Loren Colcol — Product Development Production Intern at Playstation

Tangled Tower: Rapunzel to Mordor (Blender)

3D Modeling

In a distant land, far from happiness, far from hope, the Lost Princess, Rapunzel, lives captive in the Dark Tower. With the Eye of Sauron keeping close watch and dragons patrolling the skies, she waits for the day she escapes from the Land of Shadow.

Created in Blender, this 2-week project draws inspiration from two of my favorite films, The Lord of the Rings and Disney’s Tangled. The 3D environment places Rapunzel, the Lost Princess, amongst a desolate landscape of rocks, but despite her traditional installment in an ordinary tower, she is placed in Sauron’s Tower guarded by dragons. Still, magic finds a way to shine through, as lanterns illuminate the dark abyss and fill the night sky.

ForCS25: 3D Modeling RoleArtist • Designer • Modeler
Date2013 SoftwareBlender

Tangled Tower: Rapunzel to Mordor.

This project was my first introduction to 3D modeling and blender. I knew that for this piece, I wanted to create something different, as well as tell a story. In combining Lord of the Rings with Tangled, I was able to combine iconic characters, creatures, and environments into the same scene.

Lower angle shot of Rapunzel releasing a lantern from within Sauron’s Tower. I used an image of the actual lantern cutout from Tangled and textured them to these cylinder shapes I modeled.

There were several different elements that came into the composition of this piece. The emotion I was striving for was one of desolate, lonely, and stark, but also with a feint glimmer of hope. I knew from the start I wanted Rapunzel to be locked up in the tower of Sauron. This idea alone made the story one of despair and loneliness, but to add the element of hope, I worked around the color tones of the sky and atmosphere. By blending in purple and pink with a start-filled sky, it gave off an aura of serenity. The last piece that would set the emotional tone was adding in the lanterns in the sky. From the story of Tangled, the kingdom releases lanterns on Rapunzel’s birthday, hopeful the Lost Princess will see them and return home. In my scene I incorporate that story element but with a twist. Being locked away, Rapunzel is the one releasing lanterns, hopeful someone will see them and come rescue her from the Dark Tower.

Aerial shot with Sauron’s Tower, Dragons, and lanterns in display as fog crawls along the base of the tower. Adding in fog to crawl up the base of the tower added an atmospheric element of loneliness and mystery. I also realized that it softens the image so that the floor isn’t sharp with hard edges and surfaces.

Close-up of shot of a Dragon patrolling the skies. I referenced the dragons the Nazgul ride in Lord of the Rings. Using extrusion-modeling, I traced over a side-view image of this dragon and worked from there.

Overall, creating this piece required diligence, patience, and creativity. Diligence to sit at my desk for hours modeling and texturing. Patience to learn Blender and become faster and faster at understanding the work-setting, tools, shortcuts, and features. And lastly creativity to not create something already done, but to create something new and personally inventive. I wanted to tell a story while also composing a scene that was interesting and visually pleasing. This project was one of my favorites for those very reasons.

Panoramic shot. The fog is slowly creeping up the mountain, lanterns and stars light the night sky, dragons patrol the perimeter, and Rapunzel lies within the Tower, closely watched by the Eye of Sauron.