CS3710 Ray Tracing Project
I decided to do the Lethbridge wind gauge. I tried, as accurately as possible to recreate the picture of the wind gauge I found.
I tried using POV-Ray at first, but decided to use Blender instead. Blender is a free 3D modelling software. It's interface is designed to increase productivity at the expensive of intuitiveness. After figuring out some of the quirks of Blender, I found that it had a lot of support. I used a ray tracer called yafray to create the lighting effects.
For the chain, I first created a Torus, and then I extended the middle out to make it look like a link in the chain. Then I copied it, rotated the new one by 90 degrees and put it on the first one, and repeated this until I got a full chain.
I modelled the ball and chain. It was relatively simple. I used a standard UV sphere for the ball and mapped a texture of a bronze wall onto it.
Then I went to work on the wind gauge body, one of the hardest parts of this landmark. The body of the wind gauge had irregular curves, two ways and it was a challenge to accurately model both curves at the same time. I ended up splitting it into two parts, the forward curve (where the chain attaches to) and the side curve.
The trees and bushes were created with a tool called Gen3, a tree making python script for Blender which creates somewhat realistic trees using the research here. The trees and bushes have a large amount of vertices, so it's recommended you go into each mesh for the 3-4 sub parts of the tree (leaves, branches, sub branches and trunk) and remove vertices, as this will make your project files extremely large. Foliage also takes a long time to render and is one of the most time consuming parts of this project.
For the visitor's booth in the back, I used a program called Wood Workshop, as it creates wood textures for you to use.
The road texture was simply made in photoshop by adding a noise filter and adding some angled lines. I wanted to model the grass used in this project, but it made Blender run extremely slow and took an extremely long time to render.