MAY 1st & 2nd 2017

This morning I was putting the final touches to my 3-D model. I nearly had all the windows and doors completed and I was ready to begin making the extension at the back of the cottage, which in my honest opinion would have been much easier than the front cottage. I began at 9:30 am and my plan was to have the extension with the roof finished by 13:00 pm.  At roughly 12:00 pm or a little after it, my computer froze and ultimately crashed.  At first I was not worried, I simply restarted it and naively thought my work would be there. However, this was not the case as my model was completely gone when I searched for it in my project folder.  I had been saving in multiple places such as dropbox, USB keys and my desktop but due to high levels of concentration I had not saved since the night before and as a result my backup was just the first 3-D model that I had made a few days prior.  I was completely distraught and nauseous at the thought of losing a few days hard work.  I had been warned multiple times by my lecturer about saving and the ugly truth is, I thought I did save, but when you are deep in concentration, this very important lesson could and did slip my mind; hence I am paying the price for it now.  On Tuesday I just could not face my project colleagues in university and I decided to work hard all day long at home at trying to rectify my huge mishap.  I started off with the model below.

Screenshot of Thoor Ballylee Cottage By Justin Martin.

I had to remove the straw thatch and taper the over-hang on the cottage.  Then I assigned pebble-dash onto all the walls and began making the windows and doors from scratch, which I was not very enthusiastic about as it was/is a very tiresome and laborious job. I spent the day fixing it as much as I could before retiring to bed at 02:00 am.  Although it does not look like a lot of progress, I feel that I did okay considering what happened this morning.

3-D Model of Thoor Ballylee Cottage by Justin Martin.

I will learn from this and come back stronger!  Hopefully tomorrow I will have all the windows and doors done and then I can begin making the extension on Thursday May 4th.


APRIL 29th 2017

Today, I experimented with windows, doors, and their textures and geometry.  I tried making a box and playing with beveling and tapering.  I feel that trying to make a door or a window can be achieved in multiple ways and to a very high degree of realism, but in order to achieve some level of accuracy, one needs time and patience.  Both of these nouns I do not possess at the moment, which leaves me with very little  maneuverability in terms of quality.

Thoor BallyLee Window by Justin Martin.

I chose photos from my collection of some of the windows and doors from Thoor Ballylee and cropped and printed them out, so I could get a sense of  their geometry and detail.  As you can see from the photograph below, there are vertical panels; multiple hinges and raised parts that surround all the edges.  I thought that the most practical thing to do was to upload this picture into material editor and assign it onto a plain window. This worked well at first but when I  rendered  it,  the details on the picture  was missing; only the green colour came through.

Thoor Ballylee Front Door by Justin Martin.

I also tried this on the front door of the main cottage and the same situation occurred.  I tried watching some tutorials to aid my progression in making the doors and windows, but this was a laborious task and I really wanted to find a short-cut that would reduce my time in researching and making the seventeen windows and four doors needed to complete my part of the project. Our project needs to be completed in a timely and sufficient manner before Monday the 8th of May 2017.  I plan on finishing my part of the project before the weekend, as I need to meet with my colleagues to finalise all areas of our project, not just mine.


APRIL 26th 2017

Today I started  building the structure of the main cottage and the small extension which is joined on to the tower.  The roofs took me a long time to figure out.  I tried a few different options based on the photographs which me and my colleagues had taken.  The roof on the main cottage was higher than the small extension which it was adjoined  to.   So  due to my lack of geometrical manipulation  skills, I

Thoor Ballylee Cottage by Justin Martin.

decided to build two separate roofs.  After I experimented with the geometry a little bit, I managed to make the two roofs look quite good in the end. Afterwards I  spent a little time making the chimney stack and pot, which can be seen in the screenshot below.  I decided to make the chimney stack and pot  separately  rather  than  extruding  the  geometry  from  the roof.

Screenshot of chimney pot made by Lathe Modifier by Justin Martin.

I experimented with grouping the chimney stack, pot and cottage to secure them all to the building whilst I was working on it. In order to finalise the roof, I decided to assign a material to it.  As this is a thatched straw roof, I went to textures.com and chose a picture of a thatched roof.  When I applied the picture, the bigger roof looked really well but the smaller roof which can be seen above did not look realistic at all.  After trying to fix this problem for a while, I decided to try different materials.  I experimented with other materials but I still could not get the same affect as on the real cottage.

Screenshot of Thoor Ballylee Cottage By Justin Martin.

Ultimately, I decided to use a photograph of the real roof which I then cropped and then applied the UVW map modifier to the thatch. The results were much more realistic and I ended my experiments there, and began working on the doors and windows as one can see from the screenshot below.

Screenshot of Thoor Ballylee Cottage by Justin Martin.


APRIL 25th 2017

Today, I will begin  building my 3-D model based on the measurements that I took whilst in Gort, Co Galway and from the 1963 architectural drawings which we acquired from the Architectural Archives in Dublin 2.

The first problem I encountered was that the 1963 plans have some inaccuracies and short-comings.  The cottages on the drawing do not replicate the cottages that are now situated at Thoor Ballylee.  My journey to Gort now seems justified but on the other hand has left me with a difficult conundrum.  Do I build my 3-D model based on the 1963 drawing or do I build it the way it looks today?  This was a tricky problem and I was not 100% sure which one to focus on.  The plans from 1963 show the two cottages which are separated by a path in-between. Currently, there is no path separating the two buildings.  The two cottages are now attached to one another, with the extension at the back being much longer than the main cottage at the front.

Thoor Ballylee Cottages by Gavin MacCallister

In addition to the geometrical changes stated above; the cottages and the tower were closed on the day of our visit. This also meant that we could not gather textural information on the day, or get a sense of the interior of any of the buildings.  These episodes made me choose the existing structure.

I wanted to stay true to the building that stands there now; thus, embracing the buildings evolution over the ages.  But at the same time, my colleagues Gavin and Maria are going to be working from the 1963 drawings.  After some deliberation, I came to the conclusion that the shape of the tower has not been altered on the outside in any way, shape or form, but the cottages I am building have been altered and thus, have a completely different shape now. So I decided to stay true to the existing building, and I figured that this will not impact on Gavin and Maria’s work on the tower or its environs.

In hind-sight, it was a good decision for us to take the trip to Gort to take photographs and measurements ourselves as there is a clear lack of information and precision in the plans we obtained from the archive.  If we had not undertaken the journey, we would have been stuck with photographs from the internet, which sometimes, do not give the full picture.