CPSC 3710 Project
Saamis Tepee - Medicine Hat - World's tallest tepee

Kyle Orpin

Located on the Trans Canada Highway.
The tepee was constructed in 1998 for the Winter Olympics in Calgary and was moved to Medicine Hat in 1991. It is built of steel with a concrete foundation and stands over 20 stories high. the Saamis Tepee has ten large circular story boards, each one depicting a different aspect of Canada's native heritage.

How you made the pictures:

I used the freeware program Blender to create the tepee. Once rendered, a sceenshot of that image was taken. Of the four six screens at the bottom of this page, the first four are renders and the final two show the model in edit mode. The images on the shields were made using MSPaint, and are extremely rough imitations of what are actually on the shields. No textures or any other part of the project is work borrowed from others.

What was difficult about the project:

Most of the difficulty with the project came from learning how to use Blender itself. The skills that were primarily used were the ability to bind objects together as parents/children and the ability to duplicate objects and their children. In essence, the vast majority of the tepee is a single group of objects, duplicated nine times over and then placed in a circle accordingly.

Once I had the basics of the program down, the greatest issue was making sure the tepee's ten pillars lined up precisely with one another; something that, while I came fairly close to doing, is something I never perfected. You can notice that some of the connections between the posts are worse than others, an issue amplified by the fact that it is relatively thin, meaning there is little room for error; any miscalculation can easily be seen, and can't simply be hidden inside another object.

Lighting was tricky to work with as it does not show up before being rendered, making it into a mostly trial-and-error process. It was especially tricky to get the appropriate amount of light on shine on the tepee, as if there was too much, then it produced a very noticeable glare off of the grass and walkway. If there was too little, then the entire tepee was a dark shade of grey.

Similar in nature were textures. Getting textures to work was difficult at first, especially as they don't appear until the image is rendered, but I think it was worthwhile to put images on the front of the shields, albeit loose approximations of what the real images look like, drawn up in MSPaint.

Final Result: