Blender 3D Art – Updating the metal on a Sword-Breaker

This is a 3D model I created a few years back in Blender, but I could never get it looking the way I wanted.

Just to explain a bit: A sword-breaker is a weapon used apparently to catch a sword in the grooves of the blade, then twist and either break the blade or separate it from it’s pommel, leaving your enemy weaponless.

I first read about one because one of the characters from Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series was carrying one. It seemed like an odd weapon to have so it always stuck with meĀ (in the series the character was not of noble birth and thus forbidden to carry a sword by law).

I’m not sure how functional mine would be but I just decided to have fun with it.

I always had trouble with metal, because it’s very tough to light it and deal with the reflections, etc. I finally buckled down and revisited this piece though.

I decided to start with this tutorial on brushed metal reflection:

The only thing is I couldn’t figure out how to translate some of the instructions to Blender 2.5, so I had to revert to Blender 2.49b to do this.

So check the previous work I did on this:

You can see that the blade doesn’t really look like metal, or at least not shiny metal. It could be really dull old metal or perhaps even stone.

But using a variation of the methods in the tutorial I was able to change it to look like this instead:

So now it’s looking a lot more like shiny metal. It’s still not where I want it to be, though. The reflections are all over the place and the lighting is not quite set up right to model the entire sword-breaker.

I’m going to be doing a video tutorial on this one, but now I’m just figuring out how to reproduce this entirely in Blender 2.5.

Anyway enjoy the images and for you 3D fanatics I’ll be providing the .blend file once I get this into 2.5 and also a version for Daz Studio.

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21 thoughts on “Blender 3D Art – Updating the metal on a Sword-Breaker

  1. The blade last 3 set is too shiny (I think!). I like engraved detail though.

    1. Hey Karoline. I actually am good with the shiny-ness of the new blades. I just want to work on really controlling the reflections and modeling the features of the pommel and handle more.

      I like the engraved part too. I wasn’t sure that would come out but I was pleased with it. Thanks for your comment!

  2. One thing is how shiny this metal is and second how you control light which is reflected, i think you could do it in better way, just experiment with some angles and shapes of light!

    1. Yeah Jane that’s my next move as I mentioned. I gotta really control those reflections. Now that I have the material the way I want I’m going to concentrate on the scene itself and the lighting.

      I have a book by Jeremy Birn called Digital Lighting and Rendering ( which has been pretty helpful. I’m only about halfway through it but the techniques are gold.

      Thanks for checking it out!

  3. It is sort of off topic- but Jordan disappointed me in such a big way. That series started so strongly and then just wandered around aimlessly.

    1. Jack I agree completely. For me, the first 6 books were excellent, but once we hit Crown of Swords it became extremely haphazard, with all kinds of tertiary (at best!) characters gaining the spotlight and a seemingly forced prolonging of the story.

      I hung in there until Crossroads of Twilight, then I tried to read the first book after his death but I couldn’t do it anymore. What a shame, but this thing started back when I was in high school(!), it definitely could have wrapped up before now.

  4. Ah, I think you speak of Hurin, the Shienaran from Fal Dara, who carried a sword breaker, yes? Maybe. =)

    I agree; the story rambled painfully at times, but I stuck with it because I just cared too dang much about the characters! Plus, I have to say that Robert Jordan writes a better book in death than he ever did in life. Sanderson does an amazing job cutting out all the fat and leaving nothing but a fantastic read.

    As for the sword breaker? The moment I saw it, I thought, “Ooh! Where can I get me one of them???” It’s pretty enough to mount on the wall.


    1. Hey Delena! I think he was someone from Tear. He met Mat in the third book I remember, then traveled with the girls for awhile. it would take about 2 seconds to google it but I’m too lazy :)

      I started reading the first Sanderson book, but when I realized it still wasn’t the last book I just closed it up. Someone let me know when the final book comes out.

      Speaking of late books, are you watching Game of Thrones on HBO? If so what do you think?

      Finally, thanks for the compliment on the piece. I’m not finished yet though. I’ve learned some more techniques to take it to the next level!


        We don’t have HBO, and while I’ve been trying like MAD to find a way to watch the Game of Thrones online –even if I have to torrent it! (I know, bad Delena. Bad, bad pirating Delena!)– all my valiant and fanatical attempts have failed miserably.

        I’m re-reading Feast of Crows in preparation for Dance of Dragons coming out next month (*squee!*) but haven’t watched GoT. *sob*

        Just… *sob*

        What do you think of it? Is it as absolutely amazing as everyone is gushing it is? How about the food carts in NY and L.A.? Weren’t those just the shiznit?

        …Yes, I said “shiznit.” <..>

        1. I think it’s pretty good. They problems with these types of shows is that you already know the story, so you are robbed of a little bit of enjoyment. You just wanna see how it plays out.

          I don’t know if I would re-read Feast for Crows! lol. That was my least favorite book. I’m skeptical (like many) that the next book will actually come out :)

          I don’t have HBO either, tho. Check your email I’ll shoot you some info!

    1. Yes I thought so too, Stan! I spent a lot of hours figuring this one out and there’s still more work to be done..aaargh! :)

  5. Hey, John,
    what a cool blade! I never heard before for a sword breaker…could it break even katanas? Wow! It is quite detailed and seems to be of shiny metal…I like how you done it and hope that is what you wanted to achieve with it.

    1. Hey Kristina that’s a good question :)

      I always suspected that this sword breaker would be used against broadswords and the like. I would guess someone using a katana would not fight you in the same way, but I suppose if they did the sword breaker would shatter it.

      This is pretty close to what I wanted. I’m now going back to re-do the texture on another sword in Blender so look out for that one!

    1. Thanks Andrew! I’m working on another weapon now (boy, I need to do some less violent 3D models) that will be debuted here on the site, soon!

  6. Wow that thing really looks like it could do some damage. Really great work with the metal transformation man, i certainly wouldn’t like to be in a duel with someone wielding this. Cheers

  7. I’m a 3d fanatic and I’m amazed with this work. The concept of a sword-breaker is very interesting. I realy enjoyed looking at this images. Cheers!

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