Troll (not toll) Bridge

This idea is very rough. There are two teenagers on one of those arched wooden bridges that cross creeks and little ditches or something like that. You can’t see the people> The camera is supposedly looking through one of the people’s eyes. You can hear the other one talking to him. (This cuts down on a lot of modeling, and adds to the effect that you’re actually there on the bridge.) They hear a noise. One asks the other, “Do you hear something?” The camera looks back and forth, then down through the cracks in the bridge. They can just vaguely make out a figure, but they can’t tell what it is. They decide to check it out. They finish crossing the bridge. The sound gets stronger, it sounds like someone’s snoring. They go underneath the bridge to the banks of the creek. They see a small troll, sleeping. One gasps and says, “Ahh! It’s a troll, they’re known to eat handsome adolescents such as ourselves.” The other replies, "Relax. He’s sleeping. What’s the worst that could happen. They begin poking him with a stick. One of them (the camera) turns around. As he does, the camera changes to a view focused directly on the face of the troll. The troll opens one eye, winks at the camera, then start to get up. Then the video ends. I may come up with more ideas or get some suggestions from guys, but until then, that’s the general idea. I have a rough sketch of the troll :

You’ll have to excuse the low-quality. My scanner is temporarily out of service, and I had to use my digital camera. I have just started modeling the troll’s head :

It’s very rough right now. Any comments/suggestions would be very helpful right now.

I suggest that you model the scene first… then model the troll. You paint an interesting mental picture although I don’t have a clear idea of the visuals. Get a clear idea of the visual, and build your model sufficient to match. Now’s a good time to do animatics – or a storyboard. Do that first. (There’s no sense in building one ounce more model than you plan to shoot, so “plan first.”)

Thanks for the advice. I was tying to throw something together really quick before i had to leave, which i shouldn’t have dine. i modeled the bridge though

I’ve finished the basic scene. There’s no detail; right now I’m taking sundialsvc4’s advice and modeling the scene. I made an animation of the camera angles, and a place a cardboard cutout(except it’s not cardboard…and i didn’t cut it out) of the troll under the bridge where he’s supposed to be. I always have trouble making big outdoor scenes. I don’t want there to be a visible “end” of the scene, but I don’t want to model too much. I would use mist, but it seems like the end of the ground isn’t far off enough into the distance to use mist. I don’t know. I guess I’ll figure something out. But help and suggestions would be really nice too.

Oops…all that talk and I forgot to post the image :

I would post the video, but I need to find an adequate host.

I think the character needs to be larger to fit the bridge, and a good way to make a quick landscape surface without getting too involved:

  1. make a grid
  2. put a grayscale clouds texture on the grid
  3. in edit mode, go into side view, and hit the ‘noise’ button a couple of times.
  4. switch to camera view
  5. select a couple of vertices where you have a sharp edge, hit O, set for smooth falloff, and pull them down a bit, so you don’t see the sharp edge.

I think I’d make the bridger longer and a bit more realistic. (But right now I am envisioning my story, not yours…) I’d position the camera so that our little secret, that there is a troll under that bridge, is better concealed but not completely.

Play with those cardboard cutouts for the next couple months or so. If you like, grab some construction-paper at a local craft store and really play with cardboard cutouts for a while as you pre-visualize to get some ideas. Put the ideas in your subconscious mind and think about them there. If you can draw storyboards or even doodle, then doodle.

What you want to do now is to contemplate different ways to tell your story visually. And to do a very complete previsualization of the whole movie as cheaply and simply as possible. That probably means: “Put the computer away right now. You are not yet ready to use it!”

Your original post was quite detailed. It described a story. It didn’t hint as to what the characters look like, but it described a scene, staging, blocking, plot, and action. Which is a lot! :slight_smile: You presented a story treatment, and it got approved. Now, brainstorm. You want to begin to express that in more concrete visual terms now, and as you do so, you want to be able to painlessly consider several possibilities. If that means construction-paper, do that.

It’s really premature to build your set right now, or even to build anything that you would be tempted to call “complete,” because the moment you do that you also begin to shape your story-ideas around those models, which is “putting the cart before the horse.” Your set, your costumes, your lighting, choreography and everything else should depend upon the story you want to tell and how you want to tell it… not the other way around. The more “hard” work you commit to the project now, the less inclined you’ll be to crumple it up and throw it away. So use “easy, throwaway” methods for pre-visualization.

For the next step, actually putting things into a possible computer previsualization (a few months hence, say), “Meet The Cylinder-Family!” :wink: This blue cylinder, which is 4 units high and 2 units wide (a unit is a foot), is Billy. The pink cylinder is Sue. (Remember “Weebles?” The toys that “wobble but they don’t fall down?”…) The bigger gray cylinder cut in half … is the bridge. The plane with a big notch in it … that’s the river. Although this is just about as “throw away” as you can get, and intentionally so, you can actually block-out a scene with it. You can figure camera setups for each shot, perhaps using Scenes. (The base-scene is the set, with all the cameras in-place; each shot-previz is a separate scene linked to it.) You can keyframe movements of Billy and Sue Cylinder, and of Troll Cylinder, in a matter of seconds … and not feel too bad if you crumple it up and throw it away and try something else.

In this way you can develop not only your complete movie, but the specific marks that the actors and the camera will have to “hit” when you do it for real. It makes a tremendous difference to “know exactly what you are … ahem … shooting for.” :smiley: