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?