POA Model Progress: Link Building, Quad Building, & Stone Bridge

As promised, this post is a lot lighter on the technical details and a lot heavier on the images! Getting better reference images for the link building was a big win. (Again, that’s the tiny linkage between the Great Hall complex and the marble staircase tower.) I knew what it looked like after the third film, but the first three films had a different design for the link building and there are no good shots of it in the films. I had nearly given up on accurately reproducing it.

But now that’s all changed! Feast your eyes on the SS/COS/POA link building!

It’s the short wall toward the bottom right. Okay, so, not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but hey, it’s nice to solve that mystery. (Now if only I could find a good shot of the adjacent wall of the Chamber of Reception…) I also discovered that the link building roof is in fact just the end of the Great Hall balcony. Check it out from above:

I never would have guessed! After the third film, the link building had its own separate roof and the Great Hall was lowered so the balcony wasn’t level with it.

The next step was to finally close off the front of the quad building, just to the right of the link building and the marble staircase tower. There’s always been this gaping hole right there in my model and it was a joy to simply add a wall there, let alone all the cool details on top of it. I also put the finial on top of the tower in the corner at long last; it had been sitting there all open-ended and weird-looking for almost a year!

I even added in the stone bridge, visible at the bottom right. For now, it doesn’t go anywhere, but it’ll ultimately become one of the three walking paths between the two halves of the castle. Here’s a closer shot:

I also did a nighttime render of the angle from before. This inspired me to do some more work on the castle’s nighttime lighting, deciding which windows would be lit based in part on screencaps from the films.

I couldn’t help myself – I had to position the camera down at the water level to mimic some of those first shots of the castle in Sorcerer’s Stone. Not gonna lie, I’m really digging this look.

Next steps? Haven’t decided just yet. I do still need to detail the clock tower and hospital wing, around the back side of the quad building…I also think I’m going to need to start doing a bit of manual texture painting on the castle to get the vertical streaking caused by rain and so forth over the years. Currently, the castle textures are 100% procedural – in other words, the software generates them by following complex rules I’ve set up – but that doesn’t seem to be cutting it with the vertical streaks. Fortunately, Blender allows us to mix and match, so I can keep the overall look procedural while just painting in the vertical streaks by hand. Maybe I’ll try that next.

17 thoughts on “POA Model Progress: Link Building, Quad Building, & Stone Bridge

  1. There are four paths between the two halves of the castle. The Stone Bridge; a second stone bridge above the first, first seen in DH; the Stone Walkway, extended from the Entrance Courtyard to the Quad, round to the Long Gallery Entrance (seeing as it’s not connected to the Viaduct) with the moving of the Viaduct; and the Suspension Bridge from the South Quad wall.

    Also, if you really want detail, you should add two silhouettes to one of the windows in the Grand Staircase. When approaching Hogwarts on the boats in PS, two windows have people stood in them. It’s an awesome little detail that no one realises is there.

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    1. You’re correctly describing the DH version of the castle, but I’m working on the POA version right now – at this point, there were only the three paths (to my knowledge), since the stone bridge only had one level until DH. 🙂

      Good catch on the silhouettes, too! Yeah, they had some fun with the interiors, even more so in COS during the approach on the flying car. I’m not currently planning on going quite that detailed, but who knows!

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  2. Loving the progress. I’ve been tracking the project for a good amount of time now but never made the time to leave any comments. Visually the castle looks stunning, particularly at those gorgeous night shots you picked up. The project itself is incredibly ambitious, love it. A friend and I are actually re-creating the Hogwarts from Half Blood Prince on Minecraft, have been since about August. Don’t worry, it’s not the sort you see a couple of 11 year olds make in a few days, suffice to say that we’re making it window-to-window levels of accurate, so I can certainly appreciate the resources required to accurately reproduce Hogwarts. Not to mention how yours will require a lot more detailing! Anyway, if you would like I could somehow forward some pictures on of our project if that interests you.
    Anyhow, I’m surprised to find myself ignorant of the changes to the link building! Out of interest, what were those illusive shots/sources you found? Would love to know!
    Keep up the good work.

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      1. Hi! Sorry I took so long to reply. I’ve made a crude gallery of some exterior shots, which you can access here: https://imgur.com/gallery/BKqc56v The interior is also being made. As a caveat to that – you’ve pointed out that the sets/locations as interiors of the castle do not always make sense with the exterior, and for that reason most of the interior is achieved by teleporting the individual when they meet a door to the relevant location. Some spaces inside the castle are sadly physically impossible to re-create accurately, and I like to think that’s what the interiors are too. Quite a lot of the interior is done, most notable locations included. But that gallery will be constrained to the exterior for now; after all I imagine that is what you would be most interested by!
        Thanks for reply and linking that modeller’s page – most interesting!

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  3. It’s looking really good! I’m curious how you decided (or what reference shot you used) the distance from the Great Hall to the Grand Staircase Tower, unless it was just by eye. Looks like you decided on the width of the terrace surrounding the Great Hall as the length of the Link Building.

    As for the north face of the Reception building, I’d say it should be another row of windows on the second floor, to match the row of windows on the south face. I don’t think there are any shots of the building from that angle, but I think the interior windows are visible on the Christ Church set and the design implies they would be there. Maybe not canon, but logical.

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    1. Thanks, Pete! That distance was taken from a plan of the miniature from the first film.

      I’m inclined to agree that those windows would be a logical choice, but for the purposes of this project, I’m trying really hard not to fabricate details, and the exteriors don’t always match the interiors. For now, I’m holding out hope that I’ll eventually find a production photo, technical drawing, or piece of concept art that clearly shows that exterior wall…

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  4. Hi Joe, More questions sorry!

    I have a query about the Quad, specifically the two towers on the ends of the “western” side of the quad, the side which has the Hospital Wing. If you’re facing the Clock Tower, do these two Quad towers emerge equidistant behind the Clock Tower? I used to think that the Gryffindor one protruded more to the left (when facing the Clock Tower) but having looked at your blueprint it seems more that they are equidistant and that the Gryffindor tower only appears to jut out because the wall of the Quad facing Durham Cathedral is recessed.

    Would be very grateful for your clarity!

    It’s amazing the more you study the castle the more you realise that there’s almost no symmetry in it at all!

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    1. I believe the whole hospital wing/clock tower/etc. addition is slightly off-center; it seems to be a bit closer to the tower on the right/south than to Gryffindor Tower. Maybe that’s what you’re seeing?

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