View Full Version : Exploring Middle Earth - The One Ring - DIMO

01 January 2003, 11:01 PM

Do you remember the prologue of the Fellowship? Galadriel says:
"... And the Ring was picked up by the most unlikely creature imaginable..." or something like that.
This always made me guessing what the most unlikely creature might be - and then i saw this IceAge DVD again...

Ok, here's my idea:

The most unlikely creature imaginable on MiddleEarth - scrat - comes to the dark realm of gollum. For some strange reason it carries a nut. And then it finds the ring! And the ring says: "Put me on!"
But for scrat's simple mind this can only mean "Put me on that nut!" And so he does and immediately the infamous terror of the One Ring starts - for scrat: His nut vanishes!

I know taking a character like scrat, which is famous for perfect animation, is for many reasons a bad decision. I just won't reach that level of perfection. But the idea just burned itself into my brain and now i simply can't resist. But i promise I will take this serious and do my best.

And here's a first storyboard:

Corn Dog
01 January 2003, 11:34 PM
I think they where refering to Gollum or Bilbo as being the most unlikely creature to pick up the ring. Could be wrong though.

Still a good idea for the contest all the same, thing ring has had many owners I suppose.

01 January 2003, 12:03 AM

you are probably right. I think they meant a hobbit.
However here's the storyboard in action.

I know my server is slow, so if you can, go for the divx

Storyreel - Divx5.02 - 76kB (

Storyreel - qt Sorensen3 - 646kB (



01 January 2003, 02:03 PM
haha that was funny.

01 January 2003, 02:13 PM
I like it, a little off topic with the inclusion of scat, but it would be very funny.


01 January 2003, 04:44 PM
Hah, thats a really great idea, and you're right, he probably is the most unlikely creature imaginable to find the one ring.

After seeing Ice age so many times I have his movements buzzing around in my head. This will certainly be a hard one to pull off, but if you can it will look amazing. Seeing skrat put the ring on hte nut and it disapearing and him going crazy would be hilarious. Good luck.

01 January 2003, 10:07 AM

I'm still undecided about wether scrat should first put the nut down, then take the ring and try to slip it over the nut or if he just rams the nut into the ring.
I like the idea of scrat holding the ring in his hands and smiling. But I don't know if I have enough time for all the action of dropping the nut and taking the ring.

Any comments?

01 January 2003, 05:02 PM

I quite finished the model now. I will segment it later when I know where my bones will be. But first I will model some blendshapes.


01 January 2003, 03:14 AM
Great Scrat model.
Good luck animating him in that Blue Sky/ Warner Bros style.:beer:

01 January 2003, 02:58 PM

I spent some time modeling all necessary blendshapes. Here are my favourite ones:


01 January 2003, 03:36 PM
Funny idea, love your storyboard.

:thumbsup: :thumbsup:

01 January 2003, 06:14 PM
Well Done !!
Nice model DIMO ;)
I was using the second idea if I was u !! (put the nut in the Ring )
I think you have enough time for both !! But I prefer , that the scrat picks the Ring with One hand (while holding the nut with the other) & smiles ;) then drop the Ring and try to put the nut in ! (because he loves the nut more than the Ring ! )
Ok , it was just an idea ... sorry , Never Mind if you don't like it , I know you know more than me ;)

Reza Misaghi

01 January 2003, 07:47 PM
Great idea!
Scrat holding both the nut and the ring and weighting wich one he loves more. And then having the idea to put the nut into the ring.
I will think about that.

01 January 2003, 09:32 PM
And here is my segmented character

Now I can start thinking about my character rig. But for today its enough and I will watch Ice Age another round:)

Corn Dog
01 January 2003, 12:02 AM
Since the story of Scrat is that he always loses his nut, (I think)you should have him walking all happy with his nut, sees the ring, wants to pick it up so he tentatively puts the nut down, picks the ring up and tries to put it on himself (like a crown or collar... whatever), the ring pops off him (somehow) and lands on the nut making it invisible and starts it rolling (see tracks in snow), scrat dives at where he thinks it is (big puff of snow) they tumble to a grassy area. He sits up, looks around cant see any hint of his nut. Crys.

