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Romão last won the day on April 24

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  1. This is a bit of a bonus round, but it seemed like a fun enough prospect. Here is Purple Tentacle from DOTT. This is what was used for reference: The LEGO model: I wanted to use a slightly darker green in place of more lime-like green you see in the model, but regrettably, there simply isn't enough part variety in that color to make the building of the model feasible, so that's a compromise. I might redo it in the future Stan is definitely in the pipeline, just need to decide whether to do the model in his SOMI guise of MI2. The sprites seem to be pretty identical, apart from the color patterns
  2. Here is a render of all the three models side by side:
  3. The problem with the Lechuck sprite in The Secret of Monkey island is not only the transparent parts (which are much scarcer and available in much less variety of elements), but specially the blue outline that surrounds the character: You can get away with that in 2D to depict a see-through character, but in 3D, I would need to do most of the character in trans-clear color, and without that blue outline, it just does not look the same and would defeat the whole purpose of the endeavor. I did look into it, but frankly I wasn't able to make it look remotely good. MI2 LeChuck was much more appropriate for this sort of model. Besides, I far prefer the look of the character in the second game, so it was a no brainer
  4. Now onto Lechuck, as seen in Lechuck's Revenge. This what I used as reference: And here is the LEGO model: And the 3D revolving GIF:
  5. I'll have to ask the museum than financed the bricks. If it's alright on their end, I will try produce some building instructions for the models, although, mind you, they still a relatively large piece count
  6. The upper torso does come apart from the legs and base (for easier transportation), so I should perhaps use your suggestion as an easter egg when I redo these models at the correct proportions:
  7. Now onto Guybrush as seen in Lechuck's Revenge. This what I used as reference: And here is the LEGO model: And the 3D revolving GIF:
  8. Well, regardless of how imperfect this reproductions might be, I've followed @Gins suggestion, and made a revolving .gif of SOMI Guybrush statue, using the digital design files:
  9. I've reading a bit more on this subject. and I found this article really informative: https://www.gamedeveloper.com/business/no-ms-dos-games-weren-t-widescreen-tips-on-correcting-aspect-ratio And this particular comparison image encapsulates the issues being discussed: The article mentions this: So, how do we fix this? Well, we cannot stretch pixels like the analog monitors did. And since a pixel is the smallest graphical unit we have, you cannot "borrow" 1/5 of a nearby pixel either. What we can do is multiply an image's width by 5 and height by 6, so that every pixel becomes a 5x6 "mega-pixel", and thus proportionally 20% taller: And this 5 x 6 ration is the exact same ration between width and heigh of 1 x 1 LEGO brick. So @Laserschwertis indeed right. If I rebuild these statues using a simple, studs up, technique, I would actually get much closer to the pixel artists intentions than I did before. This is fascinating and a really enticing prospect going forward, but in a way, kinda puts me off from sharing the other sculptures I've finished, since they now very much feel like imperfect visual representations of these characters
  10. That's really interesting. But does it mean that while the original sprite, as designed by the artists, had indeed square pixels, but they were counting on that typical CRT "color bleed" (not sure if that's the correct term), to actually make them look better and blur the different colored pixels closer together? And did the sprite, on a CRT screen, ended up having the same number of pixels as the original art, just stretched vertically, and thus the character would look taller and thinner? Or would it have the same proportions as the original art, just with a different pixel distribution due to the lines on the CRT? These are probably a lot of stupid questions, but I'm a complete layman in these things and it is really interesting to try to figure out what the pixel artists were expecting those character sprites to actually look like on a CRT screen, versus the original art It does make a lot of sense in terms of bridging the gap between the stockier, Pixel sprite version of Guybrush when compared to the lankier version seen in Purcell's cover art
  11. Oh, I made that sound much more important and aggrandizing that it actually is. It's a small LEGO museum located on a town in the Portuguese countryside. It only exhibits LEGO models, and since they helped with getting all the necessary bricks for these projects, I figured it was only right for the models to be permanently kept there
  12. That's a great idea, thank you for the suggestion. All the statues are still assembled, but they are now being displayed in small LEGO museum, but the next time I visit, I will try to photograph them on a spinning table
