Data Modeling: Compare Techniques

In the previous post regarding data and the way that they could model, was made an attempt to visualise them through Gephi. In that post, it will be discussed the modeling of data and the different techniques that contribute to this, and which of these techniques could work better for a humanities dataset, according to my personal experience.


Data modeling is the process in which the structure of data is represented as well as the relationships that are created between data. This is the reason why all the notation systems that are used commonly have the ability to convert one to another. There are presented differences among them which are more aesthetics. However, with some of them, there is the opportunity to create and show differences that others cannot do it, and all of them do not have the same or all the symbols to represent all the possible situations. (Hay)

A data model can have many uses and implementations such as in the field of business and science. There are three different data model types, which are: conceptual data model, logical data model, and physical data model. Each of them can be independent of each other and render in schemas that named conceptual, logical and physical schemas respectively.

Firstly, a conceptual schema used for the representation of data in a database, describing the semantics of a domain or simpler the first part of the data requirements organising. Secondly, a logical schema represents the structure of a domain of information, capturing important information regarding the elements of the database and the way they related to each other. Thirdly, a physical schema describes the details regarding store the data.

16578658-Abstract-word-cloud-for-Ontology-with-related-tags-and-terms-Stock-PhotoIn addition, there is an another method of data representation that called ontology. Ontology is a model which introduces a relevant to domain vocabulary and specifies the intended meaning of vocabulary. Also, an ontology has two parts a set of axioms and a set of facts. The former set is used to describe the structure of the model, and the latter to describe some particular actual situation. (Horrocks)

When we talk about the structure of humanities data, the ontology could be a quite efficient method that could help in the creation of a humanities database. A schema which describes the humanities data could be large and complex or used at query times such as the data of a library or a museum, or an archive. This is connected directly with the type of data, which could be quite descriptive. In those cases, the metadata of an element could be many and different between them, and the way of each user could make a search differ and difficulty predictable as well. An ontology has the ability to create a reasonable structure, including inferred answers and intended queries. (Horrocks) That could help a lot the structure of humanities data as with an ontology some very basic problems of them could be solved.

Having tried to create an ontology in Protege, an ontology editor, I saw that it is not a very complicated process for a person with humanities and not science background to create an ontology. There is the opportunity to create and name your elements and their relationships too, giving the freedom to organise the data and the structure of them according to you and your users’ needs, and not following formworks created by others, that maybe do not feet in your aims. That is very important for people like me, to find a method that they can understand and work with it without problems.


Hay, D., C., A Comparison of Data Modeling Techniques,, Web, Accessed on 8/5/2017

Horrocks, Ian, Ontologies and Databases,…/Ian_Horrocks_Ontologies_and_databases.pdf, Web, Accessed on 8/5/2017

Seiner, R., S., Different Kinds of Data Models: History and a Suggestion,, Web, Accessed on 8/5/2017

The last steps to complete the Fore Abbey Cloister

This would be the last post regarding the 3d reconstruction project of Fore Abbey Cloister. It will be presented below the last tries of Seamus and me to apply texture in the whole cloister, put lights in the scene and cameras for a hypothetical video in which will be showed the cloister to the audience.

The application of texture to the entire cloister this time and not only to the smaller parts that complement it proved tricky to us. Our first attempts have not proved to be particularly successful as we could not successfully apply the texture to the exterior walls of the cloister. We applied the texture as Bitmap and after that applied the UVW map modifier from the Modifier List like last times. But, unfortunately, that did not work. The two opposite outside and inside walls had a successful result, rotated, moving and scaled the texture through the Gizmo, but the other two walls seemed to distorted the texture. The same happened with the top of all the four walls. So, we tried to apply the texture to only one side of the wall and use the UVW map modifier in it. That was more successful and after we had the desired result, copied it to the other sides. However, when we tried to render the scene the texture was blurry, unless that we had picked from the Render Setup→Renderer→NVIDIA mental ray.

Screen Shot 2017-05-07 at 13.49.18

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Following that, we applied texture at pillars and arches. We had already done that for the ground and the grass, as I mentioned in my previous posts. As for the roofs, we applied different textures for the inside and outside part of them. The outside texture was applied on different plans that we created as new objects from the Command Panel and attach them on the existed roofs.

