Archives Inspire Video

Last year I was very fortunate to be invited to The National Archives (TNA) in Kew to feature in their Archives Inspire video (above), filmed by the wonderful Magneto Films.

It was a privilege to be filmed alongside the other cast who are all brilliant professionals and it was lovely to revisit TNA after spending a year as one of their Transforming Archives Trainee‘s. The Magneto team were very professional, especially as it was my 1st attempt at being in front of a rather large camera!

Archives Inspire is a four year campaign looking at new ways audiences can experience and use archives- have a look at TNA’s Chief Executive Jeff James’ blog post and the Archives Inspire pages on TNA’s website for more.

Digital is an interesting challenge for the archives sector, where records being produced are increasingly in the digital format (think from large organisation’s records to personal photographs). Over the past decade Archivists have been thinking about how to preserve digital media for accountability, evidential, cultural and research purposes. At present, digital is now becoming central to the archival profession as we hope to preserve these records and facilitate access.

I am particularly interested in the creative uses of archives, especially heritage engagement using 3D models, websites, online exhibitions and videogames. I was very honoured to be able to showcase some of my 3D work in TNA’s Archives Inspire video- you can see my North Bar (Beverley) model in the video showcased using the software Blender 3D. Very grateful that something I’ve been doing for over 5 years is being featured in such an important video.

 

Beverley Gate, Hull c.1642

Beverley Gate Hull render of 3D model, Hannah Rice
Beverley Gate, Hull, c.1642.  Image render by Hannah Rice.

Quick new image based on my original model in Blender to celebrate Hull’s City of Culture year 🙂 See previous blog posts on this model’s development: 1 & 2

 

3D Model: St Michael’s Chapel, Roche Rock

Cornwall is my 2nd home from home and in between archive visits and surfing last summer I visited the Chapel of St Michael, at Roche Rock, located near Bodmin and St Austell. Alongside Tintagel and St Michael’s Mount, the chapel is now on my list of top favourite locations.

Hannah Rice at St Michael's Chapel, Roche Rock, Cornwall
Me standing at the chapel entrance, 2016.

The romantic ruin of St Michael’s Chapel is perched on top of the rock and there have been many speculations as to why the chapel was built in its high-up location, including a lookout point, a place of worship for pilgrims travelling south and a hermitage.
The medieval chapel, constucted of granite, was licensed in 1409 and appears built into the schorl rock formation consisting of a 3-tiered structure with the flooring removed. It is a listed building, see Historic England’s listing.

Model created in Blender (personal project) using polygon modelling and my own photographs as reference.

St Michael's Chapel, Roche Rock, Cornwall 3D model by Hannah Rice
View of St Michael’s Chapel, Roche Rock. Image copyright: Hannah Rice

Digital Heritage 3D models on ArtStation

3d models by hannah rice

After months of browsing other artist’s portfolios with admiration I have finally created my own ArtStation account as a platform to showcase my heritage visualisations. Since ArtStation now facilitates the embedding of 3D models from SketchFab I decided to give it a try: https://www.artstation.com/artist/archivisth 🙂

The North Bar, Beverley in 3D

The North Bar (Beverley, East Riding of Yorkshire, UK) is a Grade 1 listed, medieval gatehouse or “Bar”. The Bar was constructed in 1409 from locally sourced red brick and features ribbed vaulting and a buttressed façade. The north façade features the coat of arms of the Warton family.

The buildings adjoining the North Bar are intentionally left untextured to distinguish the medieval gatehouse from its surroundings, including the Bar House (17th-century) on the right-hand side of the North view (the default view for this model) . This model was created using polygon modelling in Blender.

3D Model: 17th-Century Gatehouse, Burton Agnes

The stately home of Burton Agnes Hall and its grounds are one of the favourite places from my childhood, particularly with myself having ancestors from the village, Burton Agnes. The gatehouse is particularly striking as a work of architecture so I had a go at interpreting my own photographs of the gatehouse to create a 3D model in Blender.

Burton Agnes Gatehouse by Hannah Rice
Untextured model. Copyright: Hannah Rice

The building was constructed in c.1610 by the English architect Robert Smythson, well known for his work during the Elizabethan era such as Hardwick Hall and Wollaton Hall. It features many architectural forms which are typical of this period, including the battlements and ogee-shaped roofing. Have a look at Historic England’s entry in the National Heritage List for England for this gatehouse.

I intentionally omitted the walls which extend from the gatehouse as I wanted to focus on the gatehouse structure itself, and similarly I also removed visitor signage. The model did not take as long to model as expected due to the symmetrical nature of the architecture-the mirror modifier tool was very useful!

Quad view of Burton Agnes gatehouse by Hannah Rice
Quad View of the gatehouse. Copyright: Hannah Rice

The Pilgrim Rabbit, St Mary’s Church, Beverley

The “Pilgrim Rabbit” is one of my favourite medieval carvings and is located at the sacristy entrance within St Mary’s Parish Church, Beverley, East Yorkshire.

St Mary's Church, Beverley photograph by Hannah Rice
St Mary’s Church, Beverley. Photo copyright: Hannah Rice

The corbel carving, c.1330, is claimed to be the inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s White Rabbit who leads Alice down the hole into Wonderland. But could the Pilgrim Rabbit be a hare? There are also visual similarities with Carroll’s other character The March Hare, otherwise known as Haigha / The Messenger.

In Through the Looking Glass (Carroll, 1871) Haigha is the personal messenger to the White King and is visually alike to the Pilgrim Rabbit in this accompanying illustration by John Tenniel:

The King and the Messenger by John Tenniel. Illustration for the seventh chapter. 1865
The King and the Messenger by John Tenniel. Illustration for the seventh chapter. 1865

From a visit to St Mary’s Church in Beverley, I created a model of the Pilgrim Rabbit (see above Sketchfab model embed) using photogrammetry techniques – quite a change from my usual poly-by-poly modelling in Blender.

Pilgrim Rabbit Photogrammetry in Autodesk 123DCatch
Pilgrim Rabbit Photogrammetry in Autodesk 123DCatch

To do this I took a series of photographs of the sculpture, around 25, gaining as much coverage as I could from all angles. I then imported these photographs  into Autodesk 123D Catch to create a mesh, and uploaded the obj file along with the texture file to Sketchfab. The model turned out better than I expected, particularly as the area above the rabbit was quite difficult for me to photograph with the sculpture being above head height.