Computer Science 3710 Ray Tracing Project

Jordan Babe

St. Patrick's church, Medicine Hat, AB


Since our project was supposed to be a rendering of a Southern Alberta landmark, and since I found that the Lethbridge bridge, the Calgary Tower, and Saddledome seemed to be the usual choices for this project, I wanted to do something a little more unique. I chose to model St. Patrick's because I hadn't seen it done by any previous students, and I also have always found it to be a very impressive building.


front view

I chose Blender to create the project, the main reason being that, looking at some of the projects from previous years, the images created in Blender were usually more realistic.

The building is a collection of cubes, spheres, circles, planes, hours, and frustrations. I started by creating the towers at the front of the church. This was done by using a cube, growing/extruding it until I got the right size. I then added a pyramid for the towers. All crosses in the image were created by extruding a simple cube.

The part that caused me the most grief was the windows and details on the towers. For the bell towers I took a plane and extruded the details on the walls. I then positioned these planes against the towers on all sides. To show the details on the windows, I considered extruding them into the walls. However, I found an easier approach (although not architectuarly correct) was to create the windows (frames) as separtate objects and have them extruded outwards from the wall. The window panes were another object that used a picture of a window for the texture.

The roof I textured with a ‘metal roof’ image from To make the sky I created a cylinder that surrounded the building. I cut the tops and bottoms of the cylinder and cut it in half. I then used a picture I had taken (fairly high resolution) and applied it as a texture to the building. The grass I textured with a picture of a lawn I edited.

All in all I found Blender to be an interesting program to use. There were many tutorials available (I'd recommend the Wikibooks). I would say this was a fun project, but I found it to be quite tedious, and hours of staring and peering at my screen left me with a sore neck. Blender is a very powerful piece of software, and once you get the hang of it (and master a wide assortment of shortcut keys), you can see results fairly quickly, however, you also realize that something you spent a vast amount of time on can be recreated quickly (and usually better) with some new techniques you have used.

back view

the real deal