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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Lord of the Rings:
***FOTR EE appendices discussion: Design Galleries – The Peoples of Middle-Earth*** (part 1)

Alcarcalime
Tol Eressea


Jun 21 2009, 10:41am

Post #1 of 18 (1479 views)
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***FOTR EE appendices discussion: Design Galleries – The Peoples of Middle-Earth*** (part 1) Can't Post

This week and next week I am going to be discussing the Design Galleries -- which are a treasure trove of images, both beautiful and bizarre. According to The Frodo Franchise by Kristin Thompson, "The galleries of still images on the DVD were not supplied by New Line or the filmmakers. Instead, the material was gathered at the production facilities in Wellington. Susie Lee, part of Pellerin’s team, . . .sorted through the items available for scanning: about 10,000 for the first two films, of which 4,000 ended up in the galleries." (Pg. 212)

I am not really going to be asking questions in these discussions. If you have a comment you would like to make, or a question that might make things clearer for you, please post it. It has always seemed to me that these galleries were a chance to revel in the designs that went into these wonderful movies.

This week we are going to take a look at The Peoples of Middle-Earth which includes: The Enemy, The Last Alliance, Isengard, Bilbo Baggins, The Fellowship, Rivendell, and Lothlorien. I will be doing one group of people each day this week.
To find the Design Galleries, put in Disk 3 of FOTR EE. Choose Designing and Building Middle-Earth, then Design Galleries, The Peoples of Middle-Earth.

When you choose the people you want to look at, you will see a page of explanation. If you choose Slideshow, it will step automatically through your choice. There is audio commentary with some of the choices which are marked with a "wax" seal. If you want to spend more time looking at the images, you can choose to step through the pages of images one at a time.



The first category to look at is The Enemy:


Sauron:



I chose a selection of images to show the progression in the design process. I do wish more of the artists would have signed their work. The third image on the top row is by John Howe and the middle image on the bottom is by Alan Lee. John Howe’s image is fairly close to the final costume chosen for Sauron in the prologue. It took a lot of tries to nail down the design for the helmet. The full photo of Sauron’s costume is from the appendices and the picture of the helmet is from the design galleries. It was hard finding photos that weren’t too dark. Screen caps from the movies were so dark, they were impossible. When Sauron is fighting on screen, he moves too fast for me to get a good screen cap. I did love the colored drawing of Sauron done by Christian Rivers. I could see him wearing that outfit to make the "Master Ring." I didn’t care that much for the gold costume!

The Ringwraiths:



I particularly like the first picture, which is by Christian Rivers. He certainly captured a wraith creeping along. Next is a picture of the actual costume. Next is a picture of the Witch King that could be by either Alan Lee or John Howe. I looked in Alan Lee’s LOTR Sketchbook and The Art of The Fellowship of the Ring and couldn’t find that sketch. Next to the Witch King sketch is the costume for the Witch King. It certainly gives the feeling that is in the sketch. Next row, first picture is a drawing of a wraith on horseback that I love. The painting next is taken from a larger painting. It is the wraith looking over the Shire. I liked that one so much, I made it into a wallpaper image for my computer. I loved the picture of the ring. I never could see any detail of the ring in the movie, so it is nice to see this. On the bottom is a screen cap of the wraiths advancing on the four Hobbits at Weathertop.

The Orcs and the Moria Orcs:

(I combined the galleries of the Orcs and Moria Orcs in order to save kilobytes in this post.)




I thought these sketches gave a perspective on the design process. The first one is by John Howe, but how easy would he have been to realize with an actor? The next one is by Christian Rivers and shows two warriors with their "One Eye" pennant. The next concept drawing is by Daniel Falconer. Last in the first row is a costume. The stunt man playing the orc has obviously been to orc-training because of his stance. In the appendices, they show the stunt people being trained to stand and walk that way.

The second row starts with a maquette of an orc. Next to that is a maquette that has been taken a bit further and dressed with a costume and weapons. Third is a maquette, by Jamie Beswarick, of what may be a Moria orc. It kind of looks like the stunt person in costume at the end of the row.

