CPSC 3710 Project

By: Tim Modney
February 2012
Program used: Blender


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For my Project I decided to model the windmills of Southern Alberta!
Above you can see my finished project, a .swf file that has all four windmills spinning in unison.
Below is reference picture which I took with my phone in september during a trip to Waterton.

The project in general was long but interesting. I found Blender to have excellent documentation and a nice looking UI(although not that friendly)
The time I spent watching tutorials and reading articles was several hours, less than I had anticipated, I found I learned quicker just by changing things
and seeing what they changed after being rendered. In fact my first draft of a plane with grass on it, I had followed a tutorial. It took about 4 hours too
make a 80x80 plane with 200 000 grass("hair") strands with about 150 children each. When I saw the final product, hills, grass and all. I found it to be subpar.

Having this large plane that took forever to render, I decided I should create the windmill in a seperate file and import it. The windmills construction started
with a long cylinder(the body) which I made smaller at the top by selecting it's vertices and moving them closer together in edit mode. The next item was the blades.
The blades are actually planes that I rotated and subdivided to allow me to shape them as my reference picture and memory recalls them. I modelled this windmill with
start of the blade at the origin so that when I duplicated it for the other 2, I could simply just rotate them. Which is exactly what I did. Continuing on, I used
another cylinder to make the head(changed it to 5 vertices for a pentagon) and shaped it accordinly. Finally, I used half a UV sphere to create the nose, which
I placed over the head and blades. To finish the windmill I joined the body/head together and the blades/nose together. I kept these 2 objects seperate for animation.

I exported this nice windmill to my huge plane, which I found looked terrible when rendered together, so I scraped that plane that took me so long too make and
created a new one under my windmills. I duplicated the windmill 4 times and rotated/translated them until I found they matched my reference photo.
After creating a sky and tweaking the lighting I moved to animation, I attempted to add wind to affect the wheat but had no luck so stuck with the windmill blades.
There are 72 frames in this animation, with every blade starting at a different location, and rotating at 5 degrees each frame. I was unable to find a script or
command to allow me to simulate rotation, so I manually entered the rotation value along the Y axis 72 times for every windmill(288times total) which was to be honest, brutal on my hands.

Finally, I rendered the animation to an avi file, and used a free program, camstudio to convert the avi file to a .swf file.
Rendered all other images, including 2 night photo's(the most bottom was orginally an animation but couldn't run smoothly so I did not include it) and created this html
Thank you for viewing my project! I would like to thank the following people and their tutorials/programs for assisting me in creating my project:


Actual photo

Adding nose to windmill:

Windmill under construction

Rough Draft:

Rough Draft

Windmills, camera 1:

Windmill camera 1

Windmills, camera 2:

Windmill camera 2

Windmills at night:

Windmill night

Close up of windmill at night, added red spot light for realism:

Windmill night