Shark Chess Piece

This is a shark bishop that was made for our ocean themed chess set

Our side of the chess board was ocean themed and I was in charge of making the bishop as a shark. The piece is just about 70mm tall with the base at 45mm in diameter, the actual shark itself is a little wider than the base but not by much.



To start off, I made the 45mm diameter base and a stick that showed the total height that I couldn’t exceed.



Next I started adding the base, I knew I wanted to have a bit of a flattened cone as the bottom so I started tweaking one until I got it the way that I liked it.



After that I decided to add some more shapes just to see how it would come out over all and to get and idea of how I wanted the body to look. Initially the bottom part of the body was made with a few cones but this was changed later on.



Once I got the overall shape I liked I started to add some more volume to the body to get it to look a little more natural and full, I started with adding some hemispheres to the top to round it out.



Next I added the chin with another hemisphere that I just copied from the first and flipped it over so that it made a pill shape when looked at with the first one.



I wasn’t too happy with how it turned out and how chunky it was coming so I decided to take away some extra shapes that were not needed and then adding some more spheres in the front of the body to round it out a bit more.



I finally started working on the jaws with just a couple hemispheres that I stretched, duplicated, and mirrored so that they were similar dimensions. The hemispheres weren’t working out as well as I would have liked though so I decided to try another approach.



I tried again but this time using a circle that I cut into with a block, this gave me a more natural looking mouth and a good flat surface to add the bottom jaw. The bottom jaw I made by stacking 2 flattened cones on top of each other with varying bases and slopes so that it looked somewhat natural and fit the space I cut out with the block.



Next came the teethe and eyes, the teethe were the same wedge type shape that was just copied and pasted 1mm apart from each other in a flared out pattern. The eyes were very simple too with just 2 hemispheres tilted up to add angry eyebrows and some spheres added into the front part of the hemispheres.



The fins were made with the scribble tool and all I really did was vaguely make a fin-like shape and when it was sharp enough to my liking I extended it. The two fins on the sides are mirror images and the top middle one is slightly larger while also being a little thicker and stretched out to appear more as a dorsal fin.



Overall I liked the idea of the shark and how it came out but I dint not like how chunky he was, I tried trimming him down with various generated shapes but nothing worked and left it smooth where the shaped stopped cutting. After talking to some of my group, specifically Nicole, I learned about the generated shapes and she pointed out the bean specifically. I then went to work tinkering with the beans and the new body started to take shape.



I completely removed the cones that made up the body, along with just about every other shape. The only surviving pieces from the old design besides the base was the head and fins. This new body was manage by taking 2 beans and setting them at odds so that they made an S shape, one big problem was that it left a gap in the middle that I couldn’t figure out how to fill with the shape editor itself so I decided to fill it in with my own shapes and filled in the chest with some hemispheres and the back of the lower body with another bean that stayed hidden in the body except for the part.



I’m incredibly proud with how the final design came out, it’s no longer chunky and actually narrowed down the shark considerably. The lower body was brought up a bit with more hemispheres added to the chest causing some muscle looking contours. The very last thing that I did was stretch out and narrow the head, the old design was just too bulky and wide but the new narrow and long snout fit perfectly.


The full chess set can be found here:

Leave a Reply