  13. Before tackling some of the more ambitious Monkey Island related projects I have in the pipeline, I wanted to start with a project that wasn’t overly complicated and didn’t require a too great an investment in bricks and space. So why not start with the basics? The pixelated character design is such an integral part of the first two Monkey Island games and I’m always amazed how much character those sprites are able to convey with such a small number of pixels and available colors. Those perler beads mosaics are always great fun, and LEGO seemed like a close enough counterpart. But why not take it a step further? Although those character sprites are 2D, we get to view these characters in various poses, angles and movements (powered by the incredible animation), so I figured I might have enough elements to extrapolate a 3D pixel sculpture, as it were, and build it with LEGO bricks. And what better character to start with than with our beloved Guybrush Threepwood, as seen in The Secret of Monkey Island? So using the original animation cycles, I chose a pose and isolated three views of the character coherent with that pose: Now, when searching for reference material for this undertaking, I stumbled upon Neil Chapman’s work on ArtStation, and he had already gone to considerable lengths in conveying some of the main characters from the first two games into 3D Pixel Sprites: You should check is work here: https://www.artstation.com/vomo So I contacted him to collaborate on this project, and he kindly sent me his 3D Pixel Sprites, which now I had to convert to LEGO bricks: My absolute priority was to preserve, down to every single pixel, the look of Guybrush as seen in the first game, so that regardless of what side you were viewing the sculpture, it would always match the respective sprite in the original animation. Matching the colors took some work and apparently, using LEGO studs as pixels seemed obvious enough, but that meant these sculptures could not be in the standard, studs up, LEGO building style. As most of you probably know, a 1 x 1 standard LEGO Brick is not cubic at all, as it is a bit taller that its square base: So using 1 x 1 bricks as single pixels was absolutely out of the question, as the sculpture would become stretched up, the proportions would look all wrong and the fidelity of the model would be seriously compromised. I could increase the scale and make each pixel correspond to this configuration: but the sculpture would’ve become too massive and parts intensive. Besides, it is kinda fun and appropriate to make each pixel correspond to a single LEGO stud. Now, obviously, LEGO studs are square, so making the sculpture using a “studs-out” technique seemed like the best approach, as that would allow to retain the pixel-LEGO stud correspondence, and LEGO studs are square, the fidelity of the model would be kept. LEGO bricks and plates, however, are bit unsightly when seen from their underside, and I really did now want the sculpture to have a good side, at the expense of its back, so I decided to make the sculpture out of two, studs out, halves, that connect to one another in the middle, like a sarcophagus of sort. And this is the final result. I hope you find it fun: I will show some more 3D Pixel character sculptures in the next few days
  14. Part II By now, I was in college and had a bit more disposable income, though part time jobs and whatnots, so with the Mêlée Town’s Low Street mostly done, it was time to start building High Street, where the Shop, Prison and Church are located. I started this section by building the Church, but having always been very interested in medieval religious architecture, the building as shown in the game seemed a bit underwhelming, not interesting enough. In hindsight, it was probably spot on, as Mêlée was not a huge settlement and not likely to the be the most devout of places 🙂 So the small chapel we seen in the game developed into a larger church: But it seemed like such a great opportunity to build a proper Gothic church, so I kept redesigning the church, and it grew to a point where it actually started dwarfing the rest of the town, which I had disassemble completely to allow for the now fully-fledged Gothic cathedral to be built in its place: I now had a LEGO Gothic Cathedral in my room and Mêlée Town was no more. As I shared this cathedral project with a few people, I started getting invited to display it at several LEGO exhibitions that were becoming frequent in my country (Portugal). Through these exhibitions, I got to meet several people in the LEGO medium, and after several twists and turns that aren’t really relevant to the subject at hand, I ended up becoming a professional LEGO model maker. Mind you, not working for the LEGO Group per se, but rather, by designing custom LEGO models for various clients and companies, and that has been my full time job ever since. I have been involved in some really cool projects in the last few years and I feel unbelievably fortunate and happy to do what I do for a living. And all of this started because I fell in love with Monkey Island as a young kid and wanted to relieve those adventures while playing with the LEGO Pirate sets, which led to an urge, years later, to build a LEGO model of Mêlée Town, which led to the construction of a small church, that turned into a LEGO Cathedral, that opened so many doors in my professional life. I hope I didn’t bore you too much and haven’t been too self-indulgent in sharing this slice of my life’s story. But when Return of Monkey Island was announced, I felt it was time to go back to the beginning (as impossible as that is), and bring these two massive passions in my life, Monkey Island and LEGO, back together again. So if you allow me, I created this thread to share some of the Monkey Island related LEGO content I have been creating in the last few months, plus what I hope I will be able to create in the future. I hope you will join me on this journey, as there isn’t any audience I’d rather share this work with than with this great community of Monkey Island fans. Thank you all
