Tuesday, 4 December 2012

How to make dwarfs

Here's two frames from the movie showing Odin molding a maggot into a dwarf. The process is simple. First, kill a frost giant. Then, take his dead body and make a world, using his flesh to make the earth, bones for mountains and hair for trees. Then. wait for maggots to appear from the rotting corpse. Take the maggots, do some molding and ta-da! You've got a dwarf. There's no female dwarfs though, so if you wanna be nice like the Gods, give them a couple of princes that can forge more out of rocks.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Behind the scenes: Big feet!

This is a behind the scenes photo of the six-headed troll being born from the frost giant's feet. It was the most difficult to animate, as there are six heads, and he was a bit front heavy. It was also quite fun though. To not have to animate all the heads all the time I made a little scene where most the heads are sleeping except one. The head wakes up discover he has many heads, and to find the next head to wake up takes control of an arm. In their struggle to control the arm, they wake the others and start a fight. At this point all heads are awake and the animation process got slower, so it was time to put some of the heads to "sleep" again, which the fight managed to do in an excellent fashion. That's also the end of the scene.

To make the big feet, but not mix more plasticine than necessary to get Jotunn-green, I covered two cardboard plates in the shape of  giant feet with plasticine in a layer just thick enough to get some depth. They actually became very heavy, which made them hard to animate because gravity really wanted them to tip over. Every break I took the feet would have sagged noticeably, and needed readjustment. In the movie, the frost giant is therefore sleeping a little bit restlessly during this scene.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

A frost giant's armpit

From the sweat of the left armpit of the frost giant Ymir, a male and a female being is created.

Still image from a scene in the movie.

Monday, 26 November 2012

1st scene animated

Here's a still shot from the first scene I have animated for the film. It is creatures spawning out of the sleeping body of the frost giant at an increasing pace. The characters for this scene were sculpted at the same time as they were animated emerging from the wall of plasticine, so they are only half the height of the "main cast", and much simpler in their design. I think that's OK though, as they are newborns after all.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Bergelmir's wife

Bergelmir's wife and her husband are the only two Jotnar to survive the bloodshed when the Gods kill Ymir. Little is know of her from the old sources except for that and that she and her husband restart the Jotnar race which again become numerous.

I've had trouble sculpting female figures because my main reference always have been the mirror. It's finally started to loosen up a little. Main features to make a figure female is big hips and a small jaw. Big hips are emphasized by a extra narrow waist, and a small jaw is empathized by a extra large forehead. Usually my style have been figures with long faces and small foreheads, which I have realized is very hard to make feminine. Other general traits of a female face is that it has small features than a male face. Smaller chin, nose, jaw (especially important), ears, an almost absent brow and narrower eyebrows. Big eyelashes and heart shaped lips are also very feminine, but I was happy I managed to make her look feminine without those as those things takes more time to animate.

Her legs are not really made for walking, but that's OK as she won't use them in the movie. If she were to walk I would have to design her differently.

Saturday, 17 November 2012


Bergelmir is a frost giant, and one of Ymir's grandsons. His name means "Mountain Yeller". He is one of the very few Jotnar to escape the bloodshed and repopulate the Jotnar tribe after the Gods kill Ymir and the blood from Ymir's body creates a massive flood. In one of the old sources it's just Bergelmir and his wife who survives, in another he has his household with him. For the movie though it's more practical production wise that it's just him and his wife I have to sculpt and animate.

While making him I experimented a little bit with giving him texture. The brown plasticine was very sticky so my fingers left marks on the lighter green color which I then smoothed out. The texture gives more realism, but realism reduces the stylistic look so there's a fine balance. In the end I removed the texture from his face, shoulders and chest as those areas get the most light, and left it on his arms and back. His back won't be seen in the movie anyway, so it doesn't matter there.

Monday, 12 November 2012


Bolthorn (also known as Boelthor) is a frost giant and Bestla's father, which makes him Odin, Vili and Ve's grandfather.