The road to Angband

“…Thus Beren and Lúthien met again between the desert and the wood. For a while he was silent and was glad; but after a space he strove once more to dissuade Lúthien from her journey. ‘Thrice now I curse my oath to Thingol,’ he said, ‘and I would that he had slain me in Menegroth, rather than I should bring you under the shadow of Morgoth.’

‘Then for the second time Huan spoke with words; and he counseled Beren, saying: ‘From the shadow of death you can no longer save Lúthien, for by her love she is now subject to it. You can turn from your fate and lead her into exile, seeking peace in vain while your life lasts. But if you will not deny your doom, then either Lúthien, being forsaken, must assuredly die alone, or she must with you challenge the fate that lies before you – hopeless, yet not certain. Further counsel I cannot give, nor may I go further on your road. But my heart forebodes that what you find at the Gate I shall myself see. All else is dark to me; yet it may be that our three paths lead back to Doriath, and we may meet before the end.’…

They passed through all perils, until they came with the dust of their long and weary road upon them to the drear dale that lay before the Gate of Angband.”

“Of Beren and Lúthien”, The Silmarillion – JRR Tolkien.


Technical aspects: This image captures the period in the adventures of Beren and Lúthien when they meet again and along with Huan, the hound of Valinor, and begin the long and dangerous journey to Angband.

Both Beren’s cape (built from scratch in Hexagon) and Lúthien’s dress were created using dynamic clothing in Poser 7.

DAZ3D’s older (but less demanding on memory and controllable) Victoria 3 was used to create Lúthien. I use the Spanish Rose V3 Flamenco dress for Victoria 3 (converted to a dynamic cloth) and a texture based on the Bridal Design Kit 3 from DAZ 3D. DAZ 3D’s Michael 3 dressed with the M3 Tunic Pack formed the basis of the character of Beren which I had created for “The Doom of Doriath” image.

The Millennium Dog, with the Wolf morph applied, formed the base of Huan, but the DAZ 3D morph needed to look more imposing and frightening. I had to use a demo version of N-Sided’s Argile 3d sculpting program to get the effect I wanted of a large and muscular hound with a huge pelt.

The figures were posed in Poser 7 (to get the dynamic clothing) and then exported to Bryce 6 via DAZ Studio to generate the folders with the required textures.

Some rocks from one of Estevez’s Powerful Atmospheres packages was used to place the characters on and a custom Bryce Material used to texture the rocks. This scene used Image-Based Lighting for most of its lighting. A image from Dreamlight’s Light Dome Pro 2.0 provided the scene lighting and the background image Several round spotlights and in front and behind the characters were used to finish off the image and enhance the overall lighting. The scene was then rendered. However in the process of saving the Bryce File just before rendering the final large image, the .br6 file was corrupted and was lost forever. Luckily I had the final render as a full-sized .BMP image.

The final render went through extensive post work in Adobe Photoshop CS2 and Corel PhotoPaint X3 and Corel Painter X, and a few filters and tweaks were used to clean up the image, The fur of Huan took a the longest – the texture maps and bump maps from DAZ for the Millenium Dog are pretty poor! Finally a glare filter was applied to make the clouds and edge of the characters “glow”.

The composition is very important in this image. The image is divided distinctly into two halves with the light and clean world of the elves on the left and the dark and polluted world of Angband on the right. The clouds form a distinct line between. The line of Beren’s cloak and his bent arm leading the eye to the right and Lúthien’s upright figure frames the left. The rock on which they all stand (or lie) is framed by the lightning in the lower left. I tried to get a sense of the imposing and stifling world that they are facing, leaving the clear unsullied world behind. The halo-like glow edging the clouds behind the figure of Beren, symbolizes hope for the future.

Lots of symbolism in this image – more that I usually put in my images.

Worlds in the Making