The last two pictures are a maquette of a helmet and what looks like the finished helmet. They must have decided to leave off the bottom part, but the rest of it looks identical.

My favorite orc in the movies was the little orc with green eyes that grimaces at Pippin in Moria. Mostly I tolerated the orcs, I didn’t particularly like them.

The Watcher:



Here are four drawings of The Watcher in the Water. They seemed to be all over the place with these. Of course, Tolkien doesn’t describe it, except for the tentacles. The last picture is a maquette which shows the gill-like structure and his mouth. I tried to get a screen cap of The Watcher, but they were all so dark I was afraid it wouldn’t show up on some people’s computers.

The Cave Troll:



Here are some concepts for the Cave Troll. The first one looks too ape-like to me. The second one, by Christian Rivers, does look like a troll, but the club looks like old cartoon-cave man weapon. Peter Jackson talks about, in the appendices, that he wanted to troll to look rather stupid. The third one fits that bill. On the bottom are two maquettes. One a small study and more finished one. Now the last picture will take some explaining. One of the things I found bizarre was that the drawings, and computer drawings and the maquette are anatomically correct. Why go to the effort? In the U.S., anyway, it wouldn’t be allowed for P.G. rating. But, evidently they did studies of what kind of loin cloth to put on the troll. There were several presented, but I was kind of taken with this fancy one!

The Balrog:



The top two are design concept drawings for the Balrog. The first seems rather reptilian and the second looks to me like a comic book character. The maquette on the bottom left is designed by Ben Wooten and painted by Gino Acevedo. I included a screen cap from the movie to show the final computer rendition. I, for one, loved the Balrog and I actually don’t worry myself about the controversy over wings!

Tomorrow we look at The Last Alliance.

Movie Technical Discussion -- Index

(This post was edited by Ataahua on Jun 21 2009, 7:39pm)


One Ringer
Tol Eressea


Jun 21 2009, 2:19pm

Post #2 of 18 (1000 views)
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They're so traditional, [In reply to] Can't Post

What I like about the oriiginal concepts for the Orcs, Trolls, etc., was how simple and traditional they were. They looked like ideal characters that you imagined as a child. Then, when they are translated to screen, they still maintain that image, yet somehow it works so perfectly. Yes, they're more gritty, but under the dark textures are very simple designs. Amazing! Smile


Alcarcalime
Tol Eressea


Jun 21 2009, 4:58pm

Post #3 of 18 (989 views)
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Exactly, [In reply to] Can't Post

I think you really get a sense of how many drawings were actually done for each set of the Enemy characters to get what we see on the screen. Some of the artists talked about this in the appendices -- about drawing and drawing just to GET IT RIGHT for Peter.

Movie Technical Discussion -- Index


weaver
Half-elven

Jun 21 2009, 6:03pm

Post #4 of 18 (989 views)
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interesting to see how things evolved... [In reply to] Can't Post

For Sauron, the Cave Troll and the orcs especially, you can see how they kept refining things until they got to the final look. It's like they started out with the "essence" of what the creatures/beings were supposed to convey, and then worked with it until they got it right. Both practical and artistic reasons must come into play -- it has to "look" cool, but there still needs to be a way for an actor, costumer, or special effects guy to make it tangible.

The anatomically correct Cave Troll does seem over the top, but I guess they had a reason. I can only guess they felt that this added a level of realism for this particular creature design...maybe it helped them to think of it as a living thing, rather than just a fantasy monster, if they had to design it with "parts" like that! I wonder if anyone who worked on the design team has "loin cloth illustrator" listed on their resume.

Is there ever a time, on screen, where we see the Ringwraiths rings? In the Prologue, I guess -- but anyplace else? You're right, it's nice to get to see a close-up of the detail of it here.

Thanks for all the images -- and your commentary -- I can see that your posts will be a real treat!

Weaver





Suebe2b
Bree


Jun 21 2009, 6:06pm

Post #5 of 18 (988 views)
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concepts [In reply to] Can't Post

 
Peter had in his minds eye a vision of the creatures and picked a great group of artists to realize that vision. I love looking at the design drawings and the final selections.


