The South West Tower

The South West tower is pretty much finished, although saying that it still lacks the finishing touches like doors, furnishings and lets not forget the texturing…

SWtower_outside

If you like history you can read the following it may be of interest, if not proceed to the next paragraph

The SW tower is the oldest part of the castle yet strangely I had found the plans of all the rooms in the tower when I was doing my research, which means I could reconstruct it without much guess work. From a historic point of view, this is your typical text book British castle tower, the ground floor containing a vaulted store room/dungeon although I think it more likely to be the store room due to its proximity to the kitchen and castle oven, it contains only a tiny window slit for ventilation. You enter the tower via the first floor, though the actual entrance into the tower is by going up a some stairs along side the curtain wall and then accessing the tower through a passage in the wall itself. The first floor has a little bit more light than the ground floor, there a small access passage to the spiral stair case. It was probably used as another store room or low rank living quarters. Second floor is the towers hall, living quarters for the Men-at-arms or part of the castles garrison, the most interesting feature is that room is that it contains two recesses on adjacent walls, as if there were meant to be doors. In actual fact during the modeling process it dawned on me what they were for… a simple way to reduce the weight on the structure below(the entrance to the tower). The third floor is the guards room, contains the only fireplace in the tower with an alcove and window. Another surprise it that it has a strange L shape room with six square windows, at first I was a loss at what the room was, seeing that these six windows received light for most of the day I came to the realization that it must be a sun trap, a form of medieval heating cant be sure though I’m not an archelogist. The guard room allows access to the curtain walls and would have been the office(maybe living quarters) of someone with at high rank. Yet I dont how mauch piece that person had with gaurds comming in and out during patrols.

Modeling the Tower

From a modeling point of view I decided to keep the outside of the tower as a separate object to the inside, having it as one complete mesh would simply increase the polygon count, and make it extremely difficult to work with.

Inside mesh of the tower

The inside of the tower

The array modifier was used for the battlements and spiral staircase, it especially was useful when there was adjustment to be made in the rotation of the staircase.

Its Embarrassing when I have used a program for so long, and only recently discovered what a certain buttons does, especially when it a feature that’s been with blender ever since I can remember. Saying that though I have had no opportunity in the past to use the “Auto Smooth” button. For any non-organic model this feature is a must. It takes into account the angles of the polygons and depending on what they are will render some polygons smooth and some flat. Initially when I began modeling the castle I was going to use the sub-surf modifier to smooth out the faces this though would have greatly increased the polygon count maybe into the millions when the castle was finished. To activate the feature you have to set the mesh to “set smooth” and click on the “Auto Smooth” button, your model may look strange in the 3D view but its how it renders out that’s the important thing.

autosmooth

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  1. Hi, I stumbled across your site and am quite enjoying the tutorials (thanks!) so I’d like to give something back…

    As well as using Set Smooth & Auto Smooth you can also use the Edge Split modifier (sounds much scarier than it actually is) which will do pretty much *exactly* the same as the Auto Smooth function BUT it also applies to the 3D viewports in Blender. As well as going by edge angle (like Auto Smooth) it also lets you mark specific edges as ‘sharp’.

    I never used it till I found out what it did, now I wouldn’t want to model without it! 🙂

  2. Thanks for the sculpt tuts and the others…

    great help…

    Have you shifted to blender 2.5.

    L ooking forward to 2,5 tuts…

    1. No I haven’t moved yet, I did play around with 2.5 but it will take a while for me to get used to the new layout… As for tutorials it may be some time before I can make up some new ones, I am going through a bit of a dry spell (actually its been 2 years) when it comes to creating artwork.

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