Archive for the 'Chapter One' Category


#32 – “Bravedwarf”


Exposition with a twist, flavoured by character moments.

Morridune actually did exist in World of Warcraft once but he didn’t spawn anymore the times I was by to collect background screenshots for the bout through Blackfathom Deeps. I actually rewrote a significant part of his dialogue after one of my two voices of correction managed to find what his actual dialogue was like, I’d forgotten it. Naturally, I Altered It Slightly to fit the present context better.

Pages like this where an NPC has a major acting role are always tricky. Due to lacking the added vertices and other tweaks I make use of for facial expressions, as well as the whole morph system to handle it easilly, there’s a significant lack of emotive quality compared to the meshes actually converted to poseable status. Still, one does as one must.

On a sidenote, the game had Morridune as a Dark Iron Dwarf. Managing to somehow miss where to get those textures the first time around, I made him a somewhat suspect-looking regular dwarf. I’ve since found out however so the next time situation calls for a Dark Iron Dwarf there’ll be an actual Dark Iron Dwarf!


#31 – “I’a Hydra”


To quote one of the things I claim to have inspired Beyond the Tree: “Boss battle, Boo-Yah!”

I wanted to push things in this fight, I admit. Aku’mai is not some mere cultist – it is an end-instance boss, and Aku’mai is not small. Now.. this isn’t randomly going to turn into Princess of Teldrassil: the Two Trees or Shadow of the Mountain Giant all of a sudden, but I still wanted to nudge some inspiration in by not limiting a fight to hacking at someone’s toes. Unlike a game character, Hani can climb up on her enemies. I’m inclined to let her.

I’ve done slight tweaks to the webpage itself – I added numbers to the individual posts for one so it’s easier to keep track of where you are before clicking a link rather than just reading the number of the image after. I also moved, removed and added things to the righthand sidebar the theme has. Among other things I added the Thoughts for Food category which is essentially an RSS feed to a blog but should have a plenty enough posts relating to Beyond the Tree itself that it might be worth checking out for those interested in glimpses of how I assemble things and what direction the graphics themselves are headed and other such tidbits.


#30 – “I See Double Doors”


I’m told this page contains the most obscure pun I’ve ever made yet. It made sense when I thought of it, but I imagine there’s simply such a thing as trying too hard.


There’s not so much to say about this page beyond the obscurity of the pun – facial expressions and using them to voice certain things I’ve touched on before and beyond that there’s not that much to say about this page since it’s very transitional. We’re headed somewhere and I think it’ll be fairly obvious what we’ll be doing on thursday.


#29 – “Fighting Style”


Comming up with commentary to write is quite difficult sometimes – you want to talk about the page posted above it, but at the same time people need the space to make their own conclusions on this and that without being nudged (and definitely not sledgehammered!) down a particular ilne of thought just because I tell them to.

So, what to say about this page. I rather like the outcome of it – it goes through plenty enough happenings in a fairly smooth order. Even the non-posable faces managed to be fairly expressive – though I may have gone a little overkill on making the human male look somewhere between shocked and in pain. Give him a break, he’s been stabbed through the chest!


#28 – “A Disturbance in the..”


..meditation? Yes, that’s totally what I thought. ahem.

This page took a fair bit of work and gave me no little concern about its possible quality until it was done as it revolves almost entirely around NPCs (Non-Poseable Characters in this context. Funny how the acronym works out great for it). So not only does the characters mostly responsible for all interaction in the page suffer from highly limited poses and facial expressions, they also had to all but carry an unconcious Hani along – and sell the impression that they were through almost Hani’s pose alone. In the end though, I’d say it turned out rather well in spite of obstacles.

Characterizing Twilight Lord Kelris on the other hand was fun – taking his one line in game entirely out of context and then building a loud and sarcastic behaviour on top of it. The wisdom of leaving Hani unguarded and within reach of her sword is debatable, but the Twilight’s Hammer isn’t exactly known for their stunning genious.


#27 – “Last Man Stumbling”


Key word? Ouch, I imagine! Pretty (un)evenly distributed at that.

Plenty of things happening in a single page, it took some thinking to figure out how to fit it all in a simple progression. I think the impression of an overwhelmingly numerous set of enemies got rather lost between the limited space and variation; probably could’ve chosen a better angle to reveal more cultists.

Sound effects for various actions is one of the things I find the most difficult to come up with – they need to be both varied and consistent, and still pass on some kind of message into your brain where it makes you replace the text with the appropriate sound. This is further complicated by combining it with still visuals to give an impression of motion where there isn’t one.


#26 – “Cult Status”


So there’s something very unholy about going Steven Seagal on a tauren female, even an evil cultist one. This marks the first and only time so far where I’ve looked at what I was doing and thought something like “Hmm.. this might be pushing it.”. Additionally, yes, Hani is capable of some level of sneaking, but I’d doubt she’d win any kind of awards in it.

It’s always a problem when two 3D characters need to be in direct physical contact – unlike the real world, a 3D object is basically empty and only consists of the surface, and even that isn’t solid enough to ward off intersection or colission unless specified to do so, backed up by heavy mathematical calculations to prevent it. This gets doubly bothersome when interacting with a non-poseable character as while Hani and Tiny have a full range of motions, most characters they meet will not.

In hindsight, I should’ve twisted right, not left. Would’ve looked more natural, I think.

In closing, I’d like to add that I am very grateful for all the encouraging comments I’ve been getting. While I only respond to ones that have a question or I feel might otherwise benefit on a response, I do read all of them with a sort of giddy curiousity.


Bookmark and Share

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 ;)