Making a medieval town and castle in Sketchup (part II)

Entering the detail process

By now, most of the big structures had been built and the slow process of detailing was about to begin. This stage of modeling, while crucial for the quality and feel of the model is quite complicated by the fact that you need to set some limitation to the amount of detail you want to incorporate in your work. While a lot of detail will definitely make the model more believable and pleasing, it will also put a heavier burden on the software and the machine you use. I find it hard to determine the right balance between useful details and unnecessary anecdotes. This balance is also very much dependent of the conditions under which you plan to use the model. For this project, I don’t really have any targeted use in mind at the moment so I guess my machine’s performances and my time will be the most decisive arbiters.

As the pictures below shows, all towers are done, battlements are finished and the houses along the outside wall are roofed.

There was still that open tower that needed timber, and a mean to get to the upper floors. Plus, I started to push in the shape of a door to some of the towers to access to top of the walls.

The color of the model

So far I’d been working on the volumes only. No textures at all. And I think it’s just fine to let the textures for the end as otherwise, I tend to loose focus of what I try to achieve. Nevertheless, at this point, I could not hold it further as I wanted to see how the whole stuff would look like with a bit of color on it. So I grabbed a few pictures I had made all these past years and fired up Photoshop to make some rough seamless textures I could apply to the castle.

I did not bother aligning the textures at this stage because it was only a first test and any alignment would have been lost later on when I would replace all the texture files. But it gave me a good starting point to see what problem I would encounter in the end.

Of course, the textures are far from perfect, the wall texture still shows a heavy pattern that makes it look more like a checkerboard rather than a stone wall, at least from afar and the house textures are quite repetitive, not to mention the lack of doors and windows on certain houses. But that’s just a start.

One thing also that need to be addressed in the final texture I think will be the overall tone so that all texture blend in with more consistency.

By now my kids are quite impressed, especially when I use the walk tool and show them the houses from street level. But the little one keeps asking how the people can get in the house and on top of the towers since there are no entries or stairs whatsoever. I can’t fool a child just like that!

The ground is just a regular ground texture found in Sketchup, I haven’t found any I could use at the moment.

The roof texture is quite nice I thought, so I went on doing some alignment here and there and indeed it works quite well. I just might end up keeping that one, at least for some towers, I’ll see.

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