As part of our Modelling Humanities Data module, we have been tasked with learning to use 3DS Max with the aim of modelling a place or artefact that no longer exists. My classmate John and I decided early on that, being novices with the software, it would be a good idea to work together as a team to complete the assignment as well as learn the basics of the software. We had initially approached the idea of re-making trenches in St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin, which are documented in witness statements from after the Easter Rising, however, we soon realised that there were not in fact enough sources, drawings, or other documentation that would allow us to accurately re-create the trenches. Another factor that influenced our decision was the fact that trying to accurately model the topography of the Green would take much more skill and time than we would be afforded. In the end, we decided on a project which we knew would have ample documentation with which we could re-create the past. The case for the project in question was Woodstock House, an 18th century mansion on Woodstock Estate Co. Kilkenny. Woodstock was built in 1745-47 by the architect Francis Bindon for Sir William Fownes. It was burned out by the Black and Tans in 1922, leaving a shell of the old house.
Getting the Plans…
Now that we had settled on a project, we needed to do some research on the house itself; were there any photos or plans online etc. There were in fact several decent images of the house before burning and plenty of images after. One of our other key leads was a web resource featuring several ordinance survey maps and older historic maps laid over one another. From these and Google maps we could compare the general shape of the house and get a feels for how large it and the grounds were. Despite having several good images of the site, we felt that since the Georgian architectural style leans so heavily on well-defined geometry, we should set about researching whether or not we could find any house plans. We found several conservation-based county council plans about the site, but these were more concerned with the mapping and conservation of the grounds themselves. However, this gave us the idea of calling the Kilkenny Co. Council to see if there were any plans of the house from the preservation work and as luck would have it, there were some scans of old plans for the house from the estate’s post-fire compensation claim. It was from here that we were able to plan how we were going to re-construct the house in 3DS Max.