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.

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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.

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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.   

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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.

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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:

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This is our final…let’s hope… pillar!

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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).

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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:

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 Fore Abbey 004s

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

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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.

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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:

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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.

Plan Change: Go for the Reconstruction of the Cloister

Seamus and I made a reschedule regarding the plans of our project, and we decide to focus on the reconstruction of Cloister of Fore Abbey, which took place at the centre of the main building. As you can see in the picture below, to date only some of the pillars are preserved.

Fore Abbey, W Meath-thumb-300x300-12868So, we decided that this would have a great interest because cloisters were one of the most important spaces of Abbeys.  Moreover, we see that the time we have it is not enough for the reconstruction of the whole Abbey. But we have this plan store for the future!


We had some of the measurements that they need, Seamus went again in Fore to take some more from each pillar and the arches.

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Having the measurements and the plan of each pillar, we started to create the first of them. We import as a  bit map the plan of the pillar in the same way that I have described in the previous blog post and the plan of the whole Abbey. We followed the same procedure as last time with the choose of lines from the Command Panel, and we tried to create the schema of the pillar from the plan. Unfortunately, this did not have big success because pillars have curved lines and for this reason, it was difficult for us to follow the lines accurately.

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After that, we tried again, following a different way. We thought to create cylinders from the Command Panel→Standard Objects→Cylider and put them together.

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The result was to create 11 different cylinders. That way seems to work better as the lines of the each cylinder touched more now to the plan.

That’s all until our next meeting with Seamus!

Redefining Fore: A 3D Reconstruction Project

As part of the course AFF 625: 3D Modelling, Analysis and Interpretation of Three-dimensional Spaces all students are participating in a 3d reconstruction project. The subject of the reconstruction is open and students work in pairs. Seamus Callagy  and I are working together on the project: Redefining Fore: A 3D Reconstruction Project in which the Fore fore abbey2Abbey, a tourist site in Ireland, will be reconstructed. The Village of Fore, in Co. Westmeath is dominated by the imposing ruins of a large Benedictine Abbey. Fore is on the cusp of a major heritage-based development plan with a view to massively increasing current tourist numbers. In addition, Fore is a living village, not just a heritage site and its people are proud of the connection that exists with their historical past and it is important that they remain an fore abbeyintegral part of the developments. We believe that this reconstruction will greater connect the modern community at Fore, with their heritage by bringing a strong visual asset to their current audiovisual offering.

We have travelled to the location and spoken with members of the community, including Cllr. Una D’Arcy and members of the Community Development team who are very happy that the project will go ahead. We have also spoken with several members of the community who have volunteered to assist with the reconstruction project.

But now let’s move on to the more practical part of the project. We have started working with 3ds Max 2017 software. Initially, we imported the architectural floor plan of the Abbey in the perspective viewport as a bitmap through Material Editor→choose the first slot→Diffuse→Material/Map Browser→click on the Bitmap→Select Bitmap Image File→select the image that we need (check the statistics at a low ebb of the window, for future imply objects)→Open the image→PSD Input Options→Ok. The image of the plan is applied on the Material Editor on the first slot. After that, we went to the Top viewport and create a plane from the Command Panel and the Standard Primitives Objects. We changed the parameters of the plane according to the statistics numbers (see below) and select Smooth+Highlights from the top of the viewport. We apply the map on the viewport by drag and drop and click on the View Standard Map in Viewport from the from the Material Editor panel. So, the plan was showed on the viewports.

The next step is to create lines according to the plan. So, we picked Splines→ Shapes→Lines from the Command Panel and start to create our lines following the lines of the plan.

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When we finished this new scheme, converted it in Editable Spline, pick the vertices and tried to move them as close as possible to the original lines with right click→Corner→pick one vertex→Move and move each one close to the original. From the Perspective View and having selected the spline went to Modifier List→Extrude and extruded the spline.

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That’s all from our first try to create the “3d Fore”!

We will try to impress you more in the next blog post!