View Full Version : Exploring Middle Earth- Elven Dexterity-BishopLynx

01 January 2003, 04:05 AM
Ok. When Greyscale informed me to the addition of "Elven Dexterity" I jumped at the chance to get into one of these

3 bad guys and 1 elf between a couple of fairly large trees.


The elf is confronted with an adversary drawing back on a bow.
(At this point we only see the elf and the one bad guy)
The elf is on our left, back facing us, looking directly into the
eyes of the bad guy. The bad guy, front facing, is on the right
aiming at what he thinks to be a sure target.
The bad guy releases his arrow just as the elf whips around in a
180 degree turn, catching it in the air then continuing into another
180 degree turn stabbing the bad guy in the neck with his own arrow.
Just as he stabs the bad guy and pulls the arrow out we see bad guy number 2 creeping from behind a tree on the left weilding an axe. The good guy instantaneously turns toward the second bad guy as he pulls out a knife and hurls it at the second bad guy piercing his skull, knocking him behind the tree.
The good guy reaches for an arrow, then aims at the tree above (off-screen) and releases the arrow. The third bad guy falls from the tree landing near the good guy.

-Here is some pre-pro for some of the poses.

Some GEneral Thumbnails are up now.
I have run through a couple of timing sessions and so far seems
to work in 15 sec.

I wish everyone well.

01 January 2003, 05:27 PM
nice pre-pro :)

can't wait to see the animation. good luck!!


01 January 2003, 08:05 PM
Sounds like a really awesome Idea. Can't wait to see the first updates. ROCK ON!

01 January 2003, 09:53 PM
I just finished up a couple of thumbnails to decide on some of the poses to work off of.

01 January 2003, 10:20 PM
Bishop, Those are looking really good! Can't wait to see the finished product. Great so far.

01 January 2003, 11:03 PM
sounds great man, I really like the idea! Of all the characters in LOTR I like the elves the best..... elves rock!:airguitar Can't wait to see the finished product.

01 January 2003, 12:31 AM
Thanks. The elves are my favorite characters as well and the chance to do a little animation with one is awesome.
I can not wait to get started.

01 January 2003, 04:02 AM
Hey great idea. When I first read it though I thought the first guy was killed with his own arrow shot back at him. Then looking at the storyboard you have him right behind him using a bow instead of a dagger or sword. Why not put him at an angled background high in camera view and have the arrow caught and returned to kill him. I don't know if this is good form or not but I did a quick 5 min sketch so you see what I mean. I like what you have but I thought I'd offer up what I saw in my mind with the elf doing a knife hand just behind the head of the arrow flipping it around to catch it then firing it back. Good luck and I'll keep checking in to see how it goes!

01 January 2003, 04:43 AM
Wow! Thanks for the idea. I am going to continue with my original plan but that is a very cool display of dexterity. Thanks for taking the time to respond with a picture. peace.

01 January 2003, 02:48 AM
i posted an image at that gives an idea how the scene will look. There is still a few minor adjustments but for the most part this is it.

01 January 2003, 03:21 AM
Lookin' good, let's see him kick some archer a**!


01 January 2003, 03:23 AM
Here are a couple render shots of the low/poly characters.

This one is the Elf...I will probably add some pointy ears at some point.

01 January 2003, 03:24 AM
And this is what the Three Bad Guys will look like.

01 January 2003, 05:37 AM
:buttrock: :scream: :buttrock:

01 January 2003, 03:19 AM
Have you finished anything? I'd like to see it.

01 January 2003, 06:50 AM
I am working out the basics of the first part. I will post something soon. I ran into a little need of an idea change regarding the death of the second bad guy. I am going to work on it a little now before bed.

01 January 2003, 08:41 AM
OK. I decided to work out the first shot a bit to make sure I am where I want to be.

I have not added any settle in or the little nicetys. This is still very rough.

next I will rough out the second bad guy and his death.

here is a playblast.

the file is aprox. 1.3 MB


01 January 2003, 09:41 AM
Very interesting idea.. looking forward to seeing it develop!

just a quick suggestion.. I know this is early, but maybe it can help. :) The elf seems a bit busy before he grabs the arrow.. kind of moves a lot.. it might make him more stealthy and interesting if he's more "calm" before the great burst of speed and agility that allows him to grab the arrow.

