Building and Texturing Castles

        These tutorials, by Bart Veldhuizen, are both nice and clear.  He builds a lovely castle, step by step, and never skips a spot. The only concern might be the small jump he makes between one tutorial and the next. He adds a drawbridge and a moat and chains without explaining the details. But to be honest, that's not a very big