View Full Version : Exploring Middle Earth - In the dark - ACFred

01 January 2003, 09:30 AM
OK, I haven't started yet, but I had to post so that people knew something other than "The One Ring" was going to be worked on.

I'll post some concept drawings tomorrow, followed by a storyboard in the next few days.

I can't wait!


01 January 2003, 09:45 AM
Hehe I was contemplating doing something other than 'The One Ring', but then I couldn't think of anything to make.

I'm glad your doing something different!

01 January 2003, 08:23 PM
*subscribes to thread*

glad to see you in Alec :buttrock:

01 January 2003, 09:57 PM
Hi Alec.
Nice to see you at the challenges again.
In the dark is also my topic, it'll be fuuun :thumbsup:

01 January 2003, 10:01 PM
Good to see you in this one Alec.

01 January 2003, 09:34 AM
Hey guys, thanks for the welcome back. I'm really amped for this....I think the ideas I have for this one are better than the last (I'm so tired of looking at that sphere).

Anyway, here's my first concept. I busted out the version of Painter I got with my Wacom tablet to whip this up. Man, Painter's weird. I couldn't find half of the things that are second nature to me in Photoshop, so I bailed on it in the condition you see. I may finish it if I have a couple of hours to spare some day.

It may be too dark. I've heard from folks before who have said stuff coming from me is too dark, even though I have the brightness down on my monitor. I also suck at choosing the right color (that blue in the background kills me), so please forgive the poopy quality.

I think the cave will end up moving more to the left so it's not so much in the center.

So that's it.

If you want to see a torch playblast test I made using a script I wrote that helps me have fine control over random rotation/translation/scale attributes. I applied it to some joints that are the parents of the segmented geometry.

QuickTime Torch (
DivX Torch (

La dee da.


01 January 2003, 10:03 AM
OK, I "fixed" it a little. I probably should have kept the other background for comparison, but I've already overwritten everything...oh, well.

Changes are reflected in the image from the post above.


01 January 2003, 05:59 PM
That's a nice flickering torch. Maybe i also use a script on that. good idea :applause:

Stephen Vyas
01 January 2003, 12:09 AM
Hey Alec..

The torch looks way better now.
I'll keep an eye or two on this one :P


01 January 2003, 05:54 AM
Glad to see you're in again. The torch flames look pretty cool man. They behave like...well, like fire. :) What's the concept going to be?

01 January 2003, 06:00 AM
CLEVER use of the segmeted geometry...


01 January 2003, 07:44 AM
Glad you guys like the flame.

Rogue, that's a good point. What the hell do I have in mind for this contest....hmmm....well, here's the premise so far, based on my oh so glorious concept painting:

Adventurer enters from bottom left or right, not sure about that yet. While constantly looking in the direction of the cave in the background, he'll pull the torch off of the wall and clamber over the foreground, disappear over the ridge and reappear on the little hillock midground. From there, he'll chuck the torch toward the cave and it'll land just at the mouth of the cave, revealing a "surprise" that skitters back into the darkness.
The adventurer steels himself, draws his sword, and begins to walk down the hill toward the cave.....

This may be too tough for 15-seconds, so I've left it pretty broad to allow some flexibility. Any suggestions are welcome.

Thanks again for the encouraging words.


02 February 2003, 07:25 AM
Man, I had to dig deep to find my post....

I've changed my story since the other one was kinda boring. It would have been fun for me to animate, but for it to be of interest, I would need more than 15-seconds....a stroll over some rocks needs a little more time.

