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The making of Apocalypsis: A Journey Inward
Some background info and additional pics from the project.
About this creation
BEHIND THE SCENES


To start with, for those who've not seen Apocalypsis: A Journey Inward, you can check it out here.

Several good people on the various Lego sites have asked for what I’d call a “behind the scenes” look at this, um...MOC?...I suppose you'd call it? Ya know, MOC just doesn’t seem like quite the right word, so we’ll say project. Anyway, I’d planned on posting a behind the scenes page for each episode in the trilogy at some point. I just wanted to wait with this first chapter to see if, #1, anybody really cared!!! And #2, if sleep deprivation hadn’t gotten the best of me. (It was a close call on “b.”)



INSPIRATION HITS (Ouch!...Son of a b*#@h!)


I’d seen several great castle MOCs with landscaping that was pretty cool, but got to thinking that many (not all, but most) waterfalls were done in blue. Also, it seemed that most of the time, rocks were always done studs up. With those things in mind, I started getting interested in taking a break from ye ol’ space theme, and moving into some uncharted Dio territory. That's refering to "Diorama" mind you, not listening to "Holy Diver" (for the geriatrics like me old enough to wonder).

Once I’d begun construction on the rock facade (a prototype seen here) I started to feel a story line would add to the interest of the MOC. Several scenarios were playing themselves out, when I decided to just listen to that little voice that was enticing me to do something a bit more dangerous...MMWWAA, Ha, Ha, Ha! (Usually listening to that voice is a BAD thing...resulting in after school detentions, angry rebuttals by women in short skirts, mid-week hangovers, community service, etc. But every now and then it steers me in the right direction, and I think this was one of those times.)

As the story continued to evolve and grow in complexity, it took over as the primary reason for the project. It was at that point when the final approach came into focus. I wanted the visuals to have the flexibility to illustrate some pretty crazy stuff (which is yet to come!), and Photoshop work would do that. I decided to create several MOC’s to help tell the story. In the end they would function like sets on a movie production, having the capacity to be broken down, re-arranged, brought to the foreground for some shots, moved back for others, etc. It opened up a whole new realm of possibilities, and in the end, the MOC’s you see here were created not for themselves (as most MOC’s are), but specifically as backdrops for a method of illustrative story telling.


So here’s a bit of an overhead shot with the primary MOC at about the halfway point. It was built in sections, designed to easily come apart and get put back together again. (Oh yeah, that worked great...“MOTHER *&$#!...STUPID $*!...JUST F*#&@! GET IN THERE!!!!!”) The main idea was to have sections of the rock facade removable at any point so they could be used in other shots if needed. Sometimes they might be used horizontally, other times vertically, sometimes with foliage, sometimes without, and so on.

At this stage, the story had been coming along, but I liked the idea of being able to use the scenery like a play set, with all kinds of scenarios available to the creative mind. And of course what does my creative mind think of first…

Why, a half-naked chick waiting for me to frolic in the falls with her, what else? Okay that’s actually not entirely true. My first thought was a FULLY naked chick waiting to frolic, but it’s MOCpages (sigh!) had to keep it at least semi-clean.

And then there was this poor guy…

(I'd give props here to the genius that came up with that hat trick...yes, pun intended...but, I can't remember where I saw it first.)

All the stupid crap we put these poor Minifigs through...better hope they never get a Union!

And here’s a shot of the primary landscape piece in it’s completed form. I actually really like this shot. If you compare it to the image in the story, you’ll see I took sections from the facade to add more walls up above, and walls in the cave with Photoshop. I also added foreground foliage, mist around the falls, a subtle rainbow effect, and mist at the top. Again, not unlike movie studios when they’ll shoot something on set, and then go in and use digital enhancement. Maybe not the norm for Lego, but a lot of fun!

A few details of the set...

Note the obligatory shrooms...Tommy Chong: "Gotta have mushrooms, maaan!"

