the relatively straight sides and diamond section, I'd probably call it a fullered Type XVa. An XVIIIa would have some straight and curved sections to the edges.

Happy

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Eric Bergman




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PostPosted: Sat 14 Feb, 2009 8:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chad Arnow wrote:
With the relatively straight sides and diamond section, I'd probably call it a fullered Type XVa. An XVIIIa would have some straight and curved sections to the edges.


Interesting, With the general outline of the blade, I would have thought a type XX.
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Tim Ormsby





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PostPosted: Sat 14 Feb, 2009 8:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If anyone is interested in a decent 3D program that is cheap to purchase ($25US), try out Milkshape 3D. The learning curve isn't too bad and there are decent tutorials in the helpfiles and on their forums. It's the program that I do all my modding for Medieval 2 Total war Happy

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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Sat 14 Feb, 2009 9:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Eric Bergman wrote:

Interesting, With the general outline of the blade, I would have thought a type XX.


Perhaps a XXa, though the outline alone wouldn't necessarily tell that. The pattern of fullers and silhouette may suggest Type XXa, but the lack of a ricasso doesn't. Happy I think this may just be an outlier. Whether you call it a XVa with fullers or a XXa with no ricasso, I think people will come to the same conclusion.

Happy

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