Main · Concept Art · Visual Effects · Make-up Effects · On Location · Props/Costume · Choreography · Goblok's Story


The Hunt For Gollum takes us on a journey across many landscapes of Middle Earth. While some
are filmed on location in the mountains of North Wales other more ambitious landscape shots are
created by our very special visual effects team. The first of many CG shots on The Hunt For Gollum
was this dramatic 'mountain flyover' shot. The camera skims the surface of famous LOTR moutain
Cruel Caradhras. The director is using a lot of ambitious visual effects by the most talented
artists in the world to bring Middle Earth to life on an epic scale.



Bringing Middle Earth to Life

Mountain flyover shots like this are created entirely in CG by effects artist Stefan Menzal. Here he explains how he did it using free landscape software called Terragen. Stephan's unique skill with this program and attention to realism and detail is what makes his work so close to reality.

A word from Stefan Menzal, Terragen artist:        

Terragen is a scenery generator which allows to create photorealistic artificial landscapes. It has been used in a variety of commercial applications including film, video games, multimedia and books. It has an easy-to-use interface, many mature settings and good render capability allowing remarkable results even at a beginner level. A few settings include athmosphere&clouds, lighting (ray tracing), water and also surface morphology; all adding to the vast variety of possible landscapes.
Although Terragen is widely used for still shots, animations are also possible by means of camera path scripting using external programs. Campath is the prime example here, making almost every camera orientation and movement accessible. Its working principle is to move the camera step-by-step on the pre-defined path and let Terragen render a picture each time. The resulting frames then enter the usual editing process where the film is cut.

View more of Stefan's breathtaking work on his webpage, please click here.



Copyright © of original portions of original portions 2007 - 2008 Independent Online Cinema / Rickety Shack Films.
For more information please email

Web design by David Rendo.