And the hanging fern-type-viney-don't-want-to-stay-in-their-place-thingy's (plasticus pain-in-the-assicus)

One of the smaller sets I used for the forest scenes…

And last, some of the trees used for various shots. I have to mention that I was pretty happy with the taller one there in the center. The trunk is an octagonal arrangement with the sides alternating between being one stud wide, and two studs wide. This allowed for the roots to fan out like you see them, and IMHO made for a fairly realistic looking tree base. I had several more, but the LIU Logging Company laid waste to the rest of ‘em for a contract they’d signed with a Chinese toothpick company.




Well that’s it for now. Thanks for checking this out, and I’ll try to get a move-on with the second installment. Be forewarned, I’m a ridiculously slow builder. Nevertheless, I’ll give it my best, and hopefully our hero will be back in due time...his adventure has just begun!

Mark




Comments

 I like it 
  February 17, 2014
Rock work supreme! excellent vine technique & overall stellar creation. :-)
 I like it 
  January 12, 2013
Amazing work. Lot of complex techniques. Beautiful looking MOC
 I made it 
  July 22, 2012
Quoting Michael Rutherford This remains a benchmark for me. The evident skill, and the visual impact you achieve here has been a goal for me, or at least a standard by which I measure my own efforts. It's unlike anything I have seen any place else. I come back to this MOC again and again. I'm especially taken with the use of color and clear brick right where the water fall splashes into the pool below. I'm going to copy the technique...as soon as I can grow out a kung fu master beard! Thanks for the encouragement in getting "Isla" posted! Attack!
Thanks so much for the good word, amigo - glad to know it's been a source of inspiration. That only means I was able to "pay it forward," as several other builders certainly were inspiring with their rock work and waterfalls. If I can ever finish this crazy SHIP I'm working on, I would really love to get back to doing more landscape work like this, but on a larger and more complex scale. Meanwhile, I'd love to see you try your hand at some watery ABS magic one of these days. Retreat!
 I like it 
  July 21, 2012
This remains a benchmark for me. The evident skill, and the visual impact you achieve here has been a goal for me, or at least a standard by which I measure my own efforts. It's unlike anything I have seen any place else. I come back to this MOC again and again. I'm especially taken with the use of color and clear brick right where the water fall splashes into the pool below. I'm going to copy the technique...as soon as I can grow out a kung fu master beard! Thanks for the encouragement in getting "Isla" posted! Attack!
 I like it 
  January 5, 2012
Beautiful and brilliant!! I really like the -smart- way you created for the water's effect. It works even better than trans-blue plate.
 I like it 
  January 3, 2012
This is really eyecatching, and thanks for the insight on how you work. Attention to detail second to none!
Mark Kelso
 I like it 
Sam "The legoman" Knavel
  December 31, 2011
Now this is a really worthy MOTD! ;)
 I like it 
  December 31, 2011
Unsurpassed Detail! Excellent!
 I like it 
  December 31, 2011
Congrats!
 I like it 
  December 31, 2011
bout time, Happy New Year!
 I like it 
  December 31, 2011
This is so awesome!!!
 I like it 
  December 31, 2011
Every time I see this, I find that I've forgotten to some degree just how good it is. A truly groundbreaking work of building, with an amazing story and effects that enhance the MOC rather than drawing one's attention away from it. Easily one of my favorite creations ever.
 I like it 
  December 31, 2011
Congrats on MOTD!!!
 I like it 
  December 31, 2011
very cool.
 I like it 
  December 31, 2011
Happy MOTD!
 I like it 
  December 31, 2011
Wow amazing!!!!!
 I like it 
  December 31, 2011
Brilliant as usual
 I like it 
  December 31, 2011
Congratz! The MOTD is well-deserved!
 I like it 
  July 5, 2011
Really cool, yeah you know. Everything is so well conseived and excecuted. This behind the scenes make it more real. As the episode was unreal ?!?... Kind of was :)
 I like it 
  June 12, 2011
crazy! O.o
 I like it 
  June 4, 2011