So, here's the new premise:

Hero is walking in a cave opening that is preceded by a steep incline. He takes a couple of steps and, by his reaction, seems to hear some racket behind him up the incline, out of sight.
Shortly afterward, somebody comes rolling down the incline to land at our hero's feet. It's his little hobbit buddy! Aww...cute little feller. He's so excited he slipped and fell on his widdow head. Hero-guy shushes (or is it shooshes?) the retarded hobbit. Hobbit-guy, totally oblivious to what awaits in the darkness beyond the light of the torch, and just so damned excited that his friend, Hero, for some dumb reason let him come on this most dangerous of adventures, runs right around the corner into the pitch blackness.
A couple of beats later, little hobbit bones come flying into the light to land near the hero-guy, with the skull landing a moment later.
I'm not sure how I'm going to end it. Either 1) hero-guy shows that he's got a pair and walks into the darkness, sword drawn, or 2) Hero-guy begins weeping and does a poor Yorick, or 3) hero-guy books.

Anyone have any suggestions?

Here's a sketch of a camera angle I'm thinking about:

I'm starting on the model of the hero-dude right after I click [Submit Reply], so expect to see updates soon....or not.


Stephen Vyas
02 February 2003, 03:40 PM
If he's a true hero he'd take it to the monsta's and round that corner.. And see if he can salvage what's left of his annoying friend.
For the camera angle, I think you'd loose the emotional impact if he decides to cry. Something like that I would think would need a medium to close up shot.

The booking part would work as well.. I guess it's just a matter of understanding your character's history.. Finding out what motivates him. How come he's going down in this dark place?..
Hope this helps..


02 February 2003, 12:19 PM
As my wife is so fond of saying these days (she's become part of the local mafia apparently) "badda-boom, badda-bing".

I did a little test with the hero character just for the heck of it. The animation doesn't really have anything to do with my story, but...well, here it is. It's a tiny download, so check et oot, eh (for my Canadian friends).

Here are the links to AVI & QuickTime versions:

Hero test (Divx ~78KB) (

Hero Test (QuickTime ~220KB) (

More to come.....

das ist alles.


Stephen Vyas
02 February 2003, 01:07 PM
Bah! I hate ew, ya hoser...:p

Lookin good der Alec.. So I see your seriously considering having him book it...
Keep given'r!:beer: :beer:

02 February 2003, 07:52 PM
Hey Steve,

Who you callin' hoser?

I probably won't have him book at the end. I was just goofin' around last night before I went to bed and came up with this little doo-dad. It's been a few weeks since I've done any animation so I wanted to do a little stretching before I begin the calisthenics.

More to come....


02 February 2003, 09:03 PM
Looks really nice, even though you are a hoser :p

02 February 2003, 07:39 AM
Can't wait to see the calisthenics.

02 February 2003, 07:30 PM
Looks good Alec. I see a little "Dirk the Daring" in that character. Check the right wrist on the slip. Looks a little limp for someone in flight mode. Everything else is excellent.

02 February 2003, 08:08 AM
Hey Justin,

The arm comment was right on. I changed it to get there more directly and the motion sold a lot better...I mean A LOT....amazing what a tiny change will do.

Thanks for the tip!


Stephen Vyas
02 February 2003, 04:38 PM
That's who it reminds me of!.. Very similiar to Dennis Bradshaw's animations under character cycles. (Second one over)

02 February 2003, 01:36 PM
Very Good... I want to see it finishˇˇˇˇˇ

Great weight... :)


02 February 2003, 09:59 AM
That looks really cool man. SO far you and DkScully are my favs.
HUrry! I want to see more of your animation.


02 February 2003, 07:00 AM
OK, every adventurer needs an up-beat, well-intentioned little buddy (at least that's what every other Owen Wilson movie tells me), so here's my adventurer's pal. Nope, no name for him either. Don't get too attached to the little guy, either. He meets a horrible end that only Rob Zombie could appreciate.

Obviously, his head isn't started. Right now, he looks kinda like one of my relatives...flat-headed Germans and all.....

I'll post more soon. I'm going to start the rig sometime tomorrow, right after giving him a simple face. I'm thinking of doing him in all FK. We'll see. I have a good idea on how to make me an FK rig that still maintains some of the niceties of IK, so I may do that.

That's it. Back to work!


02 February 2003, 07:30 AM
Cool. Once again...looking forward to more.

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