Its been awhile since I last posted and logged in (sorry for late comment replies!), I had to concentrate on completing my dissertation, which FINALLY has been handed in!
My topic was “Exploring the Pedagogical Possibilities of Applying Gaming Theory and Technologies to Historic Architectural Visualisation”. My main case study was my St Mary’s Abbey model which I’ve been blogging about on here for a while now. In my first part of my dissertation I looked at the theory of place, authenticity, “edutainment”, narrative and gamification with regards to pedagogical methods and how this is utilised by museums, Serious Games and commercial games with an architectural history focus. In the second part I used all of the theory I discussed in part one to propose an educational game (planned as a first-person RPG) based on my model of St Mary’s Abbey. I may decide to upload this paper once I’ve officially graduated (July)…if you’re into computer games and heritage you may enjoy it!
Now I’ve finished my MSc I’ve been thinking about where to head next… I’ve been working on my own website, built from scratch (thanks to my web dev module at uni, and my partner Si Stamp for helping me with the PHP! ). The address is www.hannahbethrice.com and on here I’ll upload my 3D work. Now university is over I will be looking out for projects to work on and promote on my website. I’ll also be transferring this blog across at some point, and possibly adding a shop section. I will also start doing more game reviews- particularly on the topics of environments, architecture and history, and how they are portrayed in games.
I really enjoyed my time at the University of York. My thanks in particular go out to Sara Perry for her informative lectures on Cultural Heritage Management and support, and Anthony Masinton for his knowledge on gaming and historic visualisation, and also introducing me to Blender!
From my MSc I’ve learned how to create a website from scratch (that fully validates with W3C!), developed my database design skills, discovered new 3D modelling software that I am now obsessed with, learned how to survey historic buildings and also increased my knowledge in the management of cultural heritage. I would really recommend studying at York (I was there for 5 years!) if you’re wanting to study anything historical. Having experienced studying both in the History of Art and Archaeology departments, the staff really are the specialists in their fields, and the campus is also a nice, green space (full of ducks!).
It’s been awhile since I’ve last posted as its come to the time where I need to be writing 20,000 words for my dissertation to accompany this Blender3D project!
Since my last post I have added a UV sphere as a background and mapped a sky texture to the mesh. I have also crenellated the abbey precinct- most of the hand-drawn “artist impressions” of the abbey have featured crenellated walls therefore I decided to include it on mine.
I have started to develop some of the pathways using a dirt texture and used the “shrink wrap” modifier to make the mesh mould to the shape of the ground as the ground isn’t completely flat or at a level height (if anyone knows an easier way please let me know! 🙂 )
I still need to model more of the other buildings in the abbey precinct once I’ve finished researching them. I also need to finish modelling windows and doorways on the buildings already in the model as a lot of the buildings still have blank façades. I’m hoping to create more varieties of foliage too, though the architecture has priority.
Just a little update! After creating the medieval form of the Hospitium (see previous post) I imported the model into my main abbey file and used the same model, but slightly amended, to form the length of buildings that lay parallel to the River Ouse.
From the screenshot (a very murky day!) you can also see the beginnings of the gatehouse and St Olave’s Church to the left of the abbey. I have also started planting some trees (the sapling tool is very handy for this) and hope to populate the grounds with a lot more foliage as I finish constructing the other buildings.
I’m taking a slight break from modelling the main St Mary’s Abbey by re-creating the Hospitium, one of the buildings in the abbey grounds (York Museum Gardens, UK). According to the History of York site “It’s not known for sure what it was originally used for, the official listing of the building suggests that it was a place for visitors to stay”.
I recreated the basic structure of the current Hospitium form in Blender using plans obtained from the University of York and researched what it would have looked like pre-Dissolution alongside the abbey. It looks slightly different to today, with a smaller upper storey.
Here is a screenshot of my progress so far!
and here my own winter photo of what the Hospitium looks like currently:
As you can see I need to model what can be seen today as the two arches and research what these buildings would have been in the 15th century. I also need to research the upper doorway on the Hospitium- would this have led to another attached building or was this added at a much later date and should therefore be edited out of my model?
Once I finish this model I will then import into my main abbey model file!
Reminder to fill out my gaming & architectural history survey!
My survey is about the use of computer games for exploring historical architecture. My current project is the visualisation of St Mary’s Abbey in York (UK) before the Dissolution of the Monasteries and I hope to eventually make an application that allows the user to “walk around” the grounds to get a sense of what St Mary’s was like pre-1539. I also hope to add interactive elements and a narrative.
Your answers to my survey are valuable to aiding the development of the game side of my project and I appreciate answers from people who have varied opinions on gaming.
A small update on my abbey project. I am currently in the process of modelling some of the more detailed gothic decoration of the abbey’s exterior. This is quite difficult as the abbey’s decorative plan is only speculative at this point, with hardly any archaeological evidence. As a result I am referring to the schemes of other local ecclesiastic buildings such as the York Minster and other Benedictine abbeys.
Another part of the model I have been working on is the River Ouse created from real grass and dirt textures and a water photo. I intend to eventually blend the edge of the riverbank model with the grass model.
I am also beginning to model portals and their doors and add stained glass texturing to the windows. After that I will start to model some of the other buildings in the complex, such as King’s Manor (Abbott’s house), the Hospitium and St Mary’s Lodge, and also make a start on populating the grounds with trees and foliage.
*screenshot author’s own.
Some more progress on my MSc dissertation project.! After trialling out some textures, taken from texturer.com, I visited York Museum Gardens to obtain photographs of the abbey which I can then use for the final texturing of the model. The above screenshot is the beginnings of my UV mapping the abbey with the real abbey textures.
When it comes to texturing the stained glass I may have to continue using the generic glass I used in my trial texturing, see previous post. Most of the content and design of the glass is unknown from archaeological excavation, therefore looking at other Benedictine abbeys may be useful for this.
Another feature I have been working on was adding the arcade in the cloister (above) and started some bump and specular mapping. Aspects to alter next would be the scale of some of the texture mapping and I also need to start thinking about adding doorways and looking at the design of 16th century kings manor!
*all screenshots author’s own.