Also, you should continue the power of the arrow a few more frames before bringing it back. Right now he grabs at frame 17.. frame 18, the arrow should travel a bit more towards frame left, this will allow the elf to extend his right arm and really swing it around to tag the guy.

lookin fun!

01 January 2003, 10:33 AM
Looking good, BL.

I agree with Jason on the body movement in the beginning. In the time he does his early jittery moves, he can take one smooth leg-cross to get to his spinning pivot point.

As for the orc, make him react a little bit just before he fires, as if he sees the elf start to move and he tries to compensate a touch by letting go faster.

The force of the orc's reaction to being impaled is moving all forward and backward, even though he gets impaled from the side. I think some of the movement should take the impact point into consideration a little more.

When his head hits the ground, it's very loose and the rest of his body is pretty stiff. I'd like to see a version that has his head with a lot less movement and his body at it's current stiffness and one with that loose head but his whole body crumples to the ground in an equally loosie-goosie manner.

Regardless, the initial dropping of the orc's hands right after his knees hits the ground looks weird. Have them react to the impact just once, and later, or maybe just not so much on the initial impact.

Also, and I know this is early on in the animation, but make his body hit the ground at slightly different times, like maybe his right shoulder impacts 2 frames before, which will cause the rest of his body to twist a little bit and you'll get some nice overlapping action out of it.

Oh, one thing I noticed is that when he gets stabbed (in addition to his bow disappearing :) ), his right hand stays around hip level while his and his left goes up. Show that more in the way his shoulders and back react. Right after that, his hands end up at the same level upon knee impact. Try to keep the difference intact, which would also affect how his knees also hit at the same time.....overlap, overlap. Again, I realize this is early in the animation....just some things to think about.

Looking really promising, bud. Keep it up!


01 January 2003, 03:23 PM
I agree with both Jason and AC. The elf looks rather "jumpy" at the beginning. Calm him down abit. Make his motion very deliberate and fluid. Other then that, AC and Jason covered what I noticed. Great job so far. Can't wait to see more.

01 January 2003, 03:28 PM
Thanks Jason and ACFred.

Jason: I totally agree with the fact that he seems busy in the beggining. I originally had him standing calm before his attacker but I did not like the way that was going. I am going to approach the calm aspect again and see how it works out. As for the arrow...I should have fixed that before I posted the indeed needs more arching motion especially to convey that the elf has caught an arrow in mid-air.

ACFred: I am thinking about having the first orc rotate more in reaction to the stab causing him to fall against the tree then hit the ground. Or I suppose if I keep the current idea of death then I will definitely need to have more reaction from his body because I do agree that his change is a very linear one.
As for his vanishing bow, I keyed the visibility and will be saving that part for the end.
I will give the shoulder idea a shot...good idea.
Thanks alot guys...your criticism is highly appreciated.

01 January 2003, 07:51 PM
I sat and studied my playblast for a great length of time and found a number of other areas that are lending to the elf looking strange. I will get some work done on it tonight after work and post an update sometime tommorrow.

Thanks again for the critiques.

01 January 2003, 07:53 PM
thats looking really nice.:thumbsup:

01 January 2003, 07:54 PM
Thanks Todd. I appreciate it. :beer:

Stephen Vyas
01 January 2003, 10:19 AM
I'm looking forward to seeing the next update with the current feedback.. Seems like quite a nice start already..


01 January 2003, 05:05 PM
Good work so far. :) I need to get back to work, everyone else is coming along very nicely!


01 January 2003, 08:07 AM
I finally got a chance to get back to this on Sunday. I tweaked out the elf a bit and worked a little more on the 1st kill.
I will begin the second kill tommorrow so that is why the elf comes to an abrupt stop. I also need to tweak out the first bad guys reaction to the ground.
So what are the thoughts?

:wavey: :beer: :wavey: :bounce:

01 January 2003, 08:33 AM
ah! I just sent a bunch to your private email.. enjoy! :)

01 January 2003, 08:42 AM
Ok, it's definitely cool,

However my suggestion would be to put more of a distance between the two characters. That way the arrow would have more travelling time which would help make things clearer I think.

