Art and Literature News

An Eagle’s View of Middle-earth


This is how tumblr user petitpotato imagines the dwarves Ori, Nori, and Dori would look if they were elves! She also re-envisioned Bombur, Bofur, and Bifur as their woodland elf counterparts. (Myla)

Natalia Bilenko and Asako Miyakawa, two neuroscience PhD students at UC Berkeley, have visualized character interactions and relative emotional content for J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit.  A dynamic graph of character relationships displays the evolution of connections between characters throughout the book. Emotional strength and valence of each sentence are shown in a color-coded sentiment plot. Click here to try out the interactive chart. (Evie Bowman)

If you start at Laan van Tolkien in Geldrop, Netherlands, who knows where you might end up? A turn onto Balin Street could take you to Peregrin Street or a turn onto Arwen Street could lead to Nimrodel. If you can’t visit Geldrop in person, you can at least take a virtual stroll using Google Maps. (Evie Bowman and Middle-earth News Twitter follower @The_Parson)


What you see above is Middle-earth rendered as a planet using the Outerra engine. This unique world rendering engine is capable of seamlessly rendering whole planets from space down to ground level. This model was created by the Middle-earth DEM Project, and you can see more images on imgur. (Lily Milos)

Art of VFX interviewed Robin Hollander, the Compositing Supervisor at Weta Digital, about his work on The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. He and his team worked on “the entire chunk of Mirkwood” and in the interview, he details the work he did on “lots of spiders, trees, matte paintings, etc.” (Evie Bowman)

Namibian residents have been eagerly anticipating the arrival of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug to their screens, and given the film’s international success, it seemed inevitable. However, Ster-Kinekor Namibia, the prevailing cinema owner in that country, has no plans to show the movie because they cannot screen films in a digital format. (Evie Bowman)

Ever wondered how they create a Hobbit-sized person like those found in movies like The Lord of the Rings? While “green screen” is the popular answer, this tutorial by Ben Lucas will show you everything you need to know about forced perspective, a technique which allows you to create these illusions in-camera. (Evie Bowman)


Every week, our Middle-earth News reporters seek out Tolkien/Hobbit/LOTR goodness and tag their finds with their names. If you have something to contribute, please submit it using the Got News Precious link at the bottom of the page.


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  1. Middle-earth rendered is a bit good.

  2. As does Davis, CA- there are several streets names after people or things in Lord of the Rings and even a Rivendell Nursery School.