01 January 2003, 07:49 PM
A scenery on the mountain and tracks in the snow would be funny, but I fear this would make the setup too complicated.
I think I will stick to my ending with scrat in the ring around his belly.

But at the moment I'm doing the rigging. Has anybody some hints about rigging a quadrupet?
I'm a bit confused about how the rear legs should work.

Any help appreciated

01 January 2003, 04:21 PM
Quadroped ?

I think you should rig Scrat as a biped.


01 January 2003, 04:52 PM
The problem is the rear leg. I think I can't rig that like human legs.

Or am I wrong?

01 January 2003, 11:00 PM
So, at last I'm almost finished with the rig. I will just add some minor things. But in the whole I'm ready to animate. And here's something I got while testing the rig:)

01 January 2003, 11:09 PM
Ha! That guy's kinda scary!

Stephen Vyas
01 January 2003, 09:19 AM
Heh, he looks stoned.

01 January 2003, 02:08 PM
Scary, stoned and in possesion of the one ring and an acorn.

Be Afraid !!


01 January 2003, 10:41 PM
I just started doing some animating to get into scrat's timing. I made a rough blocking of the first seconds. Although I'm not satisfied and will probably start new from scratch, I thought since this is about posting the development I will post the playblast nevertheless.
And you can see my scenery.

4 s blocked animation - 75kB Divx <------ Deleted

01 January 2003, 11:27 PM
That's hilarious!!!

awesome work.. scrat looks great!!

01 January 2003, 11:51 PM
Another update.

I added another bunch of blocked poses and quickly got to my timelimit (should have checked with my own story reel more often).
So I will have to speed up the action next time I can work on this.

So here's some 14 seconds that should be about 9 i think.

14s blocked animation 100kb Divx <-----------Deleted

01 January 2003, 08:07 AM
It's a shame you have to speed it up, it seems like great timing the way it is!

Stephen Vyas
01 January 2003, 08:43 AM
Just a thought, as he looks down wanting the acorn as well as the ring. It'd come through a bit clearer if he uses one hand to paw at the acorn or do a half reach for it with his fingers trying to grasp it... Then pulls back to the pose that conveys his idea to put the two together.

01 January 2003, 03:32 PM
That's a good idea,
I also had the feeling that it needs a bit more acting here. I will try this when I do the next update. I only hope that I don't loose more precious time here. I still have so much ideas of poses I want to put in this animation. And hey, I haven't even used a quarter of my blendshapes yet.

01 January 2003, 10:10 PM
Another update.

I decided to go on posing the next few keyposes before doing the changes to the old poses.
So now I think I have reached the limit of action I can bring into those 15 secs.
Although I'm now at 19 secs I think if I start later and do the changes Stephen proposed I will get down to 15 seconds

So here's another update:

blocked action 19s divx - 125kB<--------Deleted

01 January 2003, 11:46 PM
So here's another nights's work

I changed some keyposes and started doing the curves. It's always a magic moment when you change the tangent type from step to smooth;)

Next Update DivX 194kB <----------Deleted

02 February 2003, 12:30 AM
I love it!!

I know the challenge is 15 seconds.. but screw it!! I would love to see more and more!! :bounce:

I think it's a great little story.. the model is awesome, the poses so far work great!!

Keep going all the way! :)


Corn Dog
02 February 2003, 12:01 AM
Errrr Why does my media player give an Erroron these files?

Stephen Vyas
02 February 2003, 03:32 PM
Looking good Dimo:)
The tail could be snappier...

02 February 2003, 08:35 AM
-> Corn Dog: It's the newest DivX compression. You should check at and download the codec there. It should work then.
If there are still problems I can compress the next updates with quicktime.

02 February 2003, 09:21 AM
Thats looking great Dimo

I can't wait to see the whole thing non-steppy

02 February 2003, 09:24 PM
Man you almost got me fired today at work.
People tought I was having a stoke because I was laughing so hard.

The piece is hilarious even at this half finished state.

Great work.



02 February 2003, 08:33 AM
I had some time to make another update:

The tail is still not animated throughout the whole thing.


Update - 300kB DivX <--------Deleted

Stephen Vyas
02 February 2003, 08:55 AM
Hey THATS really cool!!
I love his face when he reaches for the nut.. :buttrock:

02 February 2003, 10:16 PM

I think I'm through my scene for the first pass.
It's really hard to work on something where you only have some afterwork hours each day.

