Hollar’s Hull in 3D: Part I

I’m feeling inspired by the recent ‘Archives in 3D’ workshops (which I facilitated in my work capacity as Archives Assistant at the East Riding Archives) where we modelled Hull’s Beverley Gate and King Henry VIII’s Hull Castle using Blender3D and material held in collections at the East Riding Archives. Instead of leaving my Hull Castle model at the WIP stage, I thought I would develop my model further by placing it within its historical context surrounded by buildings of its period and (hopefully) with a textured finish!

Hollar Hull, view of HulL Castle
Hollar’s view of King Henry VIII’s Hull Castle

Wenceslaus Hollar’s plan and view of Hull, c.1642, is one of the most well-known historical images of the city and features King Henry VIII’s Hull Castle, the four main gatehouses and significant other locations such as Suffolk Palace and Hull Holy Trinity Church. Using Hollar’s representation, which has been reprinted in various historical publications available at several archive services, my next project is to recreate Hollar’s view of the city piece-by-piece beginning with the top section that includes Hull Castle.

Here are a few screenshots of my progress so far:

Work in progress, Hollar's Hull, Hannah Rice in Blender
WIP model of Hollar’s Hull by Hannah Rice

In addition to the architectural features of the fortifications I will also model some ships, canons and other elements included within Hollar’s representation, which will be new for me having previously only worked with buildings! As you can see, there is a long way to go as I’m starting off with simple geometry and will add more detail later. My next step will be to model more varieties of buildings and ships from the Civil War period and populate the city and river areas, all using Hollar’s view as inspiration.

Work in progress, Hollar's Hull, Hannah Rice in Blender

Work in progress, Hollar's Hull, Hannah Rice in Blender
WIP models by Hannah Rice

Visualising Hull’s Beverley Gate- Part 2

It has been a Blender-filled Easter weekend where I set myself the challenge to 3D model my own interpretation of Hull’s Beverley Gate in the 17th century- see my first post!

After many hours of tweaking settings, I’m now at the stage where I’m happy enough to share it…

Beverley Gate in Hull digital 3d model by Hannah Rice
Beverley Gate in 1642 digital interpretation. Copyright: Hannah Rice
Beverley Gate in Hull, 1642, digital 3d model by Hannah Rice
Plain model of Beverley Gate scene. Copyright: Hannah Rice

There is always much room for improvement in the modelling process. As an architectural historian my focus is mainly on the building fabric, plan and style but my scenes are devoid from human population for the ‘uncanny valley’ reason. Charles I being refused entry into the city by the Hothams would provide more of a historical context to the scene but it will add many more hours of modelling and research.

The interpretation was created using archival and local studies material held at the East Riding Archives and the Hull History Centre. A publication which provided particularly helpful information was “Beverley gate, the birthplace of the English Civil War” (1990) by  David Evans and Bryan Sitch, featuring a line drawing interpretation which this 3D model is mostly based on- including the Dutch architectural influence, gables and structural form of the two guard chambers.

Beverley Gate in 1642 Hull digital interpretation 3d by Hannah Rice
Where Charles I was refused entry into Hull. Copyright: Hannah Rice
Beverley Gate (Hull) in 1642 3d model by Hannah Rice,
Digital diorama view of Beverley Gate. Copyright: Hannah Rice

 

Visualising Hull’s Beverley Gate- Part 1

Beverley Gate (Hull), 3D work in progress by Hannah Rice
Beverley Gate (Hull), 3D work in progress by Hannah Rice

With Hull’s UK City of Culture celebrations nearing in 2017 I thought it would be fitting to digitally recreate one of the city’s most historic landmarks- Beverley Gate.

Beverley Gate Remains
Beverley Gate Remains in 2010 (Photo by Chris Coulson, Creative Commons Atribution-Share Alike 3.0 )

At present, the gate’s structural remains can be seen at the west end of Whitefriargate, Hull. For years the remains have been a much overlooked heritage asset, however thanks to a public opinion campaign and talks of regeneration the structural remains are now a designated National Monument (see Beverley Gate listing on Historic England) .

