Hello, my name is Peter Černý and I'm from Slovakia.
My work background is as a garden and landscape architect. I started with basic 3D creation during my study of landscape architecture but with non-Blender software. But this software did not satisfy my 3D work needs. I have always been fascinated by detailed 3D CG works in which the details of the individual elements together create a harmonious whole.
I first came into contact with Blender in version 2.72 in 2015 and found that it suited my wide variety of uses.
The idea behind the project
I like history and I had long been playing with the idea of creating a medieval timber-framed building with a fantasy look.
The idea for creating a watermill came after the creation of my medieval tavern. I chose a water mill because it offers lots of opportunities to experiment with details, such as the capture of water movement, the wheel itself, and capturing life on the mill.
I wanted to place a watermill in an area away from the road, in the surrounding nature, within a medieval meadowy-forest environment.
Here are some of my reference images for the watermill:
I started the creation of a water mill with the development of the building’s individual functional units, such as the living area, working area, stock area, and so on.
For the rough construction, I used a box with several loop cuts. The wooden timber frame and other wooden elements are boxes with added bevels. I adjusted the shapes slightly so that the elements would not look unrealistically perfect.
For adding a little bit of detail to the scene, I added a wooden bay window on the side of the watermill and dormers on the roof for the pigeons and ventilation. Both these elements are typical for medieval architecture. I also modeled a wood timber frame with wooden planks and other helpful parts.
I used a simple Curve Bezier and Curve Circle to model the crane hook, pulley, and ropes.
To add some damage to the wall, I used the Knife Tool to adjust the plaster on the wall, extruded a cut-out area, and edited its texture. To create a more realistic appearance, I added some recessed bricks that are also boxes with Bevel Modifier.
After the basic timber framework of the building, I started to work on details, including the windows that were based on 14th-century windows.
Here are some of my medieval references:
I started with simple modeling of the base window frame with some tweaks of wavy glass material for a much more medieval look.
Modeling roof shingles
For a realistic roof, I decided to model the shingles instead of using a 2D texture. Each shingle started as a cube. Some of the shingles I adjusted using the Knife Tool to create different shapes and damage.
Then I arrayed the shingles in random order, added irregularities to the roof, and introduced bumpy height variation with a proportional editing tool. I subsequently erased shingles in some places to create an occasional absence.
I created the flowing water using particle systems rather than simulation. I created a small model of splash drops at impact and, using Vertex Paint, I defined individual particles for flowing water, falling water, and, at the water level, for the water splash effect.
Also at the water level, I gave the illusion of simple waves using a noise texture.
For most of the work, I used the Botaniq add-on to complement the scene with greenery. I modeled the Digitalis and Verbascum plants because their wild look complemented the composition.
Surroundings - details
I used a few models from previous work to populate the surroundings: a modified wooden wagon, a heap of hay, and a few wooden barrels.
For the bags of flour, I used a plain stretched box with Subdivision Surface modifier and I made edits with the Sculpt Cloth Brush.
Some other wood assets that were modeled for this scene include the pigeon house, wood planks next to the watermill, and a sluice gate for controlling the flow of water.
I used three main textures to texture the building: stone PBR texture, old masonry texture, and old wood. Most of the textures are from Poly Haven. My goal was to make the building not too colored because it is a dusty, old watermill. :)
To all major visible elements, I added an ambient occlusion node to give the impression of dirt. For example, I wanted the materials exposed to moisture to look penetrated by algae or dampness. And, likewise, I wanted the masonry near the timber frame to look dusty.
The whole model was created using Blender 2.93.4 LTS and rendered with the Cycles render engine. I used Volume scatter to give depth to the scene. In this morning scene, the density of the volume scatter is higher to give the feeling of a wet foggy morning.
I used Blender Compositor for post-processing. In Render Layers, I used Denoise and Lens Distortion nodes to add photographic realism to the render. I adjusted some color and contrast adjustments in Gimp.
Thank you for this chance to share the process of my work. I appreciate it.
About the author