Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood of Venice – August Interview
Topic: The Miniatures
ATA Team, August 29th, 2019

Our monthly interviews with the team behind the upcoming Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood of Venice are back and this time we got the chance to chat with Manuel Sanchez, the Art Director in charge of the miniatures in the game!

1) Can you describe the process through which the miniatures are created, from the concept phase to the finished product?

The process of creating the miniatures is a mix of our knowledge of the Assassin’s Creed® world and the work of our artists. We have to differentiate
"Brute" by Stephan Simon
2 categories of miniatures in this project: the characters that had an existing design from Ubisoft, and the ones we had to create from scratch.

Some of the concepts from Ubisoft were sometimes usable “as is” (like the Brute). Others only needed a pose suitable for a miniature. In that case, we gave the sculptors one image for the overall concept and one for the pose (could be a pose from another Assassin’s Creed® image/character, a picture of one of us posing or of a little mannequin…).

The process was different for the characters we had to create from scratch.
For each one of them, everything started with a story. Fabrice (Lamidey, Story Designer) handed Thibaud (de la Touanne, Lead Game Designer) and I a brief including a name, a short story about the character and a handful of visual references. We then built from here, putting as much references for the sculptors as possible. We had access to most of the stuff created by the Ubisoft teams for Assassin’s Creed®, including unused concepts, sketches and developments of secondary projects. We used all this and some historical references to build a composite that would embody their story: a particular weapon, a set of clothes, a facial expression, a unique pose.

For some complex concepts (I’m looking at you two, you big secret miniatures!) we hired character designers to design them and to go beyond the brief. But most of the time the sculptors were able to work from that.

The sculptors would then send images of the work at each step for approval. Sometimes elements from the brief wouldn’t give the results we imagined and had to be adapted on the fly. Once we felt the miniature was ready we would send it to Ubisoft for the final approval. Most of the time it was approved right away, but sometimes they would ask for some changes.

Concept of a Crow Leader
Source: Ubisoft
At this stage the miniatures can be rendered in a realistic style. This is the pictures you saw during the campaign.

Miniatures are also 3D printed. In Montréal we print a medium quality version for the demo prototypes and in France we print a high quality version for painting and for and early reference if needed. Some of our miniatures are hand sculpted, these traditional miniatures are cast in resin for the same purpose.

When all miniatures where done we asked our lead sculptor to work on the scale of all the models to normalize them. When you work with so many different artists you are bound to have some miniature a little bit too small or too big compared to the rest of them.
We then sent all the files and the traditional masters to the factory. Their ingeniers will propose modifications when some elements could cause problems for the mold conception. We are very attentive during the sculpting process to this kind of problem and our sculptor are all very aware of the technical limitation of this medium, so the changes are very minor for us at this stage.

The factory will then print all the miniatures for a final approval before the conception of the molds. And after that samples of the plastic miniatures. If all’s good the miniatures are ready for mass production !

I hope this makes the process clearer to you guys. :)

2) How many people and studios are involved in working on the miniatures for the game from start to finish? Can you provide the links to their websites / portfolios in case our fans were interested in checking their work?

We were aiming for very high quality miniatures with this Assassin’s Creed board game project, we chose to work with veteran miniature sculptors.
And we needed a large team because of the large quantity of sculpts we wanted to features (more than 60 in total!).

Edgar Skomorowski is the lead sculptor on this project, he completed the largest number of sculpts including all 3 Ezio’s versions and Cesare Borgia.

By Edgar Ramos
He got help from Edgar Ramos on a number of pieces (too many to list here), and from Arnaud Boudoiron on the spectacular Lion. .

Leonardo by
Michael Jenkins
Stéphane Simon delivered the Brutes, Papal Guards, the Brute boss,... All traditionally sculpted. When you’ll have the Brute in your hand, remember that all this have been sculpted by hand at this scale! The process took weeks.

Stéphane Camosseto sculpted the bear and bear tamer and both huge towers.

Michael Jenkins did Leonardo, Lucrezia Borgia, the thief, the courtesan and the mercenary.

A lot of concepts are from Ubisoft teams or studios.The additional character designer that created original content were Tatiana Vetrova ( and Ann&Seb ( Unfortunately Ann&Seb worked on the two big secret miniatures, so here is just a mini teaser about their work.

Bastiano sketch by Tatiana Vetrova "Mystere" by Ann&Seb

Guillaume Briet was in charge of the 3D render. All the 3D miniatures picture on this page are his work.

Mathieu Fontaine ( e Angel Giraldez ( are the painters.

Deepspace Factory for the 3D printing.

Keep in mind that this is for the miniatures only. It does not include the rest of the illustrations, tiles, video, graphic design… Now you have an idea of the scale of the project.

by Arnaud Boudoiron
"Bear Tamer"
by Stéphane Camosseto
"Cesare Borgia"
by Edgar Skomorowski

3) What are / were the biggest challenges of staying true to the Assassin's Creed franchise while creating the miniatures?

A huge part of the sculptors’ work was to adapt the proportions and details of the concepts. Hell, it is Renaissance! And it is Assassin’s Creed! There are so many textures, embroiled clothes...

"Felon" by
Stéphane Simon
The miniatures have particular constraints due to the production process and the size of the final product. It would be easy to forget that and to sculpt the piece with the same exact details as the concept, but the result would be a mess (or would have to be redone by the factory during production).

Paint for "Daria"
by Angel Giraldez
We were very lucky to work with senior sculptors that fully understand that and that were able to adapt and reinvent the various details and patterns, so we could stay true to the Assassin’s Creed franchise. The team did an awesome job.

Besides, we listen a lot to the players’ and our team’s feedback, so we chose to rework Dariâ’s miniature because it felt a bit inconsistent with the identity of the character. I’m very proud of Edgar Skomorowski’s job on this. The first mini was a scrawny little thing. Mostly because of the pose we designed for her. Now it is the proud leader she is supposed to be and probably my favorite of the playable characters.

Also, one of the human size secret miniature caused us some trouble. It was quite a challenge to capture his features at this scale and we had a few back and forth with Ubisoft for this one…
I’m afraid I can’t give more details without spoilers. ;)

4) How did you make sure the miniatures (and their characters) weren't inconsistent with anything established before?

We are lucky to count Fabrice Lamidey on the team. He worked several years on various Assassin’s Creed games directly at Ubisoft Montreal as Creative Director. He has a deep knowledge of Assassin’s Creed’s lore. In addition to the story of Brotherhood of Venice he created, he acted as a champion of the licence and recentered the rest of the team each time we were going astray.

The Tokyo expansion uses a time and location which is new for the license, so for this one the team had direct workshops with the Ubisoft team here in Montreal to make sure if would be coherent with the potential future content developed for the brand.

And of course, every bit of story, every visual and miniature had to go through Aymar Azaïzia, Transmedia and Business Development Director at Ubisoft. All characters and stories created for Brotherhood of Venice are official content and could be seen on other media one day.

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