Beverley Gate has a fascinating story and is one of high historical significance. On the 23rd April 1642, the gate was the location where Hull’s Governor, John Hotham, and his son (also named John Hotham) refused Charles I entry into the city- as a result being one of the catalystic moments of the English Civil War (and the subsequent executions of the Hotham father and son). It is a well-known story and gives the site national importance.

Using Blender, my latest visualisation of Beverley Gate will be based on both artist impressions, archival and secondary source material, held at the Hull History Centre, Hull Museums and the East Riding Archives. I’m aiming to digitally model the gate as it was in 1642- this means it will be a complete architectural structure and not the romanticised version which you can see in George Arnald’s lovely painting “Charles I Demanding Entrance at the Beverley Gate, Hull“, c1819- though I’d love to model this version too!

So far I have modelled the main gate structure, drawbridge and surrounding landscape. The next step will be texturing, finishing touches and hopefully being able to upload the model onto my Sketchfab account- more posts to follow!

My “Transforming Archives” Traineeship- Introduction

Last week I was told the fantastic news that I will be the new trainee in digitisation, outreach and community engagement at the Hull History Centre for 2014-2015. I will be part of a group of 12, each of us working at an archives institution across the UK, on a scheme led by The National Archives called “Transforming Archives”.

I am very excited to be given this role as I am local to Hull and eager to contribute to heritage work in the run up to Hull’s 2017 City of Culture year and the University of Hull’s 90th anniversary (also in 2017).

The role of Hull History Centre, as quoted from their website:

“The Hull History Centre (HHC) brings together the material held by the City Archives and Local Studies Library with those held by the University of Hull. These include the City’s borough archives, dating back to 1299 and amongst the best in the country; records relating to the port and docks of Hull; papers of companies and organisations reflecting Hull’s maritime history; papers of notable individuals including Andrew Marvell, Philip Larkin, Amy Johnson and William Wilberforce; records relating to local and national politics and pressure groups; and over 100,000 photographs, illustrations; maps and plans, newspapers, special collections and reference sources relating to Hull and the East Riding.”

I have a passion for this region’s architectural and cultural heritage, having studied the area during my five years of university, and feel it is important to communicate Hull’s history to the community, in particular by using digital technologies.

I will be working with the digitisation of Philip Larkin’s photographs and letters to his parents (spanning 1942 – 1973), and images from the University of Hull’s photographic archives. I will also be working with online technologies such as social media to communicate and collaborate with online users that could possibly suggest improvements to the Hull History Centre’s services.

I am looking forward to doing the following:

* Understand how an archive service works including records held and our main user communities and collections development with particular reference to institutional collecting policy

* Analysing existing archive collections and drawing out their potential for online audiences

* Understanding of cross-sectoral work and relationship with other heritage services in Hull and across Yorkshire

* Understanding of the preservation issues around digitisation including handling of original material and curation of digital surrogates

* Technical and practical digitisation skills including scanner/camera settings, metadata elements, file formats and storage requirements

* Awareness of the regulatory background to digitisation including copyright, licensing and data protection and how to assess risks and develop strategy

* Identifying and preparing material for exhibition including writing captions

* Skills in communicating information about archives and the stories behind them to different audiences

* Web design skills and working with content management systems

* Writing for the web, communicating via Facebook and Twitter

* Developing and interpreting archive collections by, for example, making digital stories and creating online learning resources

* Evaluating the success and impact of web resources.

 I have spent over five years studying heritage, a BA in History of Art and Architecture and an MSc in Digital Heritage, and feel that the real-life projects in this traineeship will be most beneficial to my practical skills in digitisation (something that was missing from my degrees). I will be able to build a portfolio of achievement, learn new skills and undertake a vocational qualification in Information and Archives Services.

I am really looking forward to getting started in October!