Expendable Fortress II (a 1 year later redo-project) [GoT inspired]

Hello Fellow Blender-Artists,

One year ago I did a Motion-tracking Project called ‘Expandable Fortress Project’. I modeled and animated a fort that would build itself over time using gears and so on. It was inspired by the Game Of Thrones intro.
Now one year later I want to redo this project to see how far I have some since then.
This is the new project WIP after 1 day of modelling:
And for the people interested on the project I did 1 year ago:


I hope to be able to finish the modelling tomorrow and start rendering the animation next week in honor of the new season Game of thrones that will air tomorrow (YEAH!).

Have fun and till next post :wink:

That was one of the best motion tracking I’ve seen, made with blender. Good luck with your new one!

Good luck! I can’t wait to see the outcome.

http://pasteall.org/pic/show.php?id=48222Added a few more towers, and checked if none of the models will pose a problem when animated. so far everything seems to work correctly. tomorrow I’ll finish the citadel and hopefully get the walls arounf it up and going. For now, Sleep tight BA XD

Hi there Ristridyn!

Remember me? I followed your Expandable Fortress WIP one year ago.

This year’s modeling is way better! I can see you improved your modeling skills.
I’m counting on some more complex texturing this time!

It’s looking good! I will follow this new WIP!

Heya Utopia, Offcourse I remamber you :wink: you recommended that tutorial on motiontracking on youtube :wink:
Thanks for your kind words and yeah you can remamber something more advance texturewise. Everything I modelled allreaddy is uv-unwrapped so now I will be able to use any material I like where last time I generated the coördiantes so wasn’t able to sue wood-textures and such cause there were a lot of generated seam that messed it up :slight_smile: and offcourse my knowledge of cycles has improved since 1 year ago. I am also hoping to shoot my footage for motion-tracking at a bit more interesting location since my earlier project was my first mt-project ever and so I just used my dining table. Only shame this time around is that I still do not have the supplies I need to create an HDR map of the room I will be shooting so the reflections on the model still have to be done by hand(last time I shot some textures of the table and put those under my model to fake the reflections) but that is not accurate enough for extremely reflective materials like shiny metal or glass. I am hoping to get my mesh to cast more and better shadows this time around where last time they left a lot to be desired.

Anyways, thanks for joining me on another ride. Have fun! :smiley:

http://pasteall.org/pic/show.php?id=48238Another Morning of modelling and the citadel is now done. Allas I cannot contignue work on this project today since there are other matters more important for the moment. but tnext up will be some gearwork in the courtyard and moddeling walls.
Critique, comments, advice is always appreciated.


http://pasteall.org/pic/show.php?id=48287Done modelling! yeah XD also animated it but haven got the time or energie to render one out for you till I get the textures done XD Kindda a waste of 15 hours computer time. so the animation is something for the near future.
Next step: Materials. but that is for tomorrow… good night.

Heya guys,

Uv’ed everything and now on my way on the materials.
I also made a quick screencapture of the animation in viewport for those who are interested :slight_smile:
[deleted video]
All critique and comments are welcome as always :slight_smile:

http://pasteall.org/pic/show.php?id=483211another little render for the stash XD for whoever is watching :stuck_out_tongue:

It’s already great! But you can improve the reading of the animation by defining a flow.

What I mean is… if you start to grow tower randomly the viewer gets lost. If you grow towers following a flow then you can direct the attention of the viewer. Like, starting in a corner and progressively move around the fortress.

About the HDRI map. You can shoot it with a silver christmas ball. Take like 9 photos with different exposure times, from very quick, dark exposure to a long, bright one. Then you can put all together automatically with Luminance HDR (http://qtpfsgui.sourceforge.net/?page_id=10) and create a HDRI.

As an alternative (if you don’t have a christmas ball) you can take pictures of all the walls, floor and ceiling and map it to a cube with emission shader. It’s like a fake HDR. Never tried it but I see no reason for not to work!


Hey that last render is beautiful!
Good UV unwrapping pays off!