This is astonishingly brilliant. It lookslike a parts-no-object build, which sometimes I admire less, but not in this case. Beautiful jaw-dropping work. I think you could do a good 'Pandora' Avatar planet with this sort of stuff : )
 I like it 
  June 2, 2011
Ah ah ah! Poor little guy... I always appreciate a "making of" for great creations!
 I like it 
  May 24, 2011
love the half naked chick if only there were more.....sigh oh well. not meaning to offend anyone. but i love it
 I like it 
  November 17, 2010
Amazing! Epic waterfalls and scenery, I love the barrel (although I would suggest a larger one that would actually fit the width of a fig), and the tree!
Mark Kelso
 I like it 
Elite Predator Wolf
  September 17, 2010
awesome! one of the best moc i've never seen.
 I like it 
  September 13, 2010
This is awesome...I love the waterfall and tree designs.
 I like it 
  September 3, 2010
Nice,the rock shape is natrul and for a second i thought i was looking at real rock.Keep up the good work!!
Mark Kelso
 I like it 
Nicks Bricks
  August 24, 2010
This is great, the rock work looks so natural, and clean, great job Kelso great job~Nick
 I like it 
  August 24, 2010
thats freakin awsome how do you do it? awsome job.~Ford
 I like it 
  August 15, 2010
thank you for making this! as now i can appreciate it more like a movie! and appreciate the build here! i absolutely love the way you work! i also had some thoughts about small sets for stories! very cool!
 I like it 
  July 23, 2010
kelso this is incredible! this whole time i thought you were primarily a sci-fi guy...
 I like it 
  July 9, 2010
And the reason TLC doesn't come to MOCpages for designers is...
 I like it 
  May 2, 2010
hey mark you are very good i see your construction and its really nice
 I like it 
  April 16, 2010
wow! Epic! I like the waterfall!
 I like it 
  January 29, 2010
Awsome! I realy wish I had the pieces (and skill) to build like this! great job!
 I like it 
  January 29, 2010
Wow, nice job Mark. Really breathtaking. :)
 I like it 
  January 5, 2010
WOW THAT MUST HAVE BEEN EXPENSIVE
 I like it 
  December 13, 2009
It's simply....BREATH-TAKING!!
 I like it 
  December 12, 2009
Soooo gooood, i cant say it otherwise. The same comment for all af youre work . This setup, the spaceships ..... very very very good. LJ
 I like it 
  November 18, 2009
There's that pretty lady! KeEp BuIlDiNg!1!1
Mark Kelso
 I like it 
Professer DreamBrick
  September 4, 2009
Nice dude, How long does it take you to make these scenes? 2weeks 3weeks?
Mark Kelso
 I like it 
Professer DreamBrick
  September 4, 2009
Nice dude, How long does it take you to make these scenes? 2weeks 3weeks?
Mark Kelso
 I like it 
Professer DreamBrick
  September 4, 2009
Nice dude, How long does it take you to make these scenes? 2weeks 3weeks?
 I like it 
  August 6, 2009
nice job i'd tell you to check out my moc's but my pictures won't get uploaded so all i have is ldd models
 I like it 
  August 6, 2009
You should work on some Tomb Raider Comics... Epic landscapes.
 I like it 
  June 16, 2009
Nice job with the details!
 I made it 
  June 16, 2009
Quoting Rock n' Roll Minifig why didnt you put a real half naked chick in the water? i am dissapointed at you!
I'm suddenly dissapointed in myself!
 I like it 
  June 16, 2009
why didnt you put a real half naked chick in the water? i am dissapointed at you!
Mark Kelso
 I like it 
erik smit
  May 2, 2009
This is just awesome. I am going to come back later (am at work now) to read and look at it all... I'm not sure yet how you built all those pictures, real Lego with a lot of Photoshop magic? Or purely virtual? This scene is just fantastic, looks impossible to make this with Lego.
 I made it 
  April 29, 2009
Quoting Freela and Brickfan93 Nooooo, I'm not the first to think of using the three-leaf plant sprues for vines! *sob* Once more does the mighty Kelso upstage me.
Yeah, well someone probably thought of it before me, too. No idea is ever original these days!
 I like it 
  April 28, 2009
Nooooo, I'm not the first to think of using the three-leaf plant sprues for vines! *sob* Once more does the mighty Kelso upstage me.
 I like it 
  April 20, 2009
What's an awesome MOC! I need to learn much from this MOC.
 I like it 
  April 19, 2009
Apocalypsis is a great idea with superb rendition and sculptural skills - Thanks
 I like it 
  February 9, 2009