Alcarcalime
Tol Eressea


Jun 21 2009, 6:24pm

Post #6 of 18 (985 views)
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I agree with you. [In reply to] Can't Post

OhioHobbit was trying to picture the orcs trying to fit the cave troll with his loin cloth!

I wonder if one could glimpse the wraith ring if you were to go frame by frame through the time the witchking was reaching for Frodo on Weathertop.

Movie Technical Discussion -- Index


Alcarcalime
Tol Eressea


Jun 21 2009, 6:26pm

Post #7 of 18 (983 views)
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Yes, [In reply to] Can't Post

I also have enjoyed seeing the evolution of the creatures. Until I did this Appendices Discussion, I hadn't paid much attention to the drawings in the Galleries. I learned a lot.

Movie Technical Discussion -- Index


Elven
Valinor


Jun 21 2009, 7:40pm

Post #8 of 18 (987 views)
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ROFL!! ... [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
OhioHobbit was trying to picture the orcs trying to fit the cave troll with his loin cloth!



and even worse trying to fit the babay Cave Troll with his nappy!

I know Ive mentioned this before, but when the exhibition was in Sydney, the Cave Troll had somehow lost his loin cloth Shocked .. and NO I didnt take it Laugh

Cheers
Elven x



Swishtail.

Tolkien was a Capricorn!!
Russell Crowe for Beorn!!

Avatar: Liberace - The other Lord of the Rings.

Quote of The Week: The thing is I always write in the morning, and I know that if I go to the Net I won’t write ... you can start in the most scholarly website and end up at Paris Hilton dot com .. GdT


Elven
Valinor


Jun 21 2009, 7:57pm

Post #9 of 18 (985 views)
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Ooh!! a Gallery showing! ... [In reply to] Can't Post

Great selection there Alcarcalime!

Im amazed at how Peter knew when to STOP drawing - that what he has was right. I suppose there comes a time when you have to just choose, but these are so directive to get just the right impression of the character - and Alan Lee and John Howe contributing, I think all the sketches are worthy of depicting some creature or hybrid - they look great.

The wraith on the horse is so well done - the stance and the colours - (reminds a bit of a Don Quixote painting) ... love it.

I was never much really into the orcs and trolls - though I admit WETA did a fantastic job on them all - they're all horrible looking Wink

and the Cave Troll! Well I just want one to put in the front garden - Im sure they can be tamed - though maybe not housetrained.
The final version they decided upon was just right to me - it had all the qualities which said big and blundering, yet dangerous.
And the sketch you chose of the fancy loin cloth LOL!!

Looking forward to the next!
Thanks Alcarcalime Smile

Cheers
Elven


Swishtail.

Tolkien was a Capricorn!!
Russell Crowe for Beorn!!

Avatar: Liberace - The other Lord of the Rings.

Quote of The Week: The thing is I always write in the morning, and I know that if I go to the Net I won’t write ... you can start in the most scholarly website and end up at Paris Hilton dot com .. GdT


Alcarcalime
Tol Eressea


Jun 21 2009, 11:04pm

Post #10 of 18 (978 views)
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LOL! [In reply to] Can't Post

If that (the loin cloth being lost) had happened in the U.S., I am sure some group interested in decency would have shut down the exhibit!

Movie Technical Discussion -- Index


Alcarcalime
Tol Eressea


Jun 21 2009, 11:23pm

Post #11 of 18 (981 views)
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The Wraith [In reply to] Can't Post

"The wraith on the horse is so well done - the stance and the colours - (reminds a bit of a Don Quixote painting) ... love it."

I love that painting. I made it into a wallpaper. I love so many of the LOTR images that I change them every night. I would have loved to have put the whole painting in my first post, but couldn't afford the bytes. Here it is:



I love all the paintings I have seen by Paul Lasaine. I loved the image in the movie of the wraith on the hill looking over the Shire.

