WHY - In choosing a southern Albert object to attempt creating using ray tracing software I had 2 ideas in mind. I want an object that wasn't too hard and wasn't too simple, and I also wanted to choose something that I had some interest in. After a little bit of labouring I decided on the Pengrowth Saddledome, not because of the Flames but rather because of the concerts I have attended there (ie: KISS, Bowie, Aerosmith (x2), Ozzy, Tool) and the many more to come.
WHAT - The Pengrowth Saddledome: Located in Calgary, Alberta. I used POVRay entirely to do my project and did not use another photo editing programs to enhance it upon or during completion.


I began this whole project with a simply sphere, and took away a very large cylinder from it, producing what would become my Saddledome.  I choose to leave all the texturing and lighting to the end and focus on getting a "Saddledome-like" object done first. Thus I used bright and contrasting colors early to see how the different shapes fit together and what needed to be added or removed.
Onto the my "dome" I added the T-shaped arch at the front. This was a little bit tricky, as the top of the T is not perpendicular, so I need to angle it slightly, and then take away a little cylinder to let it curve into the base. Also from a different view of the finished project, you can see that the behind the 'T' arch was removed so allow the walk way to have some consistent realism. One final addition to the shape of the T was to remove a little bit from the front (the blue part) leaving a fringe (the grey) similar to that of the real thing.
The next step, as you can see, was to create the walk ways, and buildings lining the dome. I originally tried to do the buildings using separate cylinders (as seen below) but this looked terrible. Thus by using a carefully placed torus object I achieved a decent looking lining building. The arches added between the building was actually really difficult due to some of the details add, and can be seen better in a different view. The walk way itself wasn't too tough as I just used a couple of cylinders, one really thin for the floor, and one that was open for the railing. A separate sphere for the roof was also created with a nice looking fringe.
This image shows the first attempt at the lining buildings. Due the angle of the circular dome and the lack of a matching angle for the cylinders I tried to use to line the building, I decided to scrap the idea. It appears way to choppy and was not very effective.
Here I have added the windows and doors, as well the arches lining the building and connecting the bottom sphere to it's roof piece. The windows and doors were tricky as they all needed to be rotated slightly different along the y-axis so that they would enter the dome at the correct angle. The structure pillars were just a matter of trial and error to get the pillars to appear at the correct angle and the correct placement in the image.
This image shows the addition of the "steam pipe" like thing, the words on the T-arch, the red cylinders on the outside of the edges of the dome and also the hills around, and in front of the dome. The steam pipe was pretty simple. The textures took a little bit of tweaking to angle and resize appropriately. One of the red arches was quite difficult, but the second was simply coping the first and rotating it along the y-axis to the other side of the dome (and then doing a little bit of tweaking). The hills were actually quite difficult to get at the appropriate angle under the dome, with a nice look to them.
This shows my first attempt at the bottom part of the Saddledome. As you can see it turned out quite poorly and was eventually scrapped. The idea was to use a completely separate cylinder for the bottom to match the design of the dome, however it appeared off centered and was too hard to correct and present in an appeasing manner.
This image shows my Saddledome with the textures now applied and a mostly finished bottom (and a couple of other details). The roof actual has imbedded squares in it's bluish/purple color causing quite a lag in rendering time. Almost all the colors were changed to suite the actual dome. Changing the distinct colors to different shades of striped grey seemed to make the picture boring, however some of the other changes seemed to add a little bit to the picture.
The lighting was the last major adjustment to the picture and may be what I am most satisfied with. This is because of how apply the actually textures and colors seemed to make the Saddledome boring. I find the addiction of lights (and many of them) showed the textures better and presents the picture in a much better manner. Most of the lights were done with spotlights, used to project the light to the windows and doors.
The final and remaining step was to just add finishing touches and as much as time would allow. There were other things I would like to have got finished but due to a time constraint could not be added to the pictures (things like a parking lot and cars and trucks to go in it). However I feel the picture is still quite impressive and does a good job of reflecting the actual dome. Below is the actual dome followed by different views of my finished project:


MY PENGROWTH SADDLEDOME (from a similar angle):



MY PENGROWTH SADDLEDOME (pictures from different angles):


The only thing I borrowed or adapted was a tree generator for the pine trees at the side edges of the Saddledome. The original was downloaded at the following website and much credit on the tree work is due (it is called XTree on the site):


without trees: 96 finite objects, 2 infinite objects, 86 light sources