  15. This will be a long post, so I will divide it into sections, about a bit of my life story and it is closely connected to Monkey Island. Please bear with me, I think you might find it worthwhile by the end. Part I As with many kids of the 80’s, I grew up with LEGO sets around the house, and being the youngest of three siblings, I did end up “inheriting” a bunch of them, so it has always been part of my life for as long as I can remember. In 1990, I was old enough to start choosing and owning my very own LEGO sets, and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect for the alignment of two things that ended up being absolutely crucial in my life story: LEGO and Monkey Island. Back in 1989, the LEGO Pirates Theme was introduced, bringing along with it a bunch of innovations to the toy line (like the very first minifigures with facial expressions other than the classic smiley face). The catalogs and box art for the theme were wonderfully evocative, with Caribbean sunsets, deserted tropical islands, and swashbuckling action pitting heroic Pirates versus nefarious Imperial Soldiers. I mean, just look at these, don’t they make your imagination soar? Within a year of the introduction of this new LEGO theme, my older brother got hold of a new Graphic Adventure (as we used to call them back then), after I had spent several evenings in the previous year sitting by his side at the computer while he played and finished Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade. It was a favorite pastime of mine. This new Graphic Adventure was, of course, The Secret of Monkey Island, and the cover art alone by the great Steve Purcell was enough to completely capture my imagination with the promise of the adventure ahead. My brother installed and booted the game (which took a while back then) and once the establishing shot of Mêlée Island appeared on screen, with that wonderful main title music, I was hooked for life. But what absolutely sealed the deal, was that very first cutscene we get when Guybrush first exits the Scumm Bar, showing LeChuck in his ship’s cabin: I knew that location looked familiar somehow and it didn’t take long to connect it with the flagship (no pun intended) set of the LEGO Pirates line: the Black Seas Barracuda, which had a great cabin at the aft, with large latticed windows, that was totally reminiscent of Lechuck’s (it even had the map on the wall): This LEGO theme was no longer a somewhat generic Pirate themed toy line, this was now, to my young eyes, an official Monkey Island LEGO theme. And what perfect timing it was, as the upcoming Christmas would be the first time I would be allowed to choose and own my own LEGO system sets (no more Duplo or Fabuland). My brother finished the game in about a month and the memories of being by his side through the whole game are indelible. We had the same routine with Lechuck’s Revenge a year later, while LEGO kept expanding its Pirate line with even more sets. And regardless of whether I owned the sets or not, most of them were renamed and re-themed to fit right into the Monkey Island Universe. So this became Lechuck’s Ship: This became Mêlée Town: This became the Scumm Bar: This became the Governor’s Mansion: This became the Cannibal Village on Monkey Island (those statues): These two became Woodtick: This became the International House of Mojo on Scabb Island: Puberty did eventually hit, and my interest for LEGO waned a bit, although it never really went away. But at the turn of the century, I discovered a website called Bricklink, which finally made possible the purchase of individual LEGO bricks, as needed, without having to buy whole sets to get the necessary bricks for any given project (which is, obviously, not cost effective at all). My passion for LEGO was re-ignited by the prospect of large scale custom models, regardless of the very tight budget I had available, as a teenager, for buying LEGO bricks. Immediately, my dream project became quite obvious: a full, minifig scale model of what probably is my favorite, most immersive setting in all fiction, the one that has lingered the longest on my mind and been expanded upon the most by my imaginary wanderings: Mêlée Town! So I took all the loose bricks I had (plus the accumulated funds generated by two birthdays and Christmases, totally spent in buying a few thousand bricks from Bricklink) and I was finally able to build Mêlée Town’s Low Street: Guybrush and the map seller: Men of low moral fiber: It does look rudimentary compared to the high standard LEGO has set in these last few years, but this truly was the first step into a larger world. End of Part I
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