Saturday, April 16, 2011

Nicking swords

It seems my swords and armour posts are somewhat popular, so here's another one. ;) (sorry it's shortish, I has a busy.)

How do you know your design is good? A hint may be seeing it used by other designers. :P
I've mentioned the LOTR movies as examples of very successful fantasy/historical swords and armour designs.

We should all be grateful for their influence, though I'd hope we'd learn the lesson we're being offered - always study what you're designing, know your history, know your competition, know what works, why and how.

So, remember Narsil and the reforged Andúril, Flame of the West?

 John Howe talks about the design a lot on the LOTR DVDs and he's quite pleased about the fact the pommel is hollow. (A unique feature for a movie sword according to him. I'm sure he's right.) Notice that the ends of the crossguard mimic this design) Also note the specific way only the upper half of the handle is wrapped in leather.


Notice anything similar about the iron sword from the first Witcher game? :)

By the way, I'm super excited about the Witcher sequel - the armour, clothes and weapons look super nice!

(notice the very historical looking longsword here!)

Michael Komarck's Dragnipúr has a curved guard, but the shape of the pommel and the guard ends also suggests an Andúril inspiration.

Here's his previous take on the subject:
 (I'd say the new one is definitely an improvement sword-wise. He's a great painter btw, be sure to check out his Game of Thrones stuff and also the paintings he did for Steven Erikson's books.)

EDIT: This image seems to be an earlier version, maybe a WIP. Here's the final image and the sword is much much much better!

I'm sure we've all seen the rather numerous spinoffs of the curved elven swords, right? Do you have any favourite ones?
Or just favourite sword designs you really like (and/or take inspiration from)? 

Please, do share them in the comments!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Bits of Hob

If you're a Tolkien fan, you've probably watched the Production Vlog 1 that Peter Jackson posted today on his Facebook page.

Here's a little analysis of the video shot by shot, picking out things that interest me.
I've focused on costume, armour and weapon design.

Comment:  This is a snapshot from the hatmaker's room, behind Gandalf's hat (and a funny "peasant" hat) you can see a bunch of photos pinned possibly for reference. The men in them appear to be Asian. Any experts on Asian clothing here? They look Siberian to me, but I know very little about this. Who could they be reference for? I doubt we'll get to see any Easterlings. Will the dwarven hats be this interestingly inspired?!

Comment:  Weapons. Oh boy.

1. Axes. Look very axe like. And large. But hey, it's dwarves.
2. I was afraid this might happen. *sigh* Somehow dwarves must always use mauls.
3. Bow looks nice. I wonder if it's the "bow of horn" Thorin uses in the book.
4. What this thing is I don't even...I call it the "cleaver" for now. Looking at the blocky angular design, it's probably dwarven. Like an axe sword, maybe a "fun" play on the curved elven two handed swords from LOTR. The handle is long, so it's almost like a polearm. Eh, not a big fan of it yet.

Could I have some nice shorter swords for my dwarves, please?! :(

 Comment:   Beards. Hair. Curly! Braided! I like the variety.

Comment:  This is interesting! Is it a goblin? A troll? It seems more beastlike than the LOTR orcs. And it has an animatronic face! O_O Weird stuff. Any ideas?

Comment:  A dwarven shirt I presume. Nice design.

Comment:  What I like about the dwarves (what we've seen so far) is that they're colourful (as described in the book) and I'm getting the vague jewish vibe Tolkien hinted at. (also check out Donato Giancola's painting of the dwarves, they're quite similar) Notice the earring!
The only concern is the hair! What?! I like braids on my dwarves, but why so...knotted? Remember the hairdo Elrond had in his hair tests, that they had to change, because it looked incredibly girly? This is a lot like that! I hope it's just put up to allow for quick costume changes. :/

Comment:  Here we can see Fili walking around with two swords during the "scene blocking". Yup, dualwielding weeaboos will be pleased I guess.  -_-

 That's it for now. WANT MOAR!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Boom! Headshots!

Quick evening post - first two loading screen race busts for The Last Days.
(an orc and a knight of Rohan, both in ArtRage from start to rather quick finish)