The Japanese Peace Bell Tower in Lethbridge



How this scene was constructed:

  • Used the standard approach. I specified a large hollow sky sphere and then filled in with cloud pattern. The one I used was found in the Povray tutorials at
  • This sky was specified with a thick layer of fog at the horizon. I liked this effect but reduced the height of the layer.
  • I approached this the usual way - by defining a green plane, then adding some texture to give it the feel of grass.
  • Then ($#@!), I decided to try to add some surface texture by creating an image map and a heightfield using the image map. For this, I basically followed the instructions in the beginning tutorial at I got a "mat" that added some (not very good) texture but I COULDNOT figure out how to extend this texture over the whole plain. In the end I ditched it. I know there is a way but I ran out of time.
Bell Tower:

This is where I spent most of my rendering efforts.

  • The base was constructed by intersecting a pyramid and a plane and adding a texture to look like large rocks. (The shape of the base is fine but the texture is not very good unfortunately).
  • To form the cement platform, I specified a box sized exactly to sit on the chopped-off pyramid.
  • To get the cement texture, I used the "granite" colour, then scaled it down, added a random element and increased the ambience and diffusion to give it a light cement like colour.
  • The stairs were created with two prisms for the end caps and a set of boxes for each of the steps. The high ambience washed the vertical definition in the steps and vertical part of the cap. To counteract this, I created a vertical "skin" for each of the steps and the cap and defined a slightly darker colour. This brought the definition back!
  • For the wood posts and the beam to "gong" the bell, I found a grey-brown wood texture and created the appropriate box. I rotated the wood grain for the horizontal items.
  • The bell is a cylinder with an sphere in the top narrow end.. It is a granite texture. Again, I really increased the ambience and diffusion so it was not just a black blob. I added a tiny gray light in the roof of the tower so the phong effect on the bell could be seen. There MUST be a better way to do this but at least it does have a stone "look".
  • The roof is the intersection of four planes constructed of many cylinders arranged side by side.. I found an example of this on the web and then modified it for my purposes. It may look a bit off kilter but it looked the same way in the photograph of the bell tower I used as my reference. I checked to make sure my roof was square on the uprights by moving the camera around before I decided on this angle.
  • Bleah! The trees. I went through four different modelling programs before I found something that worked! The one I used is a macro based modeller called MakeTree at I made a set of include files for each tree which detailed each tree's trunk, branches and foliage, and then made a few basic modifications to the trees to make them look a bit more at home in the picture. This particular tree-generating algorithm is quite fast but the others were PAINFULLY slow!