House of the Surgeon, Pompeii

Working as part of an archaeological project, producing Blender models to help interpret and display a house in Pompeii. This is an outside shot of the front. Any comments and criticism gratefully received. Always looking to make it more realistic, especially the lighting. Pretty much stuck with Blender Internal though as the way I’ve done it means it seems to be more effort to alter for Yafray/Indigo than it’s worth.



I love the Roman empire, so many things about them can be compared to todays life. Especially that building. If you had said nothing, I would have thought it was modern (well… built in the last 70 years anyway).

I think the walls need a bit more dirt. Also, on the corner at the right side of the image, I can see the dirt you have suddenly stop. You might want to fix that. Are you by any chance using decals? That might make it easier.

Looking great to me.

If you want to improve this, I suggest you change the textures for the street and the pavement, they look a bit flat, imo.

If you want the image to get more realistic, maybe you should add some more contrast between light and shadow? This image looks a bit like a building from the game Caesar, sort of like a model rather than something photo realistic in the pure sense, if you know what I mean.

/ Mats

WOW! you’ve improved so much since i saw your last work. Looks really good so far!

Howitzer: I’ve started using decals recently, but it’s only for the graffiti and the dirt below the windows so far. I did find that the first one was fine but subsequent ones seemed to leave a little bit of a shadow round them like they were slightly away from the wall.

Also, wall dirt’s a bit of a funny thing anyway. How it looks depends on what time of year it is. In Summer it’s pretty much all dust so you don’t really see it. Only when it gets wetter do you start to get dirty plaster. Anyway, you’re spot on, the texture needs work. The front’s quite important so there’s probably a case for creating a UV mapped image with everything on.

Mats: The pavement’s pretty lifelike in that the stuff they used (cocciopesto) was quite a hard, flat, smooth surface. The road looks nothing like it should though. I’m still working out how to replicate the Pompeiian road surface with its large blocks and cart ruts. You’re right about it looking like Caeser too, and better lighting would definitely help.

bjzaba: Cheers! It’s steadily getting better. Still some way to go though.

Can you fill us in a bit on the background for this project? As in, is this a university project, or for the Italian government, or for a museum? Are you doing the interior? Will you do a walk-through? Is there a website?
This looks really well done. I especially love what you’ve done with the roof tile, making a few mismatched, etc. (You modeled them all, didn’t you!) I think it looks like a video-game model in part because of the angle you’ve shown it. Do one from human perspective, and it will change that, I think. 'Course, then you can’t see the roof tiles.:frowning: Anyway, very nice work.

It’s for a university-run project, a collaboration between the Universities of Oxford and Bradford. The images will form part of the official publication but will also be built into a website where they can be expanded upon a bit more. The interior’s filled in in some places but needs more work (as anyone who saw the one I posted a while back will know).
I did indeed model all the tiles, or at least copied them by hand. That was before I learned how to use the array modifier! I wanted a bit of irregularity though to make it look a bit less like a model. Will post a couple of eye level images later today.

Here’s another view. Excuse the road texture.


Looks great! I think, though, that the rendering is a bit too bright; it feels to me like you want to make it more grimey, smokey, and lived-in, and therefore more contrasty. Some other things I notice: is the balcony texture procedural? It looks like the grain is running in a horizontal direction, rather than along the length of the ballusters. And again, too perfect: the wood should have more of a beaten, weathered appearance, rather than the sharp, square edges.
By the way, are you familiar with the LifePlus project? It seems to have ended several years ago, which is too bad.

Those are definitely all fair points. I’ve learned how much more work there is trying to model a whole house to look good from all angles than there is in just creating a single scene.
I have seen the LifePlus stuff. It certainly looks like interesting technology and it’s just what Pompeii needs as they don’t like physical reconstruction there. The graphics are pretty poor though and they definitely fall into the uncanny valley. As a technology feasibility test, which is pretty much what it was, it was a pretty interesting project.