More POA Hogwarts Texturing

Well, so much for turning the materials off and focusing on the modeling again! The process of creating and tweaking and refining these textures has become a bit addictive.

Here I’ve created a shingle texture for the roofs and spires. The finials have also received a copper patina treatment to match what we see in the films. (Again, no image textures here – all procedural.) Less obvious are some subtle adjustments to the brick texture. Notice how the bricks no longer appear to be all perfectly flush with each other – some stick out slightly further, like you’d see in real medieval construction. There were still more tweaks needed, though. In particular, I wanted more vertical streaks to mimic dirt deposits from years of rain and weather. Those are quite noticeable on the “real thing.” Many hours later…

…that’s more like it! Still not perfect, but I don’t think I’ll be able to convince current versions of Blender to do any more on their own. I could paint the streaks in myself, but I’m still really trying to stay procedural so that when I build the rest of the castle, the brickwork and weathering and dirt patterns will all just magically appear without any further work. (Unrelated, but you can also see a few contour lines down near the shoreline. Once these are completed, they’ll act as a guide for me to sculpt the landscape the castle sits on.)

If it’s been a while since you’ve seen the first couple of Harry Potter films, you might be thinking that this castle looks awful colorful. Were the bricks really that red, the roofs really that bluish? Well…yes, at first. The Hogwarts we see in Sorcerer’s Stone and Chamber of Secrets has pretty saturated colors. Here’s a frame from the latter, for instance:

It was really only once we got to Prisoner of Azkaban that the colors took a turn for the grayish green. At least part of it was just color grading on the film; it’s hard to tell if the miniature itself received a cooler paint job, but if it did, it wasn’t as dramatic a difference as it appears in the film:

That’s more or less the color scheme we see through the rest of the series, and the theme park versions at the various Universal resorts don’t stray far from this look. So despite my original intention to just get the original look of the model, I created an alternate coloration for the model, too:

It’s still not as green as what we often see after the first couple films, but it’s at least closer. I set up the material nodes in Blender so I can quickly switch between color schemes across the whole model; I suppose I’ll probably stick with this coloration while I continue work on the POA version, but the more colorful version will be ready to go when I start working on the castles of the first two films.

I’ll round out this post with kind of a cool, different shot of the castle in silhouette. You can see I’ve finished the windows on the Defense Against the Dark Arts tower, although I discovered a small mistake in the lowest row of windows after this render was made. Unfortunately, this angle also highlights some of the areas where the bricks don’t map quite right onto the forms of the castle. After a lot of experimenting, I’m starting to think this may be as good as the mapping is going to get. But who knows?


8 thoughts on “More POA Hogwarts Texturing

  1. These are amazing! And the fact you’ve done them in such a short time is astounding. I’ve always wanted to see the Quad building from the angles you make available and understand how it fits together from an architectural perspective. Is it possible to export elevations from the 3D render that can be measured the way a drawing would be? I’d love to see how the windows and each floor are scaled in relation to each other. This is beautiful work!


    1. Oh, also – I can tell you that those windows on the northern façade of the Quad building (i.e. facing the DADA tower and the dark tower) are vertically spaced at 12 feet, suggesting that’s how tall the stories are in that building. (It’s about 19 feet for the windows of the lower part of the DADA tower.)

      EDIT: Argh, don’t quote me on that. Complete coincidence, but I just found an issue with my vertical scaling. Apparently everything is just a little bit…squashed. It’s supposed to be slightly taller. The difference is subtle…won’t even be anything the human eye would pick up on…but it’s enough to throw things off. Gotta go back and rescale some stuff. Oy. I think the numbers I gave you are still pretty close, though.


      1. 12 feet sounds about right based on scale drawings of the Turris Magnis from Nic Henderson. The model makers used the same windows through most of the southern building with only a couple of variations so it’s easy to use those for scale throughout the construct. You’ll get solid vertical scale info from Film Wizardry and Page to Screen. The drawings in those books are great, but I wish I could find them in high resolution scans or e-book PDFs as they’d be easier to measure using a vector program.
        I don’t know if they’d be useful to you, but I used Illustrator to make scaled vector block plans of each movie version of the castle, kind of for the same reason you’re making the model. I wanted to see how each one changed and overlapped the other. I’m sure you’re all set on floor plans but if they’d help you I’m happy to send them in PDF.


  2. Those vector plans sound super cool! As you’ve worked on your own projects, have you ever found any original plan views for the COS, POA, or OOTP versions of the castle?


    1. No, everything I’ve seen has been from later. I only have this one that I think is from POA and it’s incomplete:
      Also, Jasper on DeviantArt has done beautiful work on his own using an architectural design software. I don’t agree with his plans–they don’t seem structurally sound to me–but he’s trying to fit the interior film sets into the exterior model and it wasn’t designed for that.
      I’m much more interested in creating new plans for the building based on where the walls, windows, and chimneys are, and how castles were really built with some imagination added in as well.


      1. Yeah, same here. Man, for some reason, I’ve been thinking that one was from GOF all this time, but I took a closer look and it’s quite obviously from POA (no owlery, no GOF revisions to the boathouse steps). Here’s a larger version I have of that one:

        EDIT: Argh, what’s wrong with me? It can’t be POA because it’s got the GOF entrance courtyard. Maybe it’s an early drawing from that GOF? Weird.


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