The Two Trees

Overview

A 3D model that I created of the two trees of Valinor. I worked on all aspects of the pipeline—concepting, modeling, texturing, exporting, and uploading.

I modeled and textured everything in Blender, then uploaded to Sketchfab.

 

Skills

  • 3D pipeline
  • Blender

Final Product

A full view of the entire scene. You can see Telperion against a purple landscape at the top and upside down on the other side is Laurelin against green hills.
A zoomed in version of Laurelin amongst the burial cairns. A beacon of Gondor is lit on the hill behind it.
You can see a marble altar nestled inside of the hills with a stone path leading up to it. On top of it is the sword Anduril. Behind it is an archway to a burial cairn, and behind that is Laurelin and a beacon of Gondor can be seen peaking behind the tree.
Telperion sits on a white pedestal, with water flowing down from it into a sea. A boat in the shape of a swan can be seen sailing towards it. It is surrounded by mountains, with three much larger than the rest. Above them are the three rings of the elves, all casting their own light. Above it is the flower of the moon, surrounded by the seven stars of the sickle of the Valar.
A ship sailing across the sea towards Telperion

Concept

Within the Tolkien legendarium, the two trees of Valinor were the original sun and moon. The two trees gave off light–Laurelin gave off a golden light while Telperion gave off a silver light. They were destroyed by Melkor, one of the original gods of the world, and the spider Ungoliant, thrusting the world into darkness again. However, a fruit from Laurelin and a flower from Telperion were saved and these were placed in vessels that were sent into the sky to become the sun and the moon.

Knowing that I wanted to depict the two trees, I explored the different symbols I could associate with them. I loved the idea of duality that the trees represented—duality in terms of light, duality in terms of living and dying, and duality

I leveraged the lore that the story came from to further push this idea of duality.  In the Silmarillion, the book where the story of the two trees can be found, a lot of focus is put on the two main races of the world—elves and men. I decided to integrate that into the piece.

Because elves loved Telperion more, I depicted Telperion with the three elven rings, a silver ship, and a mystical shoreline with many hills. These symbols are taken directly from Tolkien lore and are important symbols to the elven race—the rings represent sustained life, the ships represent sailing off once they are tired of Middle Earth, and the hills represent the Undying Land of Valinor.

Since the elves associated Laurelin with the race of men, I depicted Laurelin with burial cairns, ruins from different ages, a beacon of Gondor, and the sword Anduril. These symbols represent the gift of men—the ability to die—along with being important symbols throughout the history of the race. I tried to include ruins from different ages from real history to show the passage of time.

Multiple depictions of different types of stone altars from various time periods, many with columns built into them
Reference images of viking ships—long boats with a single square sail and a creature head on the front
Reference photos of pyres and columns from different ages
Reference images of burial cairns and symbols of Gondor, such as the ring of Barahir and the shards of Narsil
References of different types of gem cuttings, rings, and flowers

Colophon

Designed by me. Made using Semplice and custom code by me. Font used is Aileron by dot colon. Elen síla lúmenn’ omentielvo.