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Archive for May, 2000

Why I took down the images of Gollum

Sigh, and in the end this is what it comes to for me as well, love for the film making process, love for what PJ et all down in NZ are doing down there, and love for this whole production that has given me so much, though we here at TORN probably do not deserve it.

As you may have guessed the Gollum pics were highly secretive, and when I recieved them yesterday it did send pangs through my body. Having been burnt many many times before, by holding a story back only to see another website post it up, I didn’t want to pass this opportunity up.

Needless to say the PTB’s down in NZ and LA are miffed, and when it gets down to it I do not want to do that. Upsetting people is not the reason I got into this, and getting angry emails and letters from within the production is not something I wanted, I don’t expect them to love me, but my excuse was always ‘hey, I’m promoting the movie!’, well this time I may have let to much go.

Although I know the fans, the ones not involved with the production at all, did love those pics, and the only thing I can say to PJ or the people who read this site for him is this, the fans really loved it, and they love the entire thing you’re doing down there. So if anything, I’ve whet thier appetite even more for your work.

I hope the TORNadoes can understand this editorial descision on my part.

– Xoanon

Posted in Old Spy Reports

New Hall of Fire Topic: Art and Tolkien!


It’s a new week, and that means it’s time for a new Hall of Fire. Nazfyratu did some deep thinking as he hiked one of his well-worn paths, and he came up with this great topic:
. o O Art and Tolkien!

Although the images Tolkien has crafted for his readership belong ultimately to each of us in our own minds, The Professor has inspired countless artistic visions that have been brought to life. The variety of media used to express visions of Tolkien runs the gamut, but we’re going to focus on painting, sketching, and drawing. Take a quick look at some of our fan art, or spend the next few days getting to know one of our community sites, Rolozo Tolkien, which has an enormous stockpile. Grab the internet address of a favorite Tolkien picture to bring with you to our chat, and we’ll be able to share our favorite pictures as we talk together.

Do you have a favorite Tolkien artist? Thinking back on calendars, posters, book jackets, even the work of the author himself in his published collection Pictures of J.R.R. Tolkien, what is it about this art that moves you? Is it the scene itself, a rendition of a favorite setting or character, or is it something deeper… tone, imagery, perspective, color, light?
Perhaps you’ve done something yourself that you’d like to share with us during our chat. All are welcome, and we hope to see you at The Hall of Fire!

Date & Time: Saturday, June 3 at 5:30 EST [-5 hours GMT]
Place: #thehalloffire on our server,….accessible through your own chat client or our site’s java page

We’d love to hear your feedback or topic suggestions. Please drop us an email!

Posted in Barliman News

Tolkien Fun Section

Hello again all! I am happy to say, Morden has made a huge comeback today! Good job Morden!!!!
The answers were:
1) Taters (Po-ta-toes)
2) Gwaihir
3) Arwen
Here are the questions for today:
1) “Who was called Ernil-I-Pherenniath?”
2) “rliamih” (Scrambled Tolkien person, place or thing)
3) “Him? I dont rightly know. He is one of the wandering folk–Rangers we call them.” (Who said this?)
As always, mail me with your answers, the 1st person to mail me all 3 correct answers in one mailing will be posted here next time!…..Gamgee

Posted in Barliman News

This Week’s Ebay Items

Wazoo! A bunch of cool Tolkien stuff, including a $9,100 copy of LOTR! [More]

Posted in Old Main News

Cast Watch: Holm on Cinemax

You can catch Ian Holm (Bilbo) in ‘Incognito’ on Cinemax. [More]

Posted in Old Main News

Liv, where are you?

Many a buzzo has been made over Liv Tyler (Arwen) possibly being in and around Moria; latest news, however, seems to indicate something otherwise. Highlight the paragaph below to find out what:

Liv and the folks that the Spy saw were very possibly shooting scenes for the Mordor Gate, and not Moria after all, so there still may be no Liv in Moria.

Posted in Old Main News

Woman’s Weekly Pictures! Wow!

Well folks, it looks like New Zealand Woman’s Weekly has scored bigtime with these wonderful images of scenes in mordor.

A fan from New Zealand was kind enough to send us the details on how to contact New Zealand Woman’s Weekly Magazine. Hey, I’m going to try and get myself a copy! Here’s the info:

Ph +64 9 360 3820
Fax +64 9 360 3829

P O Box 90 119
Auckland Mail Centre
New Zealand


(the editor probably won’t be thrilled to get magazine
requests, but there is no other email address given,
and she can always forward them) The magazine costs
NZ$3.10 +pp.

In the meantime, here is the text:

Lord of the Rings actors Elijah Wood and Sean Astin, who play hobbits Frodo and Sam, look perfectly happy clambering over rocks and taking advice during the filming of these scenes at Whakapapa, near the bast of Mt. Ruapehu, recently. But the chill in the air obviously proved too much for them – the pair sat on hot water bottles to keep warm during the breaks in filming.

Our exclusive pictures show the shooting of scenes from Frodo and Sam’s journey to Mordor. A series of marching scenes and battles between warriors and Orcs were also shot. Often, three scenes were filmed at one time.

