The last alliance

“I was the herald of Gil-galad and marched with his host. I was at the Battle of Dagorlad before the Black Gate of Mordor, where we had mastery: for the Spear of Gil-galad and the Sword of Elendil, Aiglos and Narsil, none could withstand. I beheld the last combat on the slopes of Orodruin, where Gil-galad died, and Elendil fell, and Narsil broke beneath him; but Sauron himself was overthrown, and Isildur cut the Ring from his hand with the hilt-shard of his father’s sword, and took it for his own.”

The Council of Elrond, The Fellowship of the Ring – Book 2.


Technical aspects: This image is, in the timescale, a few brief minutes before the events of “Sauron Defeated”. The quote above is from the lips of Elrond, lord of Rivendell, in the book “Lord of the Rings”. The image depicts the last combat between Sauron and the Elf-king, Gil-galad and the Numenorean king, Elendil. This combat was merely mentioned in a single paragraph by Elrond and there is another single passage in “The Silmarillion”, but it was nevertheless pivotal in the whole story of the “War of the Rings”. In my mind it is a grandiose, yet tragic climax to the end of the 2nd Age of Middle-Earth.

DAZ 3D’s Michael 3 formed the basis of the character of Elendil and Sauron. DAZ 3D’s David formed the basis for Gil-Galad. Somehow David is more “elvish” than the more masculine Michael 3 model. The armor of Elendil was based on Xurge3D’s “Warlord Armor for Michael 3”, and Sauron’s armor was a heavily morphed and tweaked “Dark Armor for Mike 3” – also from Xurge3D. Gil-galad armor was based on Xurge3D’s Crimson Knight Outfit for David. The helmet was created with a combination of head gear from various sources and completed in Hexagon 2.1. Blacksmith 3D was used for the custom morphs. Both Elendil and Sauron’s helmets were created from scratch by myself using Hexagon 2.1 and UVMapper as was Narsil, the sword of Elendil and Aeglos, the spear of Gil-Galad. The textures, bump maps and “dirt maps” of the figures were also created entirely by myself by hand as well as using some textures from various sources on the Internet.

The figures were posed in Poser 6 and exported to Bryce 6 and then a dozens of large scale terrains, and rock objects were created in Hexagon and carefully placed and lit by numerous small spotlights. The background atmosphere and clouds were based loosely on one of Estevez’s Powerful Atmosphere packages. Finally two large volumetric cloud spheres were used to create the final gloom of the volcanic clouds of Mount Doom. The background lighting is very important in this image. The shaft of light breaking through the dark clouds is symbolic of the hope that was breaking through in those dark times.

The whole scene was kept dark to make the picture foreboding and mysterious. There is a huge amount of bump map detail in each of the characters and, alas, most of it is lost in this small image. The larger image shows much more detail. Naturally, the way your monitor is set up is important.

The final render was took about 8 hours to complete. As in the past the renders were imported into Corel Photopaint 12, retouched and tweaked with a variety of tools and finally saved as the image you see on this page. Very little was done except cleaning up some rendering artifacts and adding the title and adjusting the contrast and color saturation.

Worlds in the Making