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The departure of Boromir

Posted on 21 October, 2013

“Beneath Amon Hen I heard his cry. There many foes he fought.
His cloven shield,his broken sword, they to the water brought.
His head so proud, his face so fair,his limbs they laid to rest;
And Rauros, golden Rauros-falls, bore him upon its breast.’
‘O Boromir! The Tower of Guard shall ever northward gaze
To Rauros, golden Rauros-falls, until the end of days.”

The Departure of Boromir: The Two Towers

This has been a bitter-sweet artwork for me. I have been working for the past 2 months solid on the actual creation I intended submitting to you, but alas, lack of RAM and processor speed did not allow me to complete even one quarter of the intended image that depicted Boromir’s death at the hands of the Uruk-Hai orcs at Parth Galen. The combined Poser files weighed in at 1.8Gb and the Bryce file a sizeable 800Mb, 300Mb more than my old PC’s total RAM. The picture will now never be rendered!

(Update: Currently the Poser files are a down to 552Mb and the Bryce files up to 4.3Gb, and I have a new machine at work that will be able to do the rendering…but don’t expect anything much before September 2004 – 10 months after I first started this picture. )

I am an ex-medical illustrator (now computer centre manager) who has been reading Tolkien since I was 10 years old, and every year for 30 years now I have read and re-read the books on an annual basis. I suppose I might be called a fanatic. (my Internet nickname is “Hamfast”) The scale and majesty of Middle-Earth and its characters will always serve as an inspiration to me in my art, and the death of Boromir – even in Peter Jackson’s movie “Fellowship of the Ring” leaves me with a lump in my throat every time. It simply had to be done!

DAZ’s Michael 3 formed the basis of the character of Boromir with his sword, and the elvin boat being created in Rhino3D 2.0 using reference photographs and images from a wide range of sources. Most of the textures were created by hand from scanned textiles and some odd DAZ texture Packs. The rest of the items and clothing bases came from various sources.

The Poser file (138Mb) was exported into Bryce 5 and rendered as 4 separate images to get the water transparent and the foam of the Rauros layered correctly under the boat. A slight glare filter was applied in Corel PhotoPaint 10 to soften the head lighting and apart from that and a few post-production fixes on the swords and clothes, the image was left alone.

I hope you enjoy this picture. Alas, the original image I had will never see the light of day with my current PC – Pentium III 800MHz with 512Mb RAM.