Love the wood effect! Will you keep the gears wooden or change their texture?

the screw towers are a nice touch.

Can’t wait to see the next step!

Dear Utopia. I do have a flow in this animation, it starts in the front and goes to the back. but it’s true that the big tower and the strongholds walls do not follow this flow making it less obvious and maybe ruining it all togather… I am planning to redo the animation anyway since it’s a bit slow and to many of the buildings have to expand almost at the same moment instead of the fortress expanding part-by-part (which again makes the flow less powerfull) So thanks for the critique and I am working on it.

On the HDRI, I dont have a silver Christmas ball or chrome ball or any shiny sphere to create one though I do know how to.
I did look for one last Christmas in the mall but they where either plastic(which warps the reflections bigtime) or non-reflective.
But the cube thing does work, I know since I used it on my fortress last year :slight_smile: But again thanks and I just hope one of my friends has one lieing around. Thanks for the comment though!

@ Monkmonk Thanks for the compliment, the wood texture was just a test to see if the unwrapping was done properly and if there weren’t any (too) obvious seams. I do not plan on that being the final material though. It really all depends on the kind of footage I shoot to track it on. cause the material has to fit the scene as well (cant shoot footage in front of an orange wall and make the castle pink to give a rough example). I am planning on giving the gears a different material like metal on wood but again I really go on what looks nice at the time rather than planning every detail in advance, I only make up the rough idea before I start modelling. I find that planning too much ahead is useless since I end up experimenting and changing stuff anyway.
Again thanks!

Yesterday and this morning I worked hard on the material. I found it very hard getting it right and it took a lot of experimentation to not make it look like the castle was cumming out of a huge pile of cow-dung. But I think I got theshaders texture, glossiness and bump nailed at the moment though I am not yet sure about the colors. but then again, Cannot finetune that till I got the scene done. Here is another WIP-render, yeah it doesn’t look like an big improvement but the amount of work it took to get to this point was big XD Note the untiled effect on the texture by using different tilable textures that overlap on random places to hide the repetitive effect, the subtle gloss and modest amount of bump. all critique is offcourse still welcome :wink: http://sphotos-d.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/886433_346697145432070_1080902499_o.jpg

Redone the animation, hopefully the flow is better in this one :slight_smile:
All critique is welcome! :smiley:
[deleted cause I uploaded a newer version]

It’s great!

I love the new door system!
…and the flow it’s much better. Now it’s easy to follow all the action.

using different tilable textures that overlap on random places

May I ask how you did that?
The texture is very interesting! What is it? It looks like a chalkboard texture but I’m not sure.

Just be aware of the scale. At this moment it looks like a fortress model because of the texture scale. Probably you don’t know the scale of it yet. One more footage dependent decision?


Heya Utopia,
thanks for the comment.
The scale of this model will be about 50 cm wide and about 75 cm long. so the scale should be miniature ;).
“using different tilable textures that overlap on random places” is easy. I used 3 different image textures to create the material.
In cycles you have to use ‘mapping nodes’ to make it tile a specific amount of times on the x- and y-axis, because some of the textures are bigger then others I can simply tile one texture 3 times, one 5 times and one 6 times. this will mean that the ‘seams’ of the image will appear at different places along the mesh and with different frequencies, distorting the tiled effect along the way.
Made you a creeny of the material :slight_smile: The green one to be accurate:
http://pasteall.org/pic/show.php?id=48490At the moment I am waiting on a chrome ball (ex-christmassball of my aunts) I asked around if someone had one lieing around. It was purple, but after some good cleaning it became polished reflective glass, just as good as chrome and a decent size too :slight_smile:
Anyways still working on materials and will render out some more animation over the next week.

My brother also Made a sountrack which turned out great, cant let you hear it but just wait for it on the final result :wink:
He’s an amazing artist XD

Anyways I’m of for now. Enjoy! :smiley:

Amazing! I liked your first fortress, but I love the asymmetry of this, it makes it seem much more original. I especially like the beginning. And I guess we have something in common, as my bro is also a musical genius. =)