#107 – “Arrival”

So I may have gone a little overboard with the crowd. I wanted there to be an impact, a sense of just how different human and Night elven lands are – and how that effects our cast. The crowd will likely vary in thickness depending on where we are and what impression I want from it – this being smack middle of the harbour, I just went for active and then just cranked it up.

Yes I know there’s extras repeated – there’s only so many model/texture combinations I used to make sure it was actually manageable.

For those who missed it, the picture of Hani in a formal dress I had as voter incentative this week can be found here. I’ll probably make some archive for the lot of them later. It seems that due to some minor oversight on my part, the incentative for this week was up as early as yesterday already. Still, for this week I went with a random dynamic image of the duo inspired by more classic comic imagery of the Dynamic Duo. Enjoy.


40 Responses to “#107 – “Arrival””

  1. 1 A
    May 3, 2009 at 17:21

    What impresses me, is how Hani moves through the huge crowd and it doesn’t really look awkward at all. Also the crowd looks very nice and realistic. Great work!

  2. 2 Messai
    May 3, 2009 at 18:39

    Away from the crowd! it’s evil :o but very nicely done, it’s really how you imagine the harbor :)

    the guy behind Te’len in the first tile.. he’s in for some trouble based on the last tile, don’t think they will go with him peacefully :P

  3. 3 Elveswarrior
    May 3, 2009 at 18:41

    might be a slight bit to crowded idd but you manage dto pull it off idd

    • 4 Iasion
      May 6, 2009 at 08:32

      I imagine Storm Wind would look that crowded if WoW had character collision. As it is people just stack on top of each other. Think of what going to the auction house would be like if you couldn’t? o.o

  4. 5 Moltrazahn
    May 3, 2009 at 19:48

    Perfect :P I love how it “blends” with how a capital should be. And i wonder if any male liveing near the seaside wouldnt toss an eye for those nightelven legs! … anywho perverted comment aside, he is about to get in troubble if he is after “the sailors treat”. Looking forward to the next! Again GREAT work on the crowd!

  5. 6 Illidan
    May 3, 2009 at 20:05

    I sense trouble! :D

  6. 7 saila
    May 3, 2009 at 20:18

    thats is how i was thinking SW should look like not as in game empty.
    exept for one spot the AH to bank.
    but then of cos would make an hell of power to render 3000 NPC.
    ps is that the same blond guy whit White Swashbuckler’s Shirt that then takes Te’len Nila hand at the last panel?

    //ps can you tell us how you did to get all the people there?
    i men you said it took just an age to render an shit whit 3 elf on it how long time would it take to render an city whit 3000 people on it.

    //ps2 i don’t think that you forgot an simple leather set that looks really good for casual day out fit the Ragged Leather set mid to low class set.
    any way great job

    //ps3 i couldn’t comment the last one was hiking.

  7. 8 Beoren-Doomhammer
    May 3, 2009 at 20:31

    te’len will be taken and because neither of em are looking and they are quite far away when te is stopped, we may be looking at a arc following the kidnap of te’len

  8. 9 Bancduese
    May 3, 2009 at 21:05

    Te’len has been consistently underplayed as character with an assigned class but unless I have totally misread the comic she IS a druid, and unless that fella is a lot more powerful than I suspect, he has bitten off a good bit more than he can chew on. Shapeshifting into bear form as a bare (pun meant) minimum will break his hold on her and likely cause a diminution of interest (of the sexual kind at least).

    Speaking in game terms, Hani is a warrior and Te’len a druid, but what class would Tiny be, aside from being a smart-mouth, I mean? That has bugged me to no end for quite some time now… Her size anomaly is probably the most consistently puzzling part of the story. I suppose she could simply be a NPC type with a mundane class such as a tradeself or the like but somehow that seems to trite to be true.

  9. 11 Frostsaben
    May 3, 2009 at 21:59

    I like how Stormwind looks, exactly how I expected it for a city with 200 000 citezens.
    I’m curious what will happen to the guy that grabbed Te’len :D

  10. 12 Obamanator
    May 3, 2009 at 22:39

    all right, it’s been a while since we’ve beaten any stupid males. time to kick some Y-chromosomes.

    PS: I REALLY hope they set that doll stealing kid on fire.

  11. 13 Elveswarrior
    May 3, 2009 at 22:40

    a bear would make on hell of a chaos with that many ppl around :) now some small roots at his feet would probably not catch the attention of anyone before they would be away. just my way of thinking :)

  12. 14 Hernos
    May 3, 2009 at 23:04

    Maybe this is my sadistic side coming in here, but I would love to see an intermission of what Obamanator said, set that doll stealing kid on fire, and have Hani dropkick him into the stockades….I think I have issues :S

    Other than that, I am really impressed with how you’ve put across how Stormwind looks, it’s just how I would imagine it to be like. As I said a few comics back, I knew you would be able to get it right.