Movie Technical Discussion -- Index


Elven
Valinor


Jun 22 2009, 5:33pm

Post #12 of 18 (966 views)
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LOL!! ... [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
If that (the loin cloth being lost) had happened in the U.S., I am sure some group interested in decency would have shut down the exhibit



yes, but it would have been the RSPCA (animal group) that would have shut it down due to ridicule and laughter ... Shocked Laugh
*nothing to see here folks- move along* Wink



Swishtail.

Tolkien was a Capricorn!!
Russell Crowe for Beorn!!

Avatar: Liberace - The other Lord of the Rings.

Quote of The Week: The thing is I always write in the morning, and I know that if I go to the Net I won’t write ... you can start in the most scholarly website and end up at Paris Hilton dot com .. GdT


Elven
Valinor


Jun 22 2009, 5:36pm

Post #13 of 18 (963 views)
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Thankyou for that .. [In reply to] Can't Post

*copied and pasted* Cool

cheer for putting up the larger version Alcarcalime Smile
Elven x


Swishtail.

Tolkien was a Capricorn!!
Russell Crowe for Beorn!!

Avatar: Liberace - The other Lord of the Rings.

Quote of The Week: The thing is I always write in the morning, and I know that if I go to the Net I won’t write ... you can start in the most scholarly website and end up at Paris Hilton dot com .. GdT


GaladrielTX
Tol Eressea


Jun 23 2009, 12:16am

Post #14 of 18 (960 views)
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*chuckle* An opportunity lost! [In reply to] Can't Post

Elven,

UT and I recently went shopping for a statue for our garden. We looked through endless bunnies, angels, frogs, goddesses, saints, even Disney dwarves. Now I realize what we really needed was a cave troll! LOL!

~~~~~~~~

The TORNsib formerly known as Galadriel.



grammaboodawg
Immortal


Jun 23 2009, 4:53pm

Post #15 of 18 (959 views)
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What a fabulous collection! [In reply to] Can't Post

You made some great choices to show the progression of ALL of the characters. I really do wish the artists had signed their work, too.

That one of the Wraith by Christian Rivers reminds me of the one from the Bakshi film, but more detailed and showing lots of movement. That guy really is more than just a storyboarder. He's quite a genius, imho. Working on the fly, reading Peter's mind, and laying out the entire story through his work is really an amazing achievement!

You really do know how do build some excellent screencaps! Fantastic!!

Look at how the Balrog developed, and the cave troll. Both are only there for a little while, but what an impact!

Thanks so much, Alcarcalime! *applause* Fabulous!! :D



sample

"There is more in you of good than you know, child of the kindly West."
~Hug like a hobbit!~ "In my heaven..."

I really need these new films to take me back to, and not re-introduce me to, that magical world.



TORn's Observations Lists


Alcarcalime
Tol Eressea


Jun 23 2009, 8:01pm

Post #16 of 18 (953 views)
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Blushes modestly! [In reply to] Can't Post

On the rest of the Appendices, you only see Christian Rivers do the storyboard stuff; you don't get to see what a really terrific artist he is.

Movie Technical Discussion -- Index


batik
Tol Eressea


Jun 30 2009, 2:20am

Post #17 of 18 (967 views)
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catching up...Pome 1 [In reply to] Can't Post

    
Just a few (maybe more) comments-
  • Mmm...I really like those sketches (all throughout these posts) and will probably wind up putting the Lee's sketchbook on my wish list (growing...)
  • The wraith overlooking the Shire...now this particular rendering reminds me alot of an image called (I think) "End of the Trail"--Native American piece, anyhow. So I am glad the image shown in the film (love it, btw) was changed somewhat.
  • The ring---most closely resembles the ring of Barahir, imo. Never seen this before so thanks!
  • Orcs, the Watcher, Troll, and Balrog--must say I favor the troll amongst all these!



(This post was edited by batik on Jun 30 2009, 2:21am)


Alcarcalime
Tol Eressea


Jun 30 2009, 11:54am

Post #18 of 18 (968 views)
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Yes, that painting does . . . [In reply to] Can't Post

look like "End of the Trail." I hadn't noticed that. Thanks!

Movie Technical Discussion -- Index

 
 

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