Updated: August 12, 2013
When I made my so-called Super Castle, my Kerkythea work of it was somewhat flaky. The reason is, I did not have the surrounding world to add realism to the model. And so it looked somewhat Lego-like, out of place, with just some vegetation to add a bit of life. It was a decent attempt, one of my first using Kerkythea, but surely not as good as I wanted it. Oh, woe me.
Fast forward a year or so, I'm much smarter and more skilled in this so-called 3D art. So I'd like to present you with an improved version of this castle, with a proper background and a realistic setting that you can, well, relate to. Again, we will be summoning the powers of GIMP to our aid, but not that much. Do follow me.
An interesting side fact: This model is the first one I managed to almost stall my rather powerful desktop, as it almost exceed the combined computing power of both the CPU and GPU. I actually did get a timeout from the Nvidia card, recommending I increase the computation timeout in registry. And with some three billion projection in the final Kerkythea model, calculated from roughly 200MB worth of XML data, the desktop would effectively freeze when rendering at max. cores. Nice, no.
As a first attempt, I created some terrain using the Sandbox tool in SketchUp, and then I added a whole bunch of identical trees. This kind of increased the visual entropy of my model, but not the realism. I did try playing a bit with grass, sky lighting and other effects, but I was not 100% pleased.
So I decided to make things realistic by adding real objects there, a bridge spanning the moat, some village houses and a well in the vicinity of the castle, more trees with better textures, and slowly, but persistently, the model began to take a more lifelike shape. What you see before your eyes is what I'd call a very decent final rendition of this work.
Now here it is, bird's view. We have a massive bridge spanning the moat and connecting to the castle gates. There's a small guard house at the farm bank, and a scattering of village houses around it. I modeled the houses based on the medieval English house, so if you have any doubts, doubt the history please. The only thing that possibly stands out is the roof material, but other than that, this is the mad notes.
Here's another, dramatic view of the bridge, from the side:
And a late evening shot:
We wrap it up with a black & white image:
You liked it, didn't ya?