    I don’t know if I can love Beyond the tree anymore than I do! XD

  13. 15 Nhani
    May 3, 2009 at 23:19

    The main thing that consumes power is raytracing, which translates to lighting and shadow (along with tricks such as reflection and refraction, but semantics). The ship is a topologically complex entity with a great deal of structure inside structure (rooms inside the ship), partially see-through faces (rope ladders) and other such things which makes it highly complex to light. This particular scene is around 30-50 straight from the game models with no added mapping for bump or specular that’s lit painfully easy – just four lights, with only one of them casting shadow. Comparably, that’s much easier. It’d be extracting Stormwind in itself that’d be costly. (That said, it took me a good few hours to just set the scene up, and it’s a pain to do much posing as half the time you can’t see anything for all the extras in the way)

    I’m actually not sure how much it’d actually help to try to equate the characters to game mechanics (especially on a 1:1 basis) – ultimately, they’re far more characters in a story or characters in a single-player game than characters in an MMO. With Te’len (for example) my main source of inspiration for how I plan to handle her in a fight comes from Malfurion Stormrage, in WarCraft 3 and the War of the Ancients triology in particular, rather than the way World of Warcraft portrays druids as a mechanical class.

    The duo are even worse as they tend to have this innate tendency of defying the kind of constraints game mechanics represent.

  14. 16 Bancduese
    May 4, 2009 at 08:17

    Thanks for the reply, and I understand that you are taking a bit of a different tack with regards to the main characters not being really equivalent to in-game mechanics. Actually I think that is one of the charms of the story as opposed to trying to duplicate the exact rage factor of a warrior. Though I must say Hani reminds me of a very accomplished warrior, regardless of the fact her ability does not meet the exact specifications of say an “arms” warrior or whatever.

    Handling Te’len in a combat situation in a manner reminiscent of Malfurion Stormrage seems like a most reasonable way to go about it, though I suspect the guy silly enough to have laid hands on her like that might not like that characterization either.

    I also note you carefully slide on by the question of Tiny, lol. *Grins* Ok, fair enough, I was planning on keeping on reading anyway and will await the fullness of time to reveal more details about the short elf. No need for spoilers by giving away what your thoughts on it are yet awhile. (Tries hard to not tap foot impatiently, though the toes are twitching…)

  15. 17 Weertangel
    May 4, 2009 at 11:05

    Well, i must say, Great page!! looks super!!
    And that thing about how Te’len will handle everything like Malfurion in the War of the Ancients, well, that might get interesting, since he is’t a wuss in those books ;)(exept in the beginning, but who cares eh?)

    anyway, lead on! can’t wait to see how that will go!

    Greetings from the Netherlands.

  16. 18 Nhani
    May 4, 2009 at 12:01

    Well that’s the key peice, isn’t it? Malfurion doesn’t start out (and arguably, never really becomes) a warrior – he has to discover a strength to stand up and in defense of what matters to him, and it’s a gradual journey where he goes from plain and unassuming to a true force to be reckoned with.

    The comparisson is anything but incidental!

    As for Tiny, yes, she’s something of an anomaly – I like that part of her. Her insistance that there’s nothing wrong with her size is definitely an important tidbit, and I’d say that and the size issue itself are all metaphors.

  17. 19 Messai
    May 4, 2009 at 18:34

    i always thought Tiny to look abit like a rogue character, and her size would make her a good thief too. who would notice a short person?

  18. May 4, 2009 at 22:37

    The incoming trouble aside; where exactly were they going to? The park where most of the other Night elves hang out?

  19. 21 Elveswarrior
    May 5, 2009 at 06:14

    probably just away from that overcrowded hell

  20. 22 Astarian
    May 5, 2009 at 07:21

    Hey Nhani? I was wondering if you could email me at bcummins10@msn.com explaining how to do the special emotes/stances/whatever you would call it.

  21. 23 Nhani
    May 5, 2009 at 08:53

    They’re indeed just going away at this point – Hani doesn’t really know where she’s headed, nor does she really care – Te’len even calls her on the fact (with rather unsatisfying results).

    I think it’d be actually quicker just to check the how-to link under the banner image at the top (quick link); beyond that, Thoughts for Food (my blog, linked in the sidebar) generally has the odd post on how I’ve done various details such as biped skeleton structure and morphtargets and soforth.

    You’ll essentially have to learn a 3D rendering program to go about the way I do; if you already know one, then it’s just a matter of figuring out how to get the models into it and working with them there.

  22. 24 Weertangel
    May 5, 2009 at 09:07

    “There is a difference in knowing the path and in walking the path”

    Think this applies the best to Te’len don’t u think? since the other 2 just don’t give a damn..