WOW! Just looking at the main picture put me in awe! once i saw the others, i was amazed even more! With your expertise, i'm sure that many more like this are on the way! If you could please look at some of my MOC's i would greatly appreciate it.
 I like it 
  February 8, 2009
genuis i can't belive that you could buid this and the size and affects are amazing,one of the best mocs i've ever seen!!!
 I like it 
  February 1, 2009
Playing with Legos centers me. Looking at Apocalypsis also centers me. Fantastic work!
 I like it 
  January 18, 2009
Wow its truly amazing how you do all your scenery and your spectacular waterfall, I am truly humbled.
 I like it 
  January 4, 2009
This is amazing! This would be great for a battle scene. You could have the invisable hand floating above releasing droid fighters and dropships down to attack a republic base in the cave. Then, to make it interesting you could put the dead bodies of clones and droids floating down the river! This would also be great for a castle moc!
Mark Kelso
 I like it 
James W.
  December 29, 2008
That is sweet! Thanks for rating one of mine, and yeah I will have more pics next time, lol.
 I like it 
  October 26, 2008
You are funny my freind.... And a good artist!This is great! Theres so much detail and a man in a barrel! What else can you ask for? Check out my stuff please.
 I like it 
  October 6, 2008
:0 OMG! Professional piece of work. This is beautiful. I mean, I never seen anything so "real-looking"! Makes me want to "swim" for it!
 I like it 
  September 11, 2008
This has to be the best diorama I have seen. Everything about this is inspiring, from the trees (which I must say are incredible), to the water fall, the cliff, the back story -- everything... Okay I am done gushing now.
 I like it 
  September 10, 2008
This is really a awesome MOC. It's wonderful, I can't say any more than this.
 I like it 
  September 7, 2008
Dear Sir! I humbly take a bow...this scene is just so perfect. It looks - ahm - real!? The rocks, the splashing water...awesome built by a master! Cheers, Jens
 I like it 
  August 29, 2008
I don't have words. This is awesome! Wow! Block On Dude! Laza
 I like it 
  July 23, 2008
This is perfect, I can not point out any flaws in this! Its big, its beautiful, and just downright cool. This would be perfect for a castle MOC, with a sunken tower rising out of the water and a bridge connecting it to the cave, it sounds good to me! BTW, my S.H.I.P. WIP, Stage 2 is up incase you wanted to take a gander at it.
 I like it 
  July 21, 2008
nicely made mark!
 I like it 
  July 14, 2008
Very well done.
 I like it 
  July 10, 2008
Noob voice "That's beautiful !!!" - Seriously this is the right word to describe such a wonder. What I love the best is the stones which can be seen through the hole (sorry for the bad English) - Could be used also for a MOC on Indiana Jones 4 but it wouldn't be the same. Keep on the poetry and the awesome work !
 I like it 
  July 8, 2008
umm....he must have fixed them....I guess...
 I like it 
  June 29, 2008
Magnificent Mark, just A-class work!!! I had seen your Separatist Capital Ship all over the web too and didn't know that was you until I checked your page- so glad I did! You certainly have the art talent to make this waterfall look alive and real. Are you a lego master yet? :) Thanks for commenting on my shuttle BTW- amazed it could impress someone of your caliber.
 I like it 
  June 14, 2008
This is just breathtaking! Probably the best creation here on MOCpages, of course one of the best. Great work, no, amazing, perfect work and thank you so much for your review. Being reviewed by an expert like you is a real honor.
 I like it 
  June 14, 2008
Ummm Cody, I don't know what you're talking about. I just tried all those links and they work fine... Hey Mark, still love the moc. I like how you "recycled" some of it for MOCtag. Remeber, it's good for the planet! ~ Chris.
 I like it 
  May 30, 2008
I am here to tell you that your links on your homepage are wrong phipson has a link to ocean's page,and oceans "homepage" link goes to one of his(many) Mocs.and your place rulez man!!
 I like it 
  May 26, 2008
From stunning capital ships to equally stunning scenes of nature... is there anything you can't do? I was thinking about looking for a good nature image to use as my desktop wallpaper this morning; I didn't think I'd find one I wanted to use on MOCpages! I don't suppose you have that first photo in about a 1680x1050? :P
 I like it 