Screen Shot 2017-05-07 at 17.18.54

Also, we created gutters that we placed along the roof. For the gutters, we created cylinders and used the ProBoolean from the Command Panel→Compound Objects.


That was the last detail that we put in the cloister and started experimenting with the lights through Create Panel→Lights. We pick Daylight and gave the geographical directions of the place, and select the year 1500 when the cloister had the form that we tried to create. After that, we took as a start point the centre of the cloister and we put the light up.


The last step for the to complete our model was the placement of cameras for the creation of an animation. So, based on our scenario, and having the specialist on video creation Seamus in the team, we decided to put three cameras, covering both of inside and outsides parts of the cloister as the top view to show the height of it and the audience have the opportunity tο see how was a medieval cloister.




Somewhere here our project is over! This is our final result after many hours of work on 3ds Max. What we have learned as a team from our work on this project was our contact with the software and the acquisition of the basic skills of creating a 3d model in that. 3ds Max proves to be a very important tool for anyone who deals with 3d modelling, whether they come from a theoretical background or a science one. The idea of creating whole buildings, and reconstruct a whole world from the past based on its denominations from a simple box in the Comand Panel on 3ds Max will continue to fascinate me!

Our last tries to reconstruct the cloister!

This week will be the last for Seamus and me that we are working on the reconstruction of the cloister. Below is showed some of the progress that we did.

We work again on the pillar because after the apply of TurboSmooth modifier the number of polygons increased extremely to 1.000.000 and that, as a result, crashed the 3ds Max. So, we deleted this modifier to make possible the creation of multiple copies without other extra problems to the final scene. After that, we focused on the creation of acres that were placed on the top of the pillars and were the connection between pillars and roofs. We used a plan, like the very first time with the creation of lines for the whole Abbey, and again we created a with the use of lines, convert to editable poly and extrude. Trying to be close to the original arches that are saved, we created small cylinders and through Boolean we created the schema that we wanted, also by applying different modifiers such as Stretch, applying Bevel, and moving the vertices of the inside part of the arch we took the desired result, creating this continuous-beam pattern towards the ground, like can be seen in the picture below:



Following that, we put together the pillar and the arch and created multiple copies according to the plans that we had already the pictures that took with information regarding the number of them on each side of the cloister.


Having the completed lines of pillars and arches, we put them on the scene and on the small base in the centre of the cloister. According to the information panel, where is in Abbey providing basic information for the place and the research that we did about medieval cloisters, we concluded to the existence of a roof that joins the walls with the top of the arches and which was in a lateral rather than a horizontal position. So, we decided to design that roof and put it in our reconstruction. 

Firstly, we create a box, putting measurements we made based on what we had already collected for the rest of the room, creating the top of the roof and after that another smaller boxes which we placed under the top, as beams of the roof.   

Screen Shot 2017-05-06 at 14.54.54Screen Shot 2017-05-06 at 13.18.01

We rescaled and copied them and put them across the four walls. We made new objects, four planes according to the shape of the roofs and put them up to them, and apply the texture to them through the Material Editor.

Screen Shot 2017-05-07 at 17.19.58

I will describe in the nest post the way that we used to apply texture in the whole cloister, which was not quite easy for us. But for more of our adventures with 3ds Max… wait for the next post!

One more try to improve the pillars!

Seamus and I tried for one more time to create the pillar during this week. We import the floor plan of the pillar as a Bitmap (Material Editor→pick a new slot→Diffuse→Material/Map Browser→click on the Bitmap→Select Bitmap Image File→select the image→Open the image→PSD Input Options→Ok) need, and create through Line (Command Panel→Splines→Line) an outline, which we converted to Editable Poly and Extruded it from the options in the Command Panel.

We created three copies of that pillar to use them as a base. Following that, we copied them again to create the cap of the pillar, converting them in Editable Poly, and applying them the Cap Hole modifier to fill them. We applied more modifiers on the base and the cap of the pillar to render the effect of the smoothness as it is showed in the pillars at the Abbey such as Chamfer, TurboSmooth and Melt. You can see the very first part of the base of the pillar after the apply of Chamfer modifier in the below picture:

Screen Shot 2017-05-04 at 19.54.38

This is our final…let’s hope… pillar!

