Medieval drawbridge visualization - need critique

I need some focused critique on this castle drawbridge/gatehouse animation.

What are your initial thoughts about this virtual reconstruction?

It is only going to be a small part of a much longer animation about the entire Hammershus Castle (biggest castle in the entire Northern Europe).


That would depend on your definition of Northern Europe :stuck_out_tongue:

You’re off to a good start, but it might be better if you could break down the transitions more to suggest it being built from individual bricks and blocks. Also maybe some way of showing people the actual mechanism that lowers the drawbridge in motion. You could also add some figures to the upper floor near the windlass.

This is just a question for my own curiosity: Did they have a forge inside the gatehouse? It seems an odd place for a blacksmith or armourer to be working.

Yes, they did have a forge at that particular location of the building.

I will look into the individual bricks and perhaps add a monk bond animation, showing how the monk bond were staggered. But this will be a separate animation, also showing how the arrow slits works.

Would a 2D-animation at the beginning of the animation showing the monk bond as part of an arrowslit before the actual animation of the gate, make any sense? Perhaps as a 2D-drawing animation on the paper where I show the floor plan next where the building rise from the blueprint later?

Thank you for the idea of showing the actual mechanism of the drawbridge. Maybe that could be part of the 2D-animation.

I will add a soldier or 2 on the upper floor.

Nice work! The sound of the hammer hitting the anvil doesn’t really coincide with the movement of the arm. The sound is quite hard, but the blacksmith barely raises his arm :wink:

I would fade out the walls rather than sliding them away. Sliding implies that they could move, which they could not.

Also, the camera movement is generally too erratic I think. I would make fewer but more purposeful movements. Try not to both move objects and the camera at the same time as it makes it harder to follow.

And the title text is being covered by the tower :slight_smile:

Thank you everyone. I have considered all your suggestions, and I’ve come up with this:

Please let me know if this works for your!

I had to use whatever sound effects were available for free.

Anyway, I updated the animation with a 2D-animation as well, illustrating the workings of the drawbridge.

Sorry, changing the sound file is not what I meant :wink:
I was talking about the arm of the blacksmith.
Maybe you can raise it a bit higher to match the sound of the impact.

BTW: your videos are not visible anymore, is that correct?

I updated the animation several times now, and I’m preparing for a final update.
You can see the current result (it will be replaced with final version).

I made the blacksmith raise his harm a bit more.

If you have any further suggestions, ideas etc. please let me know before I make the final version.

Thank you in advance.

There has been talks about the castle being whitewashed, but since I’m unsure if the walls were whitewashed or not, and since textures of the bricks and stones carry a lot of the details, I’ve decided not to make it white. I also want to show the different materials the castle was made of (stones at bottom, bricks on top).

Much better now!

One final suggestion: I’d add a sound for the bridge hitting the floor as well.
You now only hear the chains, but I miss the ‘thud’ at the end :wink:

Well, I think that your notion of having the 3D model “appear out of” the plat-drawing of the site to be very effective. But I would consider your use of the camera for exposition purposes to be completely ineffective.

You recently presented us with a 2D rendering of how the drawbridge works. After having pleasantly surprised us with the “appear” effect, I think that you should fairly immediately CUT TO a good, close 3D rendering which mostly matches the 2D that you’ve already showed us.

I use the term, CUT TO, very pointedly: don’t let the camera “just flop around,” even when you can. A so-called “jump cut” can be very effective: feint in the direction of a camera-move toward the target area of interest, then CUT TO an illustrative shot where the camera has arrived and we can see in-detail how the drawbridge works.

Tiny bit of feedback: I felt that in the 3D part, the camera was often not pointing at the point of interest, making it a little frustrating to watch.

Why not have the ground to be somekind of map like drawing style (or extend the initial drawing), so it gives some context. Building plan is nice but well it feels out of context afterwards, you might consider some arrangements for the ground, maybe add more side lights to increase the visual interest, the rendering is a bit on the flat side.

Beside my points, the animsa re good and they express the content well.

By “cut to” do you mean that I should first show the 3D-part (appearing out of the drawing), lowering the drawbridge, then cut/fade to the drawing-illustration of how the drawbridge works, then cut back to the 3D-model and show the rest (blacksmith and soldiers raising the drawbridge)?

Wouldn’t I lose the nice flow of my animation?

Very nice - particularly the drawbridge.

I think the textures could use a little love - there’s some seams, and … I may be wrong … but a lot of the textures look like the brickwork you get on old factories rather medieval. Could it be that you are working off a castle that was restored in the 1800’s?

Thanks for the critique. I’ve updated the animation.

I fixed the bricks as well, also the blacksmith looks more medieval. Add other stuff as well.