The Process: The Making of “Vision of Ragnarok”

"Broken Mist" Window Close-up
“Broken Mist” Window Close-up

A few weeks ago I touched upon the process of an old worn down church scene I used for a book trailer I made for the “Spirit of the Rebellion“.   The process for creating a trailer was an interesting endeavor , which took careful planning and patience.  In a future post I’ll focus on the process, for now though, I’ll highlight one my favorite scenes for the “Spirit of the Rebellion” trailer.

One of the most symbolic scenes in the book feature a vision of Ragnarok, the war between Odin and Fenrir inside an old church. For those that know their Norse myths, would find the oddness of that placement.  The reason will have to remain a mystery for now.

I used the same schematic as I did for the church in the previous post.  The first step was the background.  Based on the schematic I wanted the three windows to be visible .  The other side would mostly be wall and a door which felt a bit dull to me.   The wall of the church was first tackled, tracing out the windows and using the marquee tool to edge out the slats of the wood.  Texture was created with several brushes using various colors and levels of opacity.  Since a fight is taking place I wanted to show movement by tipping the horizon line and breaking a few windows. Then I added the glazing/glass, tinting it to colors of the backdrop, which I reused from my old church scene.  The floor was initially created from a separate file using similar steps I did from the wall, but changed the color slightly. After flattening the image I transferred it to the original background file and distorted to give it perspective.  The background itself was over 1gb,  rendering it to be a large file.  After altering the lighting to add mood I switched to a new file to start on Odin.

 Odin,  being a mythological character it was difficult to find appropriate sources to model him after.  Since Odin is a spear handler, I studied various spear fighting images and youtube videos to make sure it was accurate.  The model I used for him was actually a discus thrower as I couldn’t find a spear wielder at the angle he needed to be. Originally I was going to put him in chainmail, but disliked how it was looking. So shirtless it was, and adorned with appropriate accessories.  If you are familiar with myths surrounding Odin you’d know he was missing an eye.  I debated giving him an eye patch, but decided against it.


After flattening his image and the background I brought them together to start the next few steps.  As mentioned earlier a fight was commencing so I needed pews and debris flying everywhere.  After making a basic shape of the pew I distorted it with perspective, cutting parts out to show damage. I did this a few times altering where I needed to.  I added a grainy misty filter to show dust and dirt settling.  Mist  and few random wood debris were added to complete the environment.


The last part was Fenrir.  He become the most difficult part of the scene, due to the angle I needed him to be.  My first attempt was a quick basic blurred version of something that resembled a wolf, which can be viewed in the original trailer.  I couldn’t work with it too much as the release date was close and I still had other scenes to complete.  I since had time to play with it more, looking for better sources with a view point that worked better for the scene.  The fur was created with an original brush I created prior for hair, altering a few things to make is work for thick fur.  His body is made up of several layers, so the final piece used different variations of the blur tool to show depth of field and motion.

"Vision of Ragnarok" - Photoshop - 450ppi - 1.5gb
“Vision of Ragnarok” – Photoshop – 450ppi – 1.5gb

Finally the scene was complete.   The scene was set at 450 ppi and ended with 1.5gb.  The file would have been larger if I didn’t have the elements done separately.

This digital artwork is now available for print-on-demand at my Store on Artpal and FineArtAmerica!

If you could have one scene in your favorite book as an art piece what would it be?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s