The Three Blind Mice Return
"The Three Blind Mice Return" by Jeremy M. Praay - ranked 14th
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The three blind mice return... but this time, she's ready.

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Long Description

Based upon the idea of creating a sequel to "The Three Blind Mice", a very old children's song. In this image, the three blind mice return (sans tails), and so does the farmer's wife, once again taking matters into her own hands.

For those who may be unfamiliar children's song, I have included it for reference:

Three blind mice,
Three blind mice,
See how they run!
See how they run!

They all ran after the farmer's wife,
She cut off their tails with a carving knife,
Did you ever see such a sight in your life,
As three blind mice?


For this image, I attempted to create a realistic country kitchen setting. Many old farmhouses exist in an ambiguous state, where the observer feels as though he/she is stepping back in time. This scene may have recently occurred, or it may have happened 70 years ago.

Making Of

Most of the elements in this scene are hand-coded CSG (Constructive Solid Geometry), with only a few exceptions:
The mice are a third-party Poser(TM) model.
The tea-box, boots, and the bag of flour were modelled in Wings 3D.
The red/green cloth, and the top doily, both on the hutch surface, were modelled and draped in Poser's cloth simulation.
The doilies are heightfields and meshes.

This scene uses Christoph Hormann's IsoWood include file quite a bit. The hutch, trash-bin, wall-shelf, hardwood floor, wall panels, door, base-boards, and cornice are all isosurface objects created using the IsoWood macros.

The light sources (there are two) both use LightSysIV by Jaime Vives Piqueres. This adds a great deal of realism to the light-sources themselves and the way that they interact with other objects.

Because I enjoy creating models using POV-Ray's CSG capabilities, creating so many of the objects using CSG, was not only important to me, but was also quite fun. The glass objects (except the dark glass bowl) were all created with lathes, as were the cannisters and the cups, though the handles are sphere-sweeps.

Most of the surface textures are procedural POV-Ray textures. Exceptions are objects such as the coffee-can, and bag of flour, which use UV-mapped textures created from scratch using the open-source program The Gimp (Windows version). With the exception of the old photographs and the doilies, there are no photo-based image-maps present.

The shadow of the farmer's wife is actually my shadow. It was created from a photograph, but only the silhouette portion was used in the scene, simply to cast the shadow on the wall.

The red bowl with the fish relief pattern and the cookie jar were both created by using an image-map (the fish / "cookies") as an iso-surface pigment, and mapping it onto the surface of a sphere, which was then differenced to create the bowl. The chair is a combination of lathes, cylinders, and sphere-sweeps including the seat tape.

Tools Used

-POV-Ray 3.6
-POVTree 1.5b (for the trees, visible only in reflections/shadows)
-Poser 5 (for posing the mice and to create the simulation for red/green cloth)
-Wings 3D (modelling of the green tea box, boots, and the bag of flour)
-The Gimp (Windows) (creating some textures)
-UVMapper Classic v. 0.25e (beta) (used with The Gimp to create and map some textures)
-PoseRay (used with Wings3D, UVMapper, and Poser 5 to import into POV-Ray)

-PC with AMD Athlon XP 3200+, 1GB RAM, 80GB hard-drive, nVidia GeForce4 Ti 4200 (128MB AGP8X) graphics
-HP Scanjet 4470c (for scanning photos and grocery list)

3rd party models:
"Mouse figure R2" by JTrout (via Renderosity)
"Square Hi-Res" from Poser 5 was used to create the cloth hanging from the hutch, and then was run through the cloth simulation.
"MakeBook" macro by Gilles Tran (for books)
"TomTree" macro by Tom Aust (for the trees, visible only in reflections/shadows)

3rd party and/or pre-existing includes/models/textures/macros:
"LightSysIV" by Jaime Vives Piqueres
"IsoCSG Library" version 0.7 by Christoph Hormann
"IsoWood3" by Christoph Hormann
The two old framed photos are from my own photo collection (scanned in), the frames were created during this competition.
The fish picture used to create the fish (on the side of the red bowl, upper left) was listed as public-domain, but the bowl itself was created during the competition (the fish is an image-mapped isosurface pigment).
The doilies were created by mapping an image onto a heightfield of that image. The doily photos were obtained with full permission from Jenny Kosarew from her website at

Everything else was created during the competition.

Supplied Files (27311 kb)

Detail Images

Detail 1: 817x827 @ 258,364

Detail 2: 807x808 @ 580,136
Judges Comments

Very cute image, with good concept, composition and a nice lighting, though a little flat in the darker areas.

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