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Virtual Reconstruction of an Old Castle Gatehouse


MrTheRich writes:

At the beginning of June a small historical exposition was held in a small dutch town called Koudekerk (Coldchurch) . In this town used to stand a Grand Castle that had the name Poelgeest (Poolspirit). Around the middle of the 18th century, after a long history of war and peace, the castle, being abandoned and neglected, was torn down. Only the small gatehouse, with two towers was left standing. A short century later, around 1837, a famous dutch writer saw this gate, left standing on the edge of an overgrown isle, and ordered it to be painted so he could use it as cover for the book he was writing.

180 Years after that, I find myself being asked by the Historical Community of the small town, if I could re-imagine this moment. Create the gate as it might have been, guarding the island that is still there. And so I opened up my loyal Blender, and booted Unreal Engine and started creating. I did my best to capture the right atmosphere, the right details in the right place and the right setting worthy of what once was. This is how the project came to be. A VR experience of a time and place that exist no more.

The exposition was a great succes, and the people of the town loved it. It was so real to them. Young and Old tried out the VR headset and found themselves in another time. It was something they would never forget.

About the Author

Avatar image for Matthijs de Rijk
Matthijs de Rijk

I'm an Historical Reconstruction Artist from the Netherlands. I've always been driven by the urge to create and to bring to life. Build worlds of other times, lives that no one has ever experienced. It sparked my believe that creation, besides love, is one of the highest callings of humanity.


  1. Pretty cool, MrTheRich. You did such a fine job on materials for those buildings. What's the secret? I've been banging my head against the wall (and I switched from brick to concrete, but still no joy, only bruises) trying to figure it out.

    • It's not really a secret though. First find good high res brick textures, got mine from If you pay for them you get very high res ones. Then you ran them through a normalmap creator like ShaderMap, Substance B2M, awesomebump, crazybump etc.

      Then you make them more realistic by making variations of the texture with moss, mold and dirt on them.

      A few modeling tricks are to use beveled edges, make them slightly not straight, Cover up edges by rims of other type of brick or wood. etc... It's just smart thinking, you'll get there, just keep doing it, and keep watching other people do it!

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