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Create a LOTR inspired orc

Design, anatomy, weight, colour and texture are all important for a convincing creature. Let Jeff Murchie show you why…

With this workshop you’ll learn the thought process and development of a concept for a LOTR-style game. Working on a project like LOTR Online: Shadows of Angmar, there are certain stylistic guidelines to take into consideration. Alan Lee, John Howe, The Hildebrandt Brothers and, of course, Peter Jackson’s LOTR trilogy have all established a look and feel to the books and growing franchise. Keeping stylistically similar to the LOTR books and what people expect can be difficult. Before jumping into a design based on an established idea or story you need to research what stylistic elements best describe the characters and worlds you’re creating. I’ll do my best to explain here how I design and work on a specific concept, from the original idea to the final concept.

There are a lot of tricks and rules to keep in mind while designing an idea that will be passed to modellers and animators. Concepts are works of art themselves, but they’re first and foremost a tool to help create a finished product. The concept is only the first step in developing a final product. If your design is not clear you may see different results in the final product.

I’m still evolving as an artist and still searching for new techniques. My process changes from image to image but I’ve developed a few habits. For this piece, I’m designing a LOTR-inspired orc.


From issue 11.


Click here to download the full workshop for free (PDF)
Click here to download the support files (14.96Mb)
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