If there were more distance, the elf could see it first, then react. Also, he could perhaps catch the arrow and then lunge/reach out a bit to stab the baddy, also making it a little clearer.

It'd also justify him (the baddy) using a ranged weapon. At the moment he uses it at very close range.

Just my thoughts!

01 January 2003, 08:47 AM
Jason: I got the PM...bursting with goodies!

Jozvex: Thanks, I will have an update in a couple of days that should take care of that. I am going to re-work a couple of things.

Peace :)

01 January 2003, 02:27 PM
One thing that keeps sticking in my mind is the falling of the orc. He gets stabbed in the side of the neck, but doesn't move to his left at all in reaction to it, just falls forward. It could just be me, but I think he needs to move that way abit.

01 January 2003, 11:53 PM
GREY: I will be reworking that part a bit, as well as the elf's tactics. Jason gave me a slew of good critiques and ideas so I will adhere to the ones that work best post a new one in a day or so. :beer:

This is so much fun! :buttrock:

01 January 2003, 08:48 AM
i think it's looking awesome Bishop! Grey doesn't know what he's talking about!!! LOL, just kidding buddy. I know you know where i live.:thumbsup:

01 January 2003, 09:47 AM
Looking nice so far. The elf looks to need some anticipation and then some speeding up before he hits the second character in the head. After that, he should have some follow-through as well.

The archer doesn't really have any reaction to launching the arrow either, or too little. You'd also expect more sideways motion when he gets it in the head.

Keep on rockin!

01 January 2003, 06:10 PM
I hear you muckywetnoodle. I will be taking care of those things next post.

01 January 2003, 06:40 PM
the elf looks really good. the orc is seems a lil stiff to me. but that could me just me.

also, i haven't really followed your thread too much, i just kinda blindly downloaded your avi to see how you were doing. the action is a little confusing, i didn't realize that he grabbed the arrow that the orc shot until the 3rd viewing. also, someone else might have said it, but the orc's bow disappearing kinda threw me too. its looking good. some of it doesn't read as well because of the single camera, but you've got plenty of time, so good luck :)


01 January 2003, 10:17 PM
hey matt.

Yes the action is a little hard to follow so I am going to re-work it a bit. The orcs bow disappears because I aniamted visibility on it and have not returned to finish it up until I get the characters looking correct.


02 February 2003, 07:19 AM
Hey Bishop! how's the animation going man.. i love the idea, haven't seen any progress on it, are you ready to post something soon? :surprised

02 February 2003, 01:06 AM
OK. I finally aquired some free time to work on this so here is a little update with some more motion blocked out. The ELF stops after the knife throw because I changed my mind on what I wanted to do next so I will post that up soon.

In the next post I will have the elf's motion finished and some of the other motion (both orcs) tweaked.


02 February 2003, 03:02 AM
Hey Bishop, I think this is looking very awesome.. it's too bad you're not allowed to do camera moves or slow motion to not have to see it more than once to understand thoroughly what's going on. The only thing that i think you should do is have the elf not be in camera or be away from the first orc so that he's coming towards the orc, he dodges the arrow .. and so on.. are you gonna have more orcs trying to kill him to fill the 15 secs? it'd be cool to have one come from a distance towards the camera, which you can see but not worried about cause he's far away.. and finish him off last when he finally gets there with.. dunno, the arrow? or even one of the axes! dunno.. ideas, you're prob working on something totally different. Anywho, looks very good.. keep it up!:beer:

02 February 2003, 12:19 AM
I would have to say is that it took me a few times to realize that the elf was taking a knife from his side to hit the orc with the axes. I thought at first the elf was smacking the orc on the head. Maybe if the knife pull was slower or more dramatic. Also i thought the axe cut the guy's arm off when her hit the ground. That would be cool. That way the elf caould pick up the severed arm and slap another oncoming orc.hehe But so far that's some great animation

02 February 2003, 05:05 AM
Looks good. Here is a thought. Since they are telling you that it goes too fast with the hand grabbing the knife, why not have him take it out as he spins and use it to slice/kill the first orc, then turn and overhand throw it at the second. This is just a suggestion. I like what you have so far.

