The Eagles Were Definitely A Deus Ex Machina

In the land of Mordor


Yeah, my daily create looks terrible. But, I had a few issues with incorrect layering that kept me from doing much more, since I try to stick to the 15 minutes as closely as possible. I wanted to add some silhouettes of the Great Eagles soaring in the gradient transition from blue to orange, originally.

But, I started out with just a blank slate in GIMP and decided I’d make the One Ring. I wanted to make a really basic, minimalist poster for the Lord of the Rings, but found, after making the Ring, that it just looked too bleh, especially once I added in 2 gradient layers (blue to transparent and orange to transparent). I took that approach rather than a single blue-to-orange so I could get a bit of a white highlight in the gradient between the two.

Then, I moved the Ring to the upper right hand corner and decided I’d try my hand at a silhouette of Amon Amarth, which I accomplished with the free select tool. At that point, I realized I had kind of flubbed a bit. Both the Ring and Mount Doom were on the same layer, and I kept having trouble when using the Move tool–I kept moving the entire layer instead of just the selected element for some reason.  So, I had to split the two apart after spending a few minutes pulling my hair out. Finally, I got the two situated in opposite corners from each other, so the focus would be on the gradient.  (I opted against the teal color because it really just makes my eyes hurt, and I really can’t stare at that ugly shade of blue for too long, plus the hex code I found just didn’t remind me of action movies at all.)

So, I had the four layers down, and realized it could use some text–otherwise it just looked like some weird blue solar-eclipse-like thing shining down on a foothill. Off to the magical internets I went! After very brief few moments, I found the Ringbearer font, which seemed like it would present the Lord of the Rings idea I was going for much better than a basic font.

As for the quote I added, I really didn’t want to use “One Ring to Rule Them All”, since that’s so overused it hurts. So I decided to use a more relevant line from the Ring verse, “In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows Lie” seemed appropriate enough to hint that my little crag was supposed to be The Fiery Mountain.

I was right near the 15 minute mark after I placed the text in the bottom right corner, so I went back and added a darker orange gradient on top of the light orange I already had, thinking it might make the silhouette pop out a bit more. So, I called it a day after that.

But, the Great Eagles weren’t there.

On a related note, and a bit of social commentary here, Peter Jackson really tried his hardest in the final Hobbit movie to rectify the god from the machine theories about the eagles’ presence that resulted in Mister Frodo Baggins and Mister Samwise Gamgee salvation.  I won’t nerd out too hard and completely change the direction of this post, so I won’t delve in further.

I’m glad I whipped something together for this daily create, but really, I’m not to happy with my result. I think I’ll go add those eagles now…

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  • Leanna Epps says:

    I love the idea here! i think that the font is too small though, it doesn’t stand out at all, looks more like where you’d put something like your name or url credit

    • Spencer says:

      I appreciate the constructive criticism! I’ll have to remember that in the future. Now that I look at it again, it doesn’t stand out as much as I thought it did when I created it.

  • Phoenix says:

    Very ambitious. I too struggle with GIMP sometimes. But since I have Ubuntu and I refuse to buy Windows, I can deal with some growing pains.

    • Spencer says:

      Ahhh a fellow Linux user! Good to know there are a few around UMW. I was kind of bummed it isn’t pushed on CS students from the get-go. Such a better OS for so many reasons, but, yeah, growing pains are rough but necessary evils for Linux as a whole. Steep learning curve, but worth it.

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