Septer writes:

I just went to “Barnes and Nobles” and found the latest issue of Cinefex with LOTR: FOTR on the cover! Now, to all you out there that don’t know what this magazine is, it’s probley the BEST magazine to find out the answer to “how did they do that?” regarding the films special effects. It is an EXCELLENT article, with super high quality stills (enough to scan in and print out poster size!) and is 51 pages long! It’s slightly expensive ($9.50 USD) but very worth it, and the stills are just amazing. (Sorry I couldn’t send any in, my scanner’s broken!) Here’s a couple excerpts:

“Although most of the movie’s big action scenes were developed in previz, the prologue battle that opens the ‘Fellowship of the Ring’ did not go through the established previz loop, largely because Jackson made the final decision to add the sequesnce, and shot most of the stage elements for it, very late in the production. As a result, he relied on storyboards and images captured by his lipstick camera on a diant clay table-top model to plan the sequence.”

“All the effort in prop design and fabrication was on top of the Workshop’s character design work, the sculpting of maquettes, and the building of miniatures and prosthetics. ‘I choose to take on an insane amount of work becuase it was necessary to create a truly integrated, Tolkienesque brush stroke over the three films. I was convinced that if things like armor and weaponry were farmed out to other companies, we’d lose the integrity of the design aesthetic. The issue was making it feel as if the orcs had built their armor and weapons. The honest way to do that was to design it all under one roof. We were fortunate that we could always go back to the bible, the written word of Tolkien, who went to incredible lengths to describe his world’ Richard Taylor said.”