View Full Version : Exploring Middle Earth - Death Scene - Br1

01 January 2003, 11:51 AM
Well I might have a chance to ge"t some time on this so I'll take part to my first CGtalk Challenge with an animation test.

Here is the short story :

the Characters jumps from rock to rock, trying to come to the front plan and cut two ropes holding a bridge. He's under heavy arrow attack and uses both his halberd and shield for defense. He finally gets to cut the ropes but is hit by an arrow, knees downs and finally lies dead on the ground.

I re-edited the story, see a few posts down for the animatic.

01 January 2003, 12:11 PM

Ok, before actually doing the storyboard I did the character and the setup. Here it comes.

On the left we've got the skeleton as well as some constraints for the halberd.

Next to it come the objects I use as controllers, that I put on a seperate layer. When animating I just use those objects. Some of them are simply constraining IK Handles, other use orient constraints.

On the right we've got our little basic character that's gonna be used for visualization.

It was quite funny setting up the hands to hold the halberd, I had to use a few point and orient constraint to do that. I'm now testing the setup and should be able to provide a test animation soon.

01 January 2003, 03:12 PM

I didn't get the point about the rope. How is there a rope in a battlefield? Or is it a siege? Why does he want to cut it? I bet there is a totally logic explanation, but I'm just curious.



01 January 2003, 03:36 PM
Well it could be the rope from a bridge, and the imporatant point from cutting it would be that cutting the rope would destroy the brigde and prevent ennemies from coming across it, which is why my man is so glad and proud for a (fatal) second.

Well I didn't really intend to include and animate the bridge falling in that shot, but if it seems I really should I'll try and include it (but with 15 secs it won't be easy).

01 January 2003, 03:50 PM
Ok I made a quick animation test to try my setup, mainly trying to keep the hands on the halberd.

Here is the file - Quicktime - Sorenson3 (

01 January 2003, 09:53 PM
I would love to hear a bit more about your halberd-grab setup. Im struggling with a similar setup on my character (Show Thread) (
I havent done any tests on it yet but im already not happy with it.


ps: your test animation looks good :thumbsup:

01 January 2003, 04:52 PM
Danyrey :
It would be much easier to explain you the setup if you were sitting next to me... A written version will take time, but I might give it a try later. (quite a few point and orient constraints plus parenting in there).

Meanwhile here is a picture of my scene.

I'm also re-thinking the scenario, as you see I added two big ropes (holding a wooden bridge), which the hero has to cut to prevent ennemy invasion.

I think he'll escape many arrows, but finally be touched by some of them, beeing hurt, trying to cut the other rope, get another hit, finally cut the rope just before he falls death on the ground, to heavily hurted to survive.

The rock death is erased, it was to fast and I think that with arrows I can have more fun animating his pain but trying to keep on going.

01 January 2003, 04:56 PM
I like this set a lot. This looks exciting even if nothing moves yet. And its quite obvious now why he wants to cut the rope.

Run man, run , cut the rope!

01 January 2003, 05:19 PM
Ok, I got some time to rework my stuff and prepare a small animatic, sor here is the image file. It's an animated gif, I hope the framerate will be correct.
Can't wait to get my hands on the 3D model, maybe I'll have some time for this tonight and begin posting animations soon.

01 January 2003, 01:37 AM
Hey BR1,
just wanted to say, this looks cool.
obviously, this is just an animatic but I would like to see some personality(always the hardest thing for me), rather than just kinematics.
good luck

01 January 2003, 02:05 AM
I love the death scene the most out of all the challenges. Yours is a fantastic approach.
I can't wait to see more!


01 January 2003, 06:40 PM
Hi all !

thanks for the comments !

I had the chance to get my hands on MotionBuilder (which I think I'm gonna buy pretty soon !) so I decided to try and animate with that software istead of maya for the body animation, then maybe take it back to baya for the arrows and other fine-tunings.

MotionBuilder looks great though right now I'm fighting with constraints and they are messing up with my previous work, so I guess I'll loose some more hair till I understand how it works.

Hope to update soon with begin of animation.
Right now I go to 3DBuzz and order MotionBuilder !!!!

02 February 2003, 06:07 PM
Ok, I made a test animation, mainly to get the timing and see what I can do after a few hours with Motionbuilder (which I start to really like). I still have to accelerate some things and reduce total time to 15 seconds instead of 17.

After that I 'll start cleaning out everything (hope to find some time to work on this)...

comments welcome , have to go now !

Divx 5.02 file here - 520 Kb ( . Sorry no quicktime version yet, ask me if you need it.

Stephen Vyas
02 February 2003, 03:17 AM
Hey, looking good Br1!
I could be wrong, but it looks a lot like he got hit by that second arrow... but it just bounces offa him.

I dig the character.. :)

Just a thought for the arrows... What would really be cool is if they glowed an orange color, and had yellow particles...

Keep the updates coming...:)


02 February 2003, 08:43 AM
Nice work!:applause:

Here my two cents:
I think there's something odd about the first high jump. It is either too high or as not enough anticipation. Perhaps it's the timing.
The second jump looks right.

Keep on going.


02 February 2003, 01:19 PM
Hey thanks for the comments.
actually I didn't jnow my last post went through and I thought about re-posting later. Then I got busy by other stuff and today I realize my post is up !!!!

I really hope to find some time to clean up things, I still have a lot of :wip: work to do on this and other rendering projects.

Stephen : The second arrow is blocked by his hand-shield, I guess it's not easy to see on a small divX file . I think I can easilly change the color of particles, but I added them just to give a better chance to view the arrows... I didn't find any motionblur in MotionBuilder and this was the way for me to vizualise it.

DIMO : Yeah, there is also somethimg like a pause in the first jump, I have to get rid of it, I also want to give some more time for the death itself, but I already reached the 15 sec limit and I'll have to compress other movements.

Thanks for comments !

02 February 2003, 01:33 PM

it's amazing how short 15 secs are, isn't it?
I couldn't get half of my story into it although my storyreel somehow looked right.

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