Next Dimension: Norfolk Mill

windmill00054
Click here for a GIF of the mill with its sails turning.

It’s late and I really ought to be in bed, so my apologies in advance for the countless errors and contradictions that are inevitably going to plague this post.

I’ve been doing some more 3D this evening. The idea of building a typical Norfolk drainage mill came quite innately, really; I’ve written beneath my drawings of them how they have long fascinated me and how powerful I think they are a subject, given that they tend to be either in a state of wonderful resplendence or haunting disrepair, slowly sinking into the boggy nowhere of the marshes.

It’s taken about six or seven hours to get to the result you see here. Given that I was going almost entirely from the images burned into my mind, I think it turned out pretty well! The most challenging part of the exercise, by far, was the boat-shaped cap. It is not perfect by any stretch, cobbled together using three arches and a loft-NURBS standing upon a distorted cylinder for the skirting. I don’t really know what happened to the texture on the front face of the cap, it seems to have gone a bit doolally without my permission.

The prospect of the fantail scared me a little, but it was joyously simple to create – a sliced tube and a cuboid, cloned radially with a slight angular transformation – and creating the stripe pattern was equally pleasant.

Indeed, it was generally far less of a headache all round than I envisioned. I need to work on building landscapes, though – that’s one thing that didn’t go terribly well, which is quite something when you consider that Norfolk is flatter than the flattest pancake. I tried to render a scene with actual ‘hair’ grass, but it was taking several minutes a frame, and I’m phenomenally impatient. The physical sky tools were intriguing, allowing you to put in a date and time and light accordingly… however, the apocalyptic green sunsets I was getting suggested I was maybe not calibrating it correctly.

Here’s a slightly closer shot allowing for greater perusal of the texture. My my, that door really is close to the river, isn’t it? Best keep that closed. But never mind about that.

windmill0056

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22 comments
  1. Amazing art Jacob. For some reason, I could not get to the animated gif file, when I clicked on your link I got an error message.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jacob said:

      Thanks, Sharon! Sorry about the file trouble… bizarre, as it’s working here. :S I’ll explore.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’ll check again, sometimes WordPress does not behave. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jacob said:

        Ha, tell me about it – pesky thing!

        Liked by 1 person

      • It worked this morning, very cool animation!! 😍

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jacob said:

        Hurrah! Glad you enjoyed it!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Jacob said:

      Thanks so much, Camilla!

      Like

  2. Phil Cooper said:

    Wonderful post, I love the image and the words you write about the process. I can understand why these amazing structures captivate you, they’ve got so much character.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jacob said:

      Cheers Phil! Yes, the mills on the broads have captivated me since I was a toddler – they’re the first things I can remember trying to draw.

      All that you’ve been getting up to at your place has given me the temptation to try a lighthouse next! Could be a good progression from this one, working more with lights and landscaping. We’ll see!! 😉

      Like

  3. Very cool!! I actually thought I wanted to be a 3D artist in college, but then realized how long it took! 😳😊hehe… You have more patience than I do, my friend! This turned out amazing!! Nicely rendered!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jacob said:

      Thanks, Charlie! This was a lot of fun! And it’s nice to know you’re as impatient as I am 😛 I think the main of the problem here is that I’m using a computer made circa the Stone Age.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Lee Hesketh said:

    Great textures Jay!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jacob said:

      Thanks so much, Lee – yes, they turned out better than expected!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Bill Fufkin said:

    Your enjoyment in construction is evident…windmills are certainly a charming and thought provoking sight. Nice work Jacob. B

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jacob said:

      Ah, that’s so kind of you to say Bill. I did enjoy this a lot actually – as I say, the only real frustration came from the cap. I always enjoy working with mills for the reasons you state. They have such command.

      Like

  6. annachayter said:

    This is bring back memories, Jacob. My grand-dad had a beautiful painting in his lounge of a windmill just like your one. (I think he was as fascinated as you are) And also many holidays in the 60’s were on the broads. I loved it, and remember enjoying the windmills, as we passed by on our cruiser. Thanks for the trip back in time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jacob said:

      Thanks so much, Anna – I’m glad to have jogged some pleasant memories with my simple little model.

      Like

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