Today was a day of experimenting with the materials. It is the day during which for the first time I’ve felt like I’ve finally got a hang of 3ds Max after turning my lego-like pillar into wooden pillar. How naive I was to think it will all go smoothly from then on…The first pillar looked great, but somehow, when I applied the same material to other pillars, the end-result changed. The first pillar still had its perfect bumps, will all the others looked more thorny. Messing with UV Map modifier helped a bit, but it still gave different result than during the first trial with one pillar. The same values of bitmap bump and diffusion showed different results in rendering and the small victory turned into another bitter defeat.
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Made progress, albeit painfully, with the roof ornament. I’ve managed to add extra vertexes and edges to the front of the object initially created with a line and extruded. It was quite time consuming and frustrating at times. First, I’ve connected all the vertexes together creating horizontal edges. Once that was done, I’ve connected the edges together creating vertical edge – and divided it into sub-sections. Once that was done, I’ve selected the outside rim and extruded. Initially, I’ve planned to extrude sphere-like shapes from the original geometry, but as I was trying to do so, I’ve realized that there is a simpler way to do it. Instead of extruding and trying to smooth the shapes, I’ve created number of spheres that I’ve incorporated into the original geography. All of the above was done on one half of the ornament – once I was happy with the result, I’ve mirrored it and connected the two parts into a heart-shaped ornament.
With the basic geometry ready, it was time to look into some of the details. I’ve decided to start working on the roof. The most distinct feature of Irish timber churches is the ornament placed on each side of the building at the highest point of the roof, at the joint of two side planks. I’ve started by creating a line that copied the shape of the ornament – the plan was to extrude it and mirror the other half of the piece. Simple in practice, it took few tries and I’ve hit a wall when I was unable to create additional vertexes and edges on the front-facing polygon of the object. Frustrated by lack of progress – and weird abominations of geometry that happened in the process – I’ve decided to move on and try to work on the shingles.
With Ethan experimenting with various timber materials, I’ve decided to create a rough geometry of the church and start messing with different parts of it. Using the floor plan of Haltdalen church as a reference for the measurements, I’ve built all the walls and the side pillars. The roof is based on the images of high cross and the crossed planks on both ends of the roof will be modeled into the ornaments seen at the top of stone churches (Kilmalkedar).
Such plan seemed easy enough in theory. In practice, I believe that the measurements need to be re-adjusted, since the front of the church (door) looks bit unrealistic. I also had trouble in thinking how to design the arch topping the entry and finally – how to shape the side roof planks into slightly rounded X.
For our 3D modelling project, myself and Ethan decided to make a model of a 7th century timber church. Since there are no wooden Irish churches surviving from this period, we’ve decided to create a ‘theoretical’ model, based on secondary sources, annalistic descriptions, ornamented shrines, high crosses (especially Muireadach’s Cross)
, Irish stone churches build around the same period and wooden churches of similar kind preserved in other countries. We’ve decided that the best context for such experimental project would be that of a museum exhibition, which would ultimately aim at providing better understanding of how such constructions might have looked like.