“The whole thing was very well organised,” says an on-looker. “The equipment they’re using is very high-tech and each of the filming units is linked by satellite, so director Peter Jackson can watch all of the scenes being filmed at once on screen monitors.”

Spectacular armour, including shields and intricate motifs, was worn for the battle scenes.

There are 700 cast and crew members involved in making the Lord of the Rings trilogy. They suffered a setback about three weeks ago, when a sudden dump of snow caused the roof of a costume tent to collapse. Some costumes needed repairing but no other problems arose during the four weeks spent filming at Whakapapa. The cast and crew have returned to Wellington to continue filming and will head to the South Island soon. – Karyn Henger.”

And the pictures…

Posted in Old Spy Reports

Wow! Pictures in Mordor! Frodo, Sam, Orcs, Men of Gondor!

Check out this wonderful article in New Zealand’s Woman’s Weekly Magazine with their exclusive pictures of Frodo and Sam, the Men of Gondor, and orcs! (contact information to get your own copy of the magazine included) MAJOR SPOILERS. [more]

Posted in Old Main News

Character Page Updates

Thanks to Ringer Staff members Gamgee and Elwing we have some new character descriptions of Hama, Haldir, Lotho Sackville-Baggins, Ted Sandyman, and Ugluk! Check out the complete character listing to see the other great descriptions and images of these characters.

Posted in Old Main News

Cool Computer Jiggery Pokery

Ringer Spy Aglios sends in the latest news on some of the cool computer jiggery pokery involved in LOTR. A whole lot of compu-jargon here, so amateurs be warned! [More]

For more CGI and SFX craziness, be sure to check out our SFX section!

Posted in Old Main News

Cool Computer Jiggery Pokery

Story Filed: Monday, May 22, 2000 4:35 PM EST

MINNEAPOLIS, MN, May 22, 2000 (INTERNET WIRE via COMTEX) — LambSoft, Inc., introduces a Pipeline Productivity Pack for large game development projects requiring both motion capture and file translation between the top 3D animation packages; discreet 3d studio max, MAYA and SOFTIMAGE 3D.

Designed to streamline the production of large projects, the LambSoft Pipeline Productivity Pack is a bundle of ProMotion and all of the spokes of MoveTools at a specially priced bundle for 10 animation seats. Normally $58,000, the LambSoft Productivity Pack is priced at $19,995 for a limited time. A monthly rental option of $650 a seat is available for smaller or less time intensive projects. All rental fees can be applied to a purchase within 90 days.

ProMotion, a plug-in to discreet 3d studio max, is a full feature animators tool-kit for working with motion capture data. Designed in a real world production environment it provides the most artistic and effective tools available allowing the animator to clean, filter, and edit motion capture data, to apply the data to any character, blend the moves together and change the timing of sequences. The beauty of motion capture data is that it contains all the nuances of the performers motions. To maintain these subtleties the data must be dense making it difficult to edit with standard key frame editing tools, ProMotion also includes a special curve editor SWURVE specifically designed for filtering and drawing over dense motion capture data. Sometimes motion capture doesn’t always capture your complete vision so ProMotion allows you to key frame on top of the motion capture data. You can also use 3d studio max expression mapping or MaxScript commands to expand the functionality of ProMotion.

Matthew Wynn of EA Sports; “Thanks to ProMotion I was able to… (deep breath) organize and direct a shoot in about a week;…All in all it was the fastest turn around we’ve had from idea to shoot, to in-game. I think the marketing dept. here is planning on stressing that we have the coolest looking pit-crew ever. YEAH!!!”

MoveTools, a plug-in to discreet 3d studio max, MAYA, and SOFTIMAGE 3D, allows the animator to transfer and convert cameras, lights, motion, hierarchies, skeletons, geometry (polygons & NURBS), material names and texture coordinates between animation packages. This enables animators in time-pressured production environments to split the production pipeline among multiple animators working simultaneously on character modeling, scene building and animation and create workflow transparency between different hardware and software platforms.

“LambSoft MoveTools has rapidly become an integral element in the pre-visualization of the ‘Lord Of The Rings’ ” says Sean Mathieson of Weta Digital Ltd. “It gives us the opportunity to quickly experiment with many shot possibilities using cost effective software & hardware and then, once pinpointed, easily and efficiently transfer that animation into the Weta production pipelines. The process allows us to dramatically increase our overall shot quality while keeping production costs under control. MoveTools fits in like a jigsaw piece, connecting necessary extremes.”

LambSoft Inc. is a leader in motion compositing and motion integration products. LambSoft software products also include ProMotion and SMIRK. LambSoft customers include game development, animation production and special visual effects companies around the world including Electronic Arts, Weta Digital, MicroProse Software, Saffire Corp., Pyros Pictures, Digital Anvil, Rainbow Studios and others.

Thanks to Aiglios for the news!

Posted in Old Special Reports

Xtem and TaupoGrrl Report in

Super Ringer Spy Xtem and his Spy in training TaupoGrrl dish out the latest from the LOTR camp. [More]

Posted in Old Main News