Wandering around these vast expanses of broadland, there’s always the chance that you’ll come through the reeds and trees only to uncover the hidden retreat of someone despicably fortunate. Amidst the awe and reward is a spot of panic, hoping that said fortunate person isn’t in, and hasn’t spotted you foraying into their quarters before you can make yourself scarce. This has been me a couple of times – apparently, I’m blind to ‘PRIVATE’ signs. What can I say? Ever curious!
Naturally, you’ll often find these just beside the mills I’ve been focusing on. They were the shelter for the millers now long gone, and so they surely hold as much historical value as the twirling towers beside them. With that in mind, and in yearning for something a little different, I set about focusing on this. This isn’t any particular cottage or mill, more a collation of various inspirations and references, with some personal touches to make for a (hopefully!) grand design.
It looks in pretty good nick, but I don’t see a ‘PRIVATE’ sign anywhere, do you…? Why, then, let’s try the door! I wonder what it’s like inside? What can you see from the upper windows?
I only have a pair of fully-rendered, hi-res shots for you, for this was a truly arduous render session. It’s the tree’s what done it, coupled with, probably, a great deal of inefficiency on my part. The close-up took ninety minutes, the wider one three-and-a-quarter hours, with much of the first freezing the computer completely. I was seconds away from shutting it down and abandoning the idea when it kicked back into life and showed me what it’d been doing!
Slightly wary of these extended drags, I thought better of running any more out. I’ve removed the greedy trees for a simple render below, just to give an idea of what the garden looks like (without its trees, of course!). You aren’t really missing that much:
What of the gated pathway in the foreground? That was going to wind through some trees, crossing a stream to get to the mill. I didn’t bother rendering even a simple shot of this area, as it really isn’t anything without the realistic vegetation. But I was going for a similar look to this shot from my Old Mill scene:
Appropriately enough, when activating the renderer – and before its mammoth freeze – I headed to my music library to pass some time. What should the shuffle function plump for to kick off? It’s Going To Take Some Time, of course! How prescient. Naturally, it was the cover by The Carpenters, but there’s the original by Carole King if you’d prefer. Both are marvellous. But I digress! For all its torment, it was great fun building my own little cottage on the Broads.