Exploring Middle Earth - Death Scene - Stoney23

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Old 01 January 2003   #1
Exploring Middle Earth - Death Scene - Stoney23

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

Old 01 January 2003   #2
Nato steps up to the plate!

Good to see you in, buddy.

Old 01 January 2003   #3
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.

Attached Images
File Type: jpg elfrig3.jpg (18.8 KB, 204 views)
Old 01 January 2003   #4
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?



visit my developer blog: http://www.dimo3d.blogspot.com
Old 01 January 2003   #5
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
Old 01 January 2003   #6
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
Attached Images
File Type: jpg wargrig1_comb.jpg (26.9 KB, 170 views)
Old 01 January 2003   #7
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.

visit my developer blog: http://www.dimo3d.blogspot.com
Old 01 January 2003   #8
The setups are looking good, any animation tests yet

Old 01 January 2003   #9
Interesting... Let's see some clips!!
Old 02 February 2003   #10
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.
Old 02 February 2003   #11
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.

Old 02 February 2003   #12
Your first part looks very promising, I still can't find anything to critizise.
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.

visit my developer blog: http://www.dimo3d.blogspot.com
Old 02 February 2003   #13
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
Old 02 February 2003   #14

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?


John Lee
John Lee
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Old 02 February 2003   #15
And then the same for the sound effects and music....

visit my developer blog: http://www.dimo3d.blogspot.com
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