Saturday, August 1, 2009

Stealing the Witch's Crystal Ball

Finally finished with this piece that I wrote about in my last post. As I thought would be the case, the most difficult part was not the architecture of the castle, but the point of view and placement of the people (or monsters) that actually tell the story. The point of view for these are always critical, you want to show off the work you did on the castle, but in the end, it’s not the story. The story is Lexi getting the crystal ball and running from both the witch and her monster henchmen.

Working with a photo I took of Lexi on my iPhone, I turned her into a 3D model and placed her within the scene. With some difficulty placed the castle on a rocky terrain that I edited, trying to make sure the spikes didn’t cut through the castle. I created a bridge that spanned the gap, though it’s always difficult doing anything intricate with a terrain because it’s often very difficult to truly see where the upper spikes are, so that is basically try it, render it, fix it, render it, fix it again, render it. The bridge was supposed to be a flimsy rope bridge, and Lexi was going to be cutting it while the monsters are crossing. However, that was a much more difficult story to convey in an image, so I changed it to Lexi running ahead of the monsters.

The green monsters are creations I made that deform the face of a normal person to upturn the face (like an Orc) and make the ears pointy (like a goblin) and make them huge and incredibly strong (like an Ogre). The witch in the sky is really just a black form made in the shape of a witch flying on a broomstick.

The chasm that the bridge spans was originally supposed to be some smoky glowing liquid. And that is actually still there, but in the end with the point of view and dark atmosphere, it just wasn’t prominently visible and it really didn’t add anything to the end result. There’s a bridge there, you know that Lexi has crossed, and the monsters are crossing it now, and is it important to know what is beneath it?

The story goes as follows. The small village is terrorized by an evil witch. The witch has targeted Lexi’s family, and with her crystal ball, is able to see what she and her brother and sister are doing at all times, making it simple to catch them. Lexi decides to be brave and venture into the castle to steal her crystal ball to break it so the witch will not find it so easy to find them.

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