View Full Version : Exploring Middle Earth - Death Scene - Stoney23

01 January 2003, 03:36 AM
Hi all

This challenge business looks like fun so I thought I'd have a crack at it.

My idea is this:

A lone soldier is attacked by a warg and uses his/her cunning and agility to take down the beast.

That's pretty general but it's pretty much mapped out in my head. I'll post some boards later.

Should be fun


01 January 2003, 12:09 AM
Nato steps up to the plate! :)

Good to see you in, buddy.


01 January 2003, 10:35 AM
Ok Here is my blocky little soldier character. I used an existing rig that I really like. Its the Advanced Skeleton rig (for maya) by Oyvind Nostdal (thanks mate) with a couple of useful customizations by none other than Magarnigal.

Its worth checking out if you havn't seen it already. I think you can download it from

I'm not sure if we are meant to do our own rigs but as the focus of this challenge is animation I figure it's ok. Plus I hate rigging! :)

I'll be rigging the warg myself anyway which I'll post up as soon as I get him happening.


01 January 2003, 11:55 AM
Since you are going to rig a warg, perhaps you can help me a little bit. I also have a fierce animal to rig (Scrat-like creature) and I don't know exactly how I should rig the rear legs. If you have rigged the warg, please could you post an image of the rear leg setup?

Or do you have some useful links?



01 January 2003, 10:55 PM
No worries Dimo

I'm still thinking about how I'm going to set it up, but hopefully I'll spend some time on it over the weekend and have some notes for you early next week

01 January 2003, 08:40 AM
What do you know - I had a chance to do some today. Ok here is my Warg rig

Its pretty simple and it does pull apart if you aren't careful but I think it will be ok for my purposes. I'll have to see once I start animating. I wanted to keep the back and front leg groups independent so I used a spline IK handle for the spine in between them. This will allow me to get nice variations in the arch of his back quite easily, but the spline is also the reason it pulls apart. It should be ok.

The bottom image is for Dimo. Doesn't really explain much but if you have any questions just yell. Basically for the back legs I'm just using a set of hips so I can twist the...hips. Then the actual hip bones also rotate independently for a little extra motion and then theres an IK chain from the top of the leg to the heel. Control splines on the feet which also rotate the foot. Hope that helps.

Now I can start animating :)

01 January 2003, 10:48 AM
Looks good.
So you have one IK Chain for two joints. That's the point I have problems with. I have the fear that i want to control the angle of the two joints independently.

With the Spline Ik for the Spine. I thought about it, too. But I haven't used it yet. Perhaps I will only use it for the tail for this project and see how it works out.

01 January 2003, 03:26 PM
The setups are looking good, any animation tests yet :thumbsup:


Stephen Vyas
01 January 2003, 09:29 AM
Interesting... Let's see some clips!!

02 February 2003, 12:16 AM
I managed to spend a bit of time on the weekend so here is a fairly rough blockout of about half of my anim. I havn't paid much attention to any details or weight. Mainly concerned with getting the overall positioning and timing at this stage.

Basically I blocked out the key poses not worrying too much about the timing and then after I'd finished that I went back in and shuffled the poses around in the timeline to get the timing working. I'm going to blockout the rest of it in the same way and then go back in and add the details. I am finding it hard to find the time...but I guess its the same for everybody :)

Check it out anyway (750k)

DIMO - I know what you mean about the control on the back legs. You need to be able to get them moving more like arms at certain times. The only thing I can suggest is setting up a rig that allows you to switch between IK and FK. Saw your clip though - looking good.

02 February 2003, 02:30 AM
Looking good, Nate.

If you guys are having problems with a 3 joint leg, I have a setup that lets you pose with ik, but still have control over the angle of the joints. Check out this scene file here: 3jointLegSetup (

Grab the 'move this' locator to pose the leg, but you can also rotate the 'rotate_this' joint (first joint of the leg) to independantly tweak the angle of the leg joints.