  May 25, 2008
COOL! I like the guy in the barrel! hey if its not to much to ask but can you please check out some of my mocs and please leave a review!
 I like it 
  May 16, 2008
i recognize the original rock facade from your sketchbook, nice touch!
 I like it 
  May 16, 2008
Oh man this is awesome! Sorry I couldn't review it earlier, for some reason my page, "Didn't exist". (???) Anyway, this is absolutely incredible. If you look at some of my older stuff you can see I've tried to make something like this, but I've fallen short. Actually everything falls short of THIS. Amazing...
 I like it 
  May 15, 2008
You know Mark, you’re really pretty good at this Lego thing.
 I like it 
  May 15, 2008
Guess what I did? After I saw your first one, I went to the Lego store and hit the Pick-a-brick... almost bought 'em out of trans clear and blue snot. That's a good thing! (not for the bank account) You sir, are an inspiration to us ALL! I know you've inspired me to "take my time"... See ya soon. Later ~ Chris.
 I like it 
  May 15, 2008
Magnificient!!
 I like it 
  May 15, 2008
Oh my goodness! this is amazing!! You have succeeded in making lego paradise! it looks like i could go to the rockies and see it! And i like the views in these pictures more than some of the ones in the story, you never really got to see how awesome it was in that, but here you do! Amazing!
 I like it 
  May 15, 2008
I,v been looking at this all day, absolutely astounding a truly beautiful creation.
 I like it 
  May 15, 2008
So THAT'S why gray pieces are so hard to find! Anyway, Beautiful work Mark! Absolutely georgous!
 I like it 
  May 15, 2008
I was wondering if the cave actually did that....
 I like it 
  May 15, 2008
Your cliffisde/rock building technique is blowing my mind. I can't figure out how you have slopes going every which way. Surely it is some secret SNOT work that only the masters know. The waterfall looks even better here (I hadn't noticed the light blue accents near the falls before). Well, I could go on forever, but the toothpick quota just went up and I have to get the guys back to work. Thanks for showing.
 I like it 
  May 15, 2008
I agree with Shannon Y. It's really nice to see it without any Photoshop applied. To be able to look at the pure LEGO-ness of it is great.
 I like it 
  May 15, 2008
THATS REALY COOL I LOVE THE WAY THE ROCKS ARE COMPLETELY DIFFERENT I APPSALUTELY LOVE IT TO BITS!
 I like it 
  May 15, 2008
Now, THIS should have been MOC of the day! Extremely great job.
 I like it 
  May 15, 2008
I'm going to bookmark this for future reference. Innovative & Inspirational. Thanks.
 I like it 
  May 15, 2008
Whoo,that's some of the best landscaping I've seen in a long time,masterful work with the cave!
 I like it 
  May 15, 2008
As usual your attention to getting every small detail right makes this stand out. The story was excellent, but the set pieces are masterworks in their own right. Great job! I can't wait to see the rest.
 I like it 
  May 15, 2008
Uhh, my neck's sore from shaking my head at these pics so much..uhh...I love seeing behind the scenes stuff, especially when it's a world class project like this. Everything else ever posted on MOCpages: consider yourselves officially BURNED! Thank you Mark.
 I like it 
  May 15, 2008
I like the building background more than the story. At least so far. Are you going to include some general info on the photoshopping techniques? You picture takin' sure is good. Seems the bigger the work the harder it is to get good pictures. Look forward to part two, both the story and the background. garth
 I like it 
  May 15, 2008
Thank you for posting this. Maybe I'm an ultra-purist, but I actually prefer it without the Photoshop trickery. The movie set/modularity thing is something I have thought about and would like to do, but I have trouble focusing my energies on one huge project. Hopefully this will inspire me to do better at that. The best thing to hit MOCpages in some time, I eagerly await the next chapter.
 I like it 
  May 15, 2008
Ahhh, much better - the raw photos allow me to better appreciate your building techniques. Lee.
 I like it 
  May 15, 2008
Barely anything on the internet even comes close to being as perfect as this. It is simply stunning
 I like it 
  May 14, 2008
Awesome great attention to detail
 
By Mark Kelso
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