  23. 25 Udûn-Khadgar
    May 5, 2009 at 20:21

    I’ve been following this great webcomic for some time now and had to leave a message. Compliments to you Nhani for making this comic and maintaining it, you earned yourself another fan for your story. Though it’s a while ago that I’ve last played WoW, it’s nice to have a way like this to look back to those times that I did wanders the roads of Kalimdor and Azeroth. Overal opinion of this comic? Great work! I’ll be eager to read the next pages… since the previous were also very good.

    P.S. A hearty hello to all the other Dutchies!

  24. 26 Weertangel
    May 5, 2009 at 22:05

    Well, let’s see how Te’len can handle herself then! can’t wait to see if she can kick butt when she can’t talk her way out!

    And welcome to u Udun! groetjes uit Weert!

  25. 27 Messai
    May 5, 2009 at 23:55

    Te’len will execute a shoulder throw on him and then land her knee right in the jewels. that would be a nice sight to behold out in public XD

    would be to hard to model, but it would look nice XD

  26. 28 Yerdiss
    May 6, 2009 at 09:02

    Or she would wave her dagger in his general direction, threatening to give him the sniffles due to the sudden whaft of fresh air ,-)

  27. May 6, 2009 at 11:07

    a very nice page once again,..
    Hani isn’t afraid of big crowd ? :P
    I doubt it,.. she doesn’t strike me as the type thats afraid of anything,..
    Could prove funny tho, suddenly confronting Hani with something she`s afraid of,..
    Especialy if it`s not something you would expect, like a little rat, or beeing the center of atention during a social event ;)

  28. 30 Gag
    May 6, 2009 at 15:36

    I really like your comic. Keep up the good work :)
    Hope they wont stay in eastern kingdoms long, I like kalimdor more ;) It would be cool if they visit Feathermoon Stronghold, Exodar or some goblin territory! (I can imagine the dialogue between Rei Tiny and goblins xD)

  29. 31 Smàllfury
    May 6, 2009 at 19:38

    I agree with Obamanator i really hope they set the doll stealing kid on fire ive always wanted to just strangle him and throw him into the cannals so every time i log on to my hoard i storm into stormwind to kill him for no reason but i usualy die beforei can get past the auction house but then corpse run to kill the auctioneers… its so fun

  30. 32 saila
    May 7, 2009 at 08:24

    Nhani if you still got the data for the harboure whit alll the hummans and that still around can you render an overlook picture of the place?
    not for any big reason i just whant to see how it looks from 30 feet abowe whit all the crowd around.

    • 33 Nhani
      May 7, 2009 at 08:37

      Unfortunately, I only have the populace itself, and the further you zoom from it, the more evident it becomes how often the crowd repeats itself, nevermind that the backdrop itself is only that – a backdrop. I don’t have a model for the harbour itself, just the people on it, and I didn’t really find a good backdrop that really provides a nice overlook like that – not without a huge array of obstructing elements, anyhow.

  31. 34 Person6
    May 7, 2009 at 10:14

    I’m just waiting for Tiny to be taken of something terrible happen to her. A crowd like that isn’t any good for someone her size.

  32. May 7, 2009 at 14:41

    How long does rendering a page like this take?

    • 36 Nhani
      May 7, 2009 at 19:55

      It varies. Average time per render (at 1024×768, which I use and then scale down from) is around 15 – 30 seconds or so, then multiply that up by the number of panes there are. The shadow in this particular scene is really simplistic though – just four light sources, with only one of them casting a shadow, and a shadow map one at that, as opposed to the more CPU-intensive ray-traced shadows.

      Much of the time is spent posing things – with so many other models in the way, it can be a tad difficult to see which bone you have selected and which way you’re moving it.

  33. 37 Udûn-Khadgar
    May 7, 2009 at 14:58

    If Te’len does get seperated from the rest by the incident of this page, than Stormwind has to be careful, since Hani and Tiny are on their own again… without soothing guidance of Te’len.
    If Te’len is going to safe herself, than I’m more than curious about it.
    If Hani finds out and reacts on it, I think we all can guess how it would end up for the guy who grabbed Te’len at her wrist, because adding a few Stormwind guards who meddle in, does not appear to me as something that would stop Hani from helping a friend… but I could be wrong of course, Hani maintains a riddle to me often enough.

  34. 38 Udûn-Khadgar
    May 7, 2009 at 14:59

    Oh, and by the way:

    to Weertangel: Greetings from the Achterhoek, Gelderland =)

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Essential box of legalities

Beyond the Tree is based on (when not directly using) the art resources and story setting of World of Warcraft by Blizzard Entertainment.

That and all related and/or registered trademarks are the property of Blizzard Entertainment and Beyond the Tree claims no ownership of these or any affiliation with Blizzard Entertainment but hopes they'll have a sense of humour and appreciate it all the same ;)


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