Give me a yell if you want more of an explanation of how it works, but it is basically a partial fk leg chain sitting on top of a hidden IK leg chain, so the fk seems to behave as IK, but you still have control to 'add' to the rotation.


02 February 2003, 08:25 AM
Your first part looks very promising, I still can't find anything to critizise. :applause:
What do you think about the "one camera one shot" thing? In your scene I think it would be so nice to have a closer shot of the action on the warg.

02 February 2003, 09:01 AM
Thanks Dimo

I can see why they only allow a fixed camera - means you can't really cheat on the animation with clever editing - but it would be nice to use a few different shots. I reckon I'd have a bout 10 if you could.

I was actually thinking they should have a digital cinematography challenge where everyone receives the same piece of animation and you have to do the cameras and cut it and see who comes up with the nicest looking edit. What do you think of that idea? Maybe should suggest it. I think it would be fun

John Lee
02 February 2003, 09:48 AM
i'm entering competition but i starting on mamay. I seen that you characters are very well set up good sumersault BTW. I was wonder if i would be possible for me too borrow your set ups and have a play around with it in maya? :rolleyes:


John Lee

02 February 2003, 09:53 AM
And then the same for the sound effects and music....

02 February 2003, 12:36 PM
I see a big problem with your anim Nate..

First Visa and now this, you're little dude will never make it!


02 February 2003, 11:16 PM
Thanks Dave (frumpy)

but, Xeno will live!! - I guarantee it

02 February 2003, 11:48 PM
Neolee40 -> You can download the biped rig yourself from

just go to the downloads section and there should be a trial version you can get your hands on

Its a really good rig

I'd send you my warg rig but it has a few issues - I'm just working around them because I don't want to waste my time on setup rather than getting stuck into the animation

If you really really want it let me know

02 February 2003, 09:50 AM
You should do one of these for Xeno! It'd be a cracker...

A five minute short from conception to 80% done in 6-7 weeks. -To stall/nose pick to fakie. :)

Tease us not! Hurry up, get it lit and rendered. I wanna go wakeboarding!


Oh yeah, nice effort on the wrag thingo.. What was it again..?

02 February 2003, 11:58 PM
ok here is an update with a bit more blocked out. Its still rough (especially warg). The actual kill will be kinda tricky. I have two ideas for the soldier at the end too so maybe you guys can help me decide.
1. he stays on the wargs back and stands to the ground as the wargs body drops from beneath him - or
2. when he stabs the sword into the wargs head he uses that momentum to flip off his back and land in front of the warg then spin around to watch him die

-and I have to come up with some nice twitchy staggered dying sequence for the warg too.

I'm a little concerned about having time to finish it off but I'll see how I go.

this ones about 1meg


02 February 2003, 05:20 AM
Hey that's looking cool!

I like the flipping off idea, but is their enough room wit that 'ramp' in the way?

02 February 2003, 06:03 AM
thanks Jozvex

ramp shmamp... I'll make room if I have to

- anyway its supposed to be a rock - perhaps I should spend more than 2 seconds on my modeling!! :)

02 February 2003, 10:29 AM
Looking good nate, I would suggest more movement within your frame for the doggy while he is bucking the guy. Have him leap across stage, turn 180, that sort of thing. :)

For the end, you could have him jump off the warg, then the warg falls on top of and crushes the guy during his death throws, thus you get 2 kills for the price of 1.


02 February 2003, 10:58 AM
yeah, thanks mike - I know its pretty straight back and forth in the same line. ...Damnit - that's more work:cry:

I'll try just to get it finished first and if I have time I'll go back and explore that bit further


03 March 2003, 01:14 AM
sorry guys

I havnt had a chance to get back to this

maybe I'll have another crack at the next one

CGTalk Moderation
01 January 2006, 06:00 AM
This thread has been automatically closed as it remained inactive for 12 months. If you wish to continue the discussion, please create a new thread in the appropriate forum.