02 February 2003, 11:48 PM
I pushed the Second ORc Back a bit to give the Elf's Knife a little more air time.

02 February 2003, 01:14 AM
Looking smooth, man. Very cool. I like the progression you have on your site. I'll have to steal that.

A couple things on the animation that could help (maybe).

1) The first orc: I think he's a little too slow on the dropping of that bow and grabbing for his sword. He's being too careful with the bow. Make him throw it down fast and at least get his right hand on the sword hilt.

2) The elf's twists. His hips and shoulders seem to be spinning around their axis at the same pace. Make him lead with his hips. Get those twisting first and everything follows that.

3) Second Orc: I like his death (mom, forgive me for saying that). It seems to me, though that it might happen a frame or two too soon. Now I'd guess my eyes can't necessarily tell the number of frames, but it does seem to happen a touch too soon. Same with his release of the axes (or is ax just ax in the plural?).
The ax also hit the ground at the same time. I think it'd be more interesting to stagger them, which would probably require you to stagger the orc's arm lifts, too, which might remove some of his symmetrical dying.

4) I'd like to see a little bit of secondary movement in the elf's hip daggers, too.

That's it. Looking spiffy.


02 February 2003, 03:28 AM
Wow Bishop.. great improvement! I think delaying the knife.. or giving it more air time definately helps the animation. Rock On!:beer:

02 February 2003, 03:28 AM
ACFred: You are always good with the detailed responses. They are very appreciated.

I Agree with everything that you have said.

I will make his neglect on the bow a bit more harsh and make the fear in him a little more dramatic.

I like the idea of staggering the arms and axes. I will get to it.

I see what you mean with the feeling that the second orc reacts a fraction of a moment too soon. I will fix that one up when I stagger his arms.

As far as the secondary motion on the knifes, I am going to wait till near the end and then go back and fix those little issues. I want to add some secondary motion to the elf's knifes and arrow pack as well as the first orcs sword.

I have one more Orc to kill and since I changed my mind at the last minute on how it will be done the next post should have these issues fixed and a 3rd death to cap everything off.


02 February 2003, 03:34 AM
Thanks HAIRBALL. :beer:

02 February 2003, 03:43 AM

it's looking really cool so far. I looking forward to see how you bring the elf out of the knife throw and into his next attack. keep up the good work. :bounce:

02 February 2003, 03:50 AM
first off, i love looking at the progress of the animation with all the versions on the same web page. And i love the new knife throw. I wonder though. The elf takes down the first orc with just his fist? Your elf has 2 knives. Maybe he could stick on in the neck.

02 February 2003, 02:24 PM
Much better job! I can see it coming together now. This will be a really tight animation once you get it done. now...on with the show.

02 February 2003, 05:10 PM
Thanks Grey. :beer: two more weeks. :buttrock:

02 February 2003, 04:23 AM
Ok. This is It.

---Read before clicking the LINK---

I chose to redo this animation in the past three days. I backed myself against a wall with the last one and decided to clean the idea up a bit and start fresh. (this is the final)


Matthew :wavey: :beer: :wavey:

02 February 2003, 05:31 AM
Man! what was that green guy thinking? what an idiot! dont mess with a elf who has just lost a friend.....


great animation :bounce:

02 February 2003, 05:45 AM
Thanks man. That comment provoked me to laugh my ass off. :wavey:



02 February 2003, 06:03 AM
hehe :) glad to hear, oh yeah...and i like the anticipation the character (elf attacking) expresses, expecialy right before he whips around and slices the 'foe'!



02 February 2003, 06:56 AM
Great work and congratulations on finishing the challenge!

:applause: :thumbsup: :applause:


02 February 2003, 07:50 AM
Thanks Man. :wavey:

02 February 2003, 08:06 PM
Sorry. I should have posted the size...It is around 6 Megs.

Better to right click "save target as"
then to wait for it to play.

"Link from previous post of yesterday"

03 March 2003, 08:08 PM
Heya Bishop,

excellent work.. you really improved dramatically over the past month! Just flip back and forth between the first submission and the last one.. not only has your animation gotten more interesting, you can actually see the dynamic between the characters.

fantastic job!

03 March 2003, 08:13 PM
Thanks alot man. :beer: :xtreme:

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