Hogwarts Gets Its Steps In

I had a change of heart – rather than working on the textures or finishing the Prisoner of Azkaban clock tower, I decided to bite the bullet and just do my best with the original boathouse steps. I don’t have enough photographic coverage to be able to measure things out via photogrammetry, so I decided to just follow the floor plan and estimate the rise/run of the stairs.

The first step was to lay out the steps and landings themselves. This came together pretty quickly:

To my relief, the scale ended up being fairly reasonable. The next step was tougher…I had to create the walls along both sides of the steps, and they posed some challenges in terms of angles and intersections and whatnot. Halfway through, I started getting pretty annoyed…

The two circular landings were particularly difficult. But I stayed the course and eventually finished the walls, topping them off with the necessary flambeaux or torches. (Note that these walls are intentionally much taller than what you’ll see in the final model – the terrain will cover most of the height in most spots. I just wanted to make sure I had plenty to work with.)

Whew…all done! Here are a few more views for you to enjoy, including a nighttime shot looking up from the boathouse. This would have been Harry’s view of the castle immediately after disembarking from the boats.

With the boathouse steps complete, I also threw in the crenellated walls around the Chamber of Reception walkway.

What’s next? I’m already assembling my reference materials for the clock tower and courtyard that were added in the third film. Lots of intricate details here, especially since so much of it was also built as a physical set. Should be fun to finally finish that area!

2 thoughts on “Hogwarts Gets Its Steps In

  1. YESSSS. (Ahem.) I’ve been following this project since February of last year, and I suddenly wondered if perhaps current events had led you to restart it… and I’m so very very glad to see things roaring back to life!

    I don’t think you’re getting enough credit for how fiendishly clever and beautiful the procedural texturing is, by the way – it adds so much to the renders when they’re not just a grey box, and the castle is looking more and more amazingly detailed with every update! I think shot 142 (Harry’s view of the castle!!) has to be my new favourite thing you’ve posted, and I’ve clicked on every single image since the start, haha. Talk about your missing shot… what a beautiful lost frame.

    I can’t tell you how satisfying it is to see someone finally nail down the Chamber of Reception, too (down to the little lamp above the door! That’s some superlative StreetView detective work right there). And solving the mystery of the link building might be a small archaeological discovery in the grand scheme of things, but it’s one of those miniature holy grails for Hogwarts historians. Can’t believe you’re still managing to dig up unseen shots of the original miniature after all this time; that is some seriously impressive Google-fu, kudos.

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    1. Thanks for the kind words! I’m glad my return to the project has brought you some joy, especially with all that’s going on right now!

      I’m rather proud of the main brick texture too – there are ways I’d still like to improve it, and it’s never going to be as good as if it were hand-painted one wall at a time, but I just don’t have the patience for that with this project, haha. As it is, the procedural approach is still letting me get renders like number 142, which I agree is one of my new favorites! I can’t wait to do even more like that, especially as the model becomes more complete and I start adding terrain and so forth.

      Next up is the clock tower from Prisoner of Azkaban!

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