I was in Munich for the past two days at the Alias/wavefront-usermeeting 2001. In the end we were shown a 8 minute long some sort of making-of of LOTR!!! Generally it was quite the same as the quicktime-movie that was released at the official site, but it was much longer with lot’s of new stuff!

I will try to tell you some new things I remember and how I liked them:
overall the audience was stunned and the 8 minute preview was followed by applause!

One of the many things we saw were fight scenes which were totally computer generated (the fighters, not the backgroudn I think). They still didn’t look finished but already very impressive.
I hope I remember this right but I think they do complete battle scenes totally computer generated.
They don’t animate every single fighter but use techniques like for the bug-crowds in starship troopers or the baby-godzilla in the godzilla finale, but much more anticipated and detailed. they can give every object (fighter) skills and behavioral patterns. combined with the dynamic interaction of the cg-fighters I think we will see pictures and sequences we have never seen before.

I was really impressed by the pictures and the mentioned techniques.
Although the preview was quite technical, I also had the feeling that middle-earth is really out there now 😉 I don’t think I had tears in my eyes, but there were some really emotional moments when seeing far too short scenes and pictures and thinking of the whole background and story of the book. I don’t know how someone will like the movies if he hasn’t read the books, but from my point of view there is something really great coming 😉

Thanks to another keen spy for that!