Hogwarts 4D Progress: “Azkaban” Suspension Bridge Takes Shape

One thing about me is that I don’t like to stick to any one part of a personal project for too long. So sure enough, I’ve put the Alnwick model on hold as I’ve jumped back to the Prisoner of Azkaban version of the castle.

At the moment I’m mainly focusing on an area of the castle that’s not very visible in the films. On a basic level, the castle (not counting any outbuildings, etc.) consists of two separate buildings that are attached by a few bridges over a deep, narrow ravine. The northern building is modeled largely after Durham Cathedral while the southern building includes the rather more unique designs of the Great Hall and Turris Magnus (the tall, steep tower with Dumbledore’s office near the top). It’s the southern building that I’m working on at the moment…but I’m focusing on the northern facade, the one that faces the other building. The filmmakers didn’t have many reasons to send their cameras through that area…but that doesn’t mean I can’t!

Obviously there aren’t any textures here, but this is another example of an area that’s approaching final levels of detail. The last few renders are especially cool to me because they’re from angles that would be impossible in the “real world” – the camera would be underground, or inside the northern block.

Some of my most proud moments since the last post have included sculpting a bas-relief Hogwarts crest (seen on the white square near the top of the last render above) and figuring out the Turris Magnus spire, whose shape smoothly blends from a hexadecagon (16 sides) to a circle near the base. I also like the suspension bridge, one of three footpaths between the two blocks of the castle. (Its biggest moment in the films is in Goblet of Fire, when the dragon chases Harry right through/past it…but that shot is over in, like, a second.)

Ooh, as an added bonus, here’s a fully navigable version of the model via Sketchfab. There are some numbered annotations that point out landmarks. I don’t plan on uploading one of these for every single future post, but I’ll try to do it from time to time so you can go exploring.

Have fun!