Next Dimension: Berney Arms High Mill

BAmill1Time for another whirl around the world of windmills and three-dimensional building thingies. Yes, again. I don’t know how many more of these I’m going to bash out, really. I didn’t intend it to become a tour of the entire Norfolk Broads!

Anyway if you’ll look to your right you’ll see Berney Arms High Mill, probably one of the most famous emblems of the region, and quite rightly too given its powerful and resplendent appearance; in its almost complete solitude, it enjoys full command. The largest of all the mills on the Broads – hence the ‘High’ – it stands over seventy feet tall. Built in 1865 originally to grind cement clinker, it was two decades later converted into a drainage pump and worked through to 1948. I believe it’s one of a very select bunch that can still turn its sails today. That’s a sight seen not nearly often enough.

For something of a windmill enthusiast, I’ve been inside shamefully few – in my defence, most are derelicts and so hardly inviting – but I have ventured inside Berney Arms. We went there one school holiday when I was no older than around four or five. You can reach the mill by boat, by train – stopping at the Berney Arms Station, perhaps the most isolated train station in the world – or by taking a long walk around Breydon Water. There’s also a pub nearby – the most isolated pub in the world.)

BAmill2We went by water. This was terrifying, not least because the boat looked three hundred years old, but because everyone got a life jacket except from us. “It’s okay, you won’t need one,” we were assured. ‘Twas the 90s! As it happens, these particular boat trips stopped running shortly after our excursion.

From the patches I remember, it was a lot of fun, even if I was bitterly disappointed that the big red ‘turn sails’ button that I’d imagined was nowhere to be found. I like big red buttons. I don’t think we were able to go right up and out onto the cap stage, but we did go to the top floors and the view out of the big windows was something else. Norfolk’s flatness is such that, with the slightest increase in altitude, you can watch over (and indeed be seen by) virtually the entire county. It was amazing!

Oh, and one more thing: Berney Arms was one of the starting positions in that episode of Interceptor they shot around here. Fantastic. I think we can deduce that this is what has sealed the deal insofar as the mill’s perennial appeal goes.

Onto discussing the build, then. Well, there’s not actually that much to discuss – I’m not sure this was terribly valuable, and for an unknown but worrying reason this did appear to take my computer to near death. Trees are very problematic, so I’m attributing it to them provisionally. Pesky things, who needs ’em? And I’m still far from satisfied with regards the Physical Sky lighting.

One thing I did take from this, though, is the displacement of texture for reeds/grass, rather than putting in ten million objects and again nearly murdering my machine. This uses a grid of noise to generate peaks and troughs, which can then be applied to any object – with the noise set to a very fine scale, it produces thin and sharp points which I think for now will do for suggesting greenery; from a distance at least, I think it actually looks better than my work with Boardman’s Mill. On larger scales, this technique could be fun for generating vast, mountainous landscapes, or other more abstract geometry.

BAmill3I know… I should have put a wherry in. Perhaps I’ll try and make one soon. The boats were an afterthought, really – they’re not my own models, so I can’t take any credit for them. The rowing boat came from here and the yacht here.

BAmill4
And just for a touch of Norfolk eeriness – and because it was intended to be another sunset, but went horribly wrong – here’s a shot in creepy monochrome. Though, truthfully, that could just as easily be a colour photato – Norfolk’s always that colour. Don’t let that put you off visiting, though…

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22 comments
  1. Amazing work again Jacob. Do you know I have never been in a uk windmill, but I have been in a Dutch one, bought the clogs too! I think this could be my fav so far in your windmill series. If only it had that big red button 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jacob said:

      Thanks Rebecca! Indeed, who’d have thought they were such complex machines on the inside!? 😉

      I’ve never been to the Netherlands, but my grandparents went when I was little and returned with so many photographs of impressive windmills. They always seem grander and in much better condition than most of our own. Berney Arms usually looks charming though – you should come visit!

      Liked by 1 person

      • It does look impressive …maybe someday I will fit in a visit, you should go and see some Dutch windmills, it’s so easy to get to holland these days on a day trip/ weekend…and Amsterdam is a very impressive place to visit, the buildings are stunning some great museums and art😀 highly recommend.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jacob said:

        Be sure to stop by if you do 😉 Oh, it’s definitely on the to-do list – I’d love to go to Amsterdam. Hopefully one day!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I have no idea how you accomplish this, Jacob, but that last in particular is breathtaking. It feels completely real and totally peaceful. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jacob said:

      Oh well that’s perfect, Laura – thank you! It’s the unspoilt peace and effortless beauty that makes the Broads so wonderful – it’s like another world!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I would have sworn on my mother’s grave that these were actual photos! Wow! They are awesome!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jacob said:

      Thanks so much, Teresa! I’m always a bit unsure with the lighting of these scenes, so that’s very reassuring!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Fabulous!! This is the best one yet…so well rendered! When I visit we can go inside one together. Or you can render the inside of one and do a 3D virtual tour!! Hehe…really awesome work my friend!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jacob said:

      Woop! Thanks Charlie – these are the ones I’ve probably photoshopped the least; there’s probably a lesson in there somewhere. And yes – deal!! Perhaps the Ooompa-Loompas can zoom us there on that terrifying boat?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jacob said:

        Nightmare fuel for sure. I always used to fast forward that bit when watching the video!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Brilliant Jacob, not only technically but it so captures the atmosphere of the Broads as I remember them, it must be because you love them so😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jacob said:

      Thanks, Phil! Yes, I’ve always been totally in love with the Broads and I’m glad that’s come through. I think I must have been a miller in a past life.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Ruined | jaywalks

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