But here it is: First FinalVersion (Do you know those filenames like "Test_Final27_FinishRender...")

Update DiVX 463kB<--------Deleted
I think it would be a good time now to fire your crits.:buttrock:


Stephen Vyas
02 February 2003, 11:29 AM
Originally posted by DIMO

I think it would be a good time now to fire your crits.:buttrock:


When he drops the nut his hands spread apart quite far in such a short time period. It can be fast, but keep the hands a bit closer.

When he's holding the ring and rocking back and forth it seems stiff. you could have him rub the ring on his cheek to loosen the action up.

There's no force/power when he's jumping on the ring. For a greater force add a greater anticipation.

You might wanna re-think the hand pose for when he has an idea. Just by doing a blink, widening his eyes and tilting his head back you'll get a more powerful action. His face is really animated already, use that to your benefit!

When he throws the ring over his head to slam it onto the nut, the slam would look better if it was done quicker.

When he's hopping on the ring, adjust the head so that he's looking down at the ring, so when he see's it disapear then have him look up for that bit of acting you've done.

His foot crashes through the ground at the end.

02 February 2003, 01:37 PM
HEEHEHE very funny stuff... :)

I wanto to see the final Final final version :)

Very good :)

02 February 2003, 10:22 AM
Great. I saw your storyboards on this one and laughed my ass off at what a simple but great idea this was. Good Start.

02 February 2003, 09:51 PM
So I had some time to shuffle some keys.

Here's a new update.

I thought I should use quicktime now so more people can watch it. And you can srub more easily frame by frame.

Here it is:

Update 2 MB Quicktime Sorenson3<---------Deleted

02 February 2003, 06:49 PM
I really like your latest update.
Only one minor crit.
When Scrat steps on the ring add a bit more weight to Scrat.

Besides that
Good Job.


02 February 2003, 10:16 PM
Here's another update.

another update - Divx 700kB<--------Deleted

Stephen Vyas
02 February 2003, 10:29 PM
Looking good Dimo!
Could you make the ring move a bit on the final hop. At the moment it just stays in the same spot, and disappears over time.

02 February 2003, 06:30 AM
what a great idea! Hilarious :applause:

I think you could push his reaction to the ring's disappearance a lot further. Go really extreme on the poses there; bend his spine backwards further, bulge his eyes out (if you can), have him shake more.

(sorry I'm jumping into the discussion kinda late, couldn't see it before you posted the quicktime version. Downloaded divx, but no go... which version are you using???)

02 February 2003, 07:30 AM
fantastic idea.. not sure where you are on it yet in terms of smoothing it out. Right now everything is extremely linear.. you should overlap some of the motions a bit and try and show some followthough when he's jumping up and down..

great idea, tho! :)

02 February 2003, 07:34 AM
It is looking alot better.

When he hops off the vanished ring at the end it seems that it could use a bit more effort. Push it a little further and show more reaction when he hits the ground.

This one may just be personal opinion but---> I think his tail moves a little too much when he first picks up the ring.

can't wait to see the finished result.

02 February 2003, 05:57 PM
Time for another update!

The motion in the first half is still a bit jerky. I don't know yet how to make the movement smooth without loosing the fast scrat-type moves. There is this "moving hold" thing i read about. I think I will work on this and the tail another round.

I had to delete the old previews. (but who wants to see the old shit anyway;) )
Sorensen3 1.6 MB (

Have a nice weekend!

02 February 2003, 08:59 PM
I won't have any time tomorrow so here it is. My final animation.

:drumrock: :drumrock: :drumrock:

Final Thing - Sorensen3 (

Have Fun

02 February 2003, 09:41 PM
this is one of the best animations in this challenge I've seen so far. creative idea, funny, good character animation, and it fit perfectly with the ring concept.

bravissimo :buttrock: :beer:

02 February 2003, 03:02 PM
Wow, looking good!

Maybe offsetting the keys a bit would help the clunkiness some. Sometimes you can go in and look at each fcurve and seeing what keys don't need to be there and deleting them. It might help loosen things up.

Very cool animation.l

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