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Rebuilding Woodstock – Creating the Roofs and Chimneys (AFF-604A)

This is part three in a series documenting John Chambers’ and my modelling of Woodstock House, as part of our Modelling Humanities Data Module. Please go to John’s blog here to see more.

Issues with Geometry

Now that we had completed our foundations completed on the house, so to speak, we began working on the roofs of the house. This proved more tricky than building the walls, as the walls had only required the building of the general wall shapes and setting the parameters we wanted.

Creating layers in 3DS Max becomes more and more essential to the process.
Creating layers in 3DS Max becomes more and more essential to the process.

The construction of the roofs required us to actually model more complicated shapes based on the geometry set out in the compensation plans. Being at this stage only familiar with how SketchUp geometry works, this proved to be quite frustrating to get the hang of. We decided first to model the roofs for the wings of the building before attempting the main roof, which was geometrically more difficult.

The plans for the roofs.
The plans for the wing and main roofs.

The Wing Roofs…

We started out by first drawing a flat box and connecting the desired vertices until we got the shape we wanted. As in the plans and photos we had of the house pre-fire, we noticed that there was an extruding part of the roofs on either side of the house that jutted up. We decided rather than trying to get the geometry of the entire wing roofs extruded in one go that it would make more sense to build this extruding part separately and align it later on. Using the measurements from the plans, we were able to construct the roofs as two separate parts and align them to one another. It turned out that it was a much better idea, as trying to build the entire wing roof as one part meant that the geometry of the surfaces became skewed out of shape.

We tried cutting and refining our roofs to make the textures more flat.
We tried cutting and refining our roofs to make the textures more flat.

We were able to mark out the geometry by convert each piece into editable polys and sectioning off the appropriate geometry. Once this was achieved we simply had to extrude the editable centre-lines on each piece and slot them together. All in all the end result was quite satisfying in terms of measurement and geometry, however it was very difficult to get our roofs themselves exactly flat.

The Main roofs…

Once we had completed the wing roofs, it was actually much easier to figure out how to not only calculate the geometry of the roof, but to also figure out how best to split the roof into more manageable parts. We did this by splitting them into four main sections; two longer pieces and two mid sections. The result was four geometric boxes that we converted to editable polys as before.

The main roofs with most of their geometry marked out. The house is starting to take shape...
The main roofs with most of their geometry marked out. The house is starting to take shape.

We selected the middle ‘edge’ of each and used the move tool to pull them up into prism-shapes that slotted into one another to form the main roof. The resulting negative space formed the light well that runs from the middle of the roofs to the basement below.

roof
The main roof built in 3DS Max, with added planes beneath.

We noticed that there was flat space in the plans and photographs of the house from which the roofs protrude, so we drew planes under the main roof so that it reflected the photographs. This proved trickier than it seemed.

The Chimneys

Since we had the front and end elevations of the house and had scaled them correctly, we were able to simply sketch out the shapes of the chimneys against the plans as boxes and tapered the tops. We made the chimney pots by creating cylinders, converting them to editable polys and marking out the spikes on top according to the photographs, before pulling them out using edge select and the move function. The chimneys were relatively easy to build overall, having largely figured out how follow the plans we had. One of the features that came in very handy here was the cloning function, using which we could create all of the chimneys relatively quickly as ‘instances’ of one another. By doing this, editing one chimney would edit all of the chimneys, which made it easier to align them to the walls. Once they were inserted into the house we began to model the windows, which will be covered in my next blog post.

chimney
The chimneys were created from boxes that matched up with our end elevation plans.
The Model as it stands thusfar, with all of the roofs and chimneys inserted.
The Model as it stands thusfar, with all of the roofs and chimneys inserted.

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rbreen

MA Digital Humanities student in An Foras Feasa, Maynooth University. BA Music from Maynooth University.

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