I have always had an interest in video effects, computer games and animation, which led me to explore 3d Modelling and Rendering using Blender.
As part of my digital interactive media course I undertook a 3d modelling and rendering elective. For our final assignment as part of this module we were tasked with modelling and rendering an object of our choice. I choose to model Ha’penny Bride in Dublin, one of the most famous bridges along the river Liffey.
Check out the full process and final renders below:
As the bridge is symmetrical, I decided to use the mirror modifier along 2 axis to help me model the bridge much faster. I began by modeeling the support underneath the bridge. I used Bezier curves to get the desired shape of one half of the bridge, converted it to a mesh and used loop cuts to line up the ‘windows’ in the shape. I used to bevel tool in order to split the frames up into the correct shape and deleted the faces where the windows would be. I extruded the remaining faces out to the desired width. At this point I added the mirror modifier to check if the overall shape looked correct.
Next for the base of the bridge I extruded the top of the support frame up and in to create the walking path. I used the plan image to line up the steps at the end of the bridge and starting at the end extruded the edge horizontally along the x axis until it reached the next step.
After the Steps were completed I began working on the railings. I extruded up the bridge in order to retain the correct curve for the railing. I created one of the higher railings and one of the lower railings before duplicating them along the curve.
Afterwards I began working on the 3 lamp posts along the bridge. The mirror modifier proved very useful once again as I was able to duplicate each side of the lamppost along 2 axis. I used Bezier curves with the bevel function in order to set the curve as the centre line for my shape. I used a 4 sided plane as the profile for the curve. This proved very useful in creating these complex curved shapes. I then modelled the lamppost itself by extruding upwards from a cube and circle and using scale, bevel and inset to get the correct shape.
Next I modelled some of the finer details into the bridge such as the cup shape along every 10th railing. I used Bezier curves once again to add in the walls on either side of the bridge and added the remaining steps on each end. I used a plane to represent the water of the river and used materials to make it reflective and look like it had ripples. For the footpath of the bridge I used darken and multiply nodes on the tar texture in order to create the puddles and give the path a wet look.
For rendering I used an iPhone app called HDReye in order to create my own HDRI from the bridge to use in my project. Although the stitching on the app was poor and the resolution of the images were a little low, this worked well for my project.