Screen Shot 2017-05-04 at 21.43.18

Following that, we saw again the texture of the ground floor and grass of cloister and tried to fix it, rescaling the pictures that we used last time. We did that using the UVW modifier through Modify panel→Modifier ListObject-Space ModifiersUVW Map. This modifier has a coordinate system which is similar to the XYZ coordinate system. To be more specific, the U, V and W axes of a Bitmap correspond to the X, Y and Z axes respectively. So, we decreased the measures in these three axes as the pictures that we used seemed quite big in our plan (see the previous post).

Screen Shot 2017-05-06 at 13.18.01

At this point, I would like to note that we download our texture from the website

The weekend will be the last days that Seamus and I work on 3ds Max. We hope to successfully complete the cloister! The results will be presented in the next post, until then…more work on 3ds Max!

Creating Walls for the Cloister

After the brainteaser with the pillars and arches, Seamus and I focused on the walls that surround the cloister. So, having as a point of reference the plan of the whole Abbey, importing as a bitmap like the previous time, we created planes according to the plan and the measurements that we had selected. We created two planes from the Command Panel, one for the grass in the middle of the cloister and another one for the path around the cloister. After that, we created two boxes for the walls of the cloister. The first one has the space of the whole cloister and the second one was smaller and used to configure the thickness of the walls. We did that used the ProBoolean from the Command Panel→Compound Objects→ProBoolean, selecting the bigger box first and subtraction, and smaller after that. The second box disappeared and we keep the frame of the wall; we followed the same procedure for the smaller wall base in which the pillars are placed, as you can see in the following picture:

Screen Shot 2017-05-01 at 12.21.04

 Fore Abbey 004s

Screen Shot 2017-05-01 at 13.33.29

This is the whole square of the cloister, consisting of the two planes and the two frames pf walls:

Screen Shot 2017-05-01 at 13.10.11

Subsequently, we moved on the creation of the wall openings, following the plan, photographs and our measurements. To do that, we created boxes from the Command Panel→Standard Objects, giving the appropriate measurements, and with Proboolean and the procedure that I describe above, the openings placed on the main cloister wall. Only one of the openings presented differences from the others, so it was needed to create a hemisphere on the top. To do that we attached a cylinder on the top of the box, see bellow:

Screen Shot 2017-05-01 at 14.16.42

Moreover, we worked on the creation of the support of the roof, the beams, creating boxes depended on the measurements that we had for the other parts of the cloister. The roof is not saved, so we decide to follow examples from other irish medieval cloisters and the outline from the panel that there is inside the Abbey, where the cloister is placed.


This is the result:

Screen Shot 2017-05-01 at 17.17.06

We grouped the beams of each side to move and put them in the correct position easier. In the end, we tried to apply texture for the grass part and for the path of the cloister:

Screen Shot 2017-05-01 at 18.35.16

We rendered to see exactly what we have done until then. We need to work more with the texture, as you can see. So, we plan to improve the texture that we used and edit the photographs that we have and see if they are appropriate for the texture of the other parts.

Trying create pillars and arches for the cloister…do not try this at home!

Seamus and I had another exciting weekend with 3ds Max! We saw again the pillar and tried to create the arch. We improved the previous version of the pillar as you can see below:

Screen Shot 2017-04-29 at 17.50.13

We created the main body of the pillar from the beginning, creating again cylinders and putting together such as described in the previous post. We group them and created six copies, three for the base and three for the pillar cap. Following that, we rescaled the three parts of the base according to the picture below:

Χωρίς τίτλο

We attached them together and used the Smooth modifier through Exporting in Editable Poly→Command Panel→Modifier List→Smooth. We followed the same procedure for the pillar cap, but we applied an extra modifier which is the Melt, to give an extra sense of smoothness, following the same steps that are described above, picking the Melt modifier from the list, and adjusting the amount of melting.

Screen Shot 2017-04-29 at 16.40.45

Screen Shot 2017-04-29 at 16.40.13






In the end, we connected all of the three parts together, main body, base, and pillar cap, having a whole pillar.

After that, we moved on the arches design. An example of our tries is presenting below:

Screen Shot 2017-04-29 at 18.39.01

At first, we tried to create lines, following the plans that have, through Command Panel→Splines→Lines. We did that with three different ways, lines with corners, lines with smooth and semicircles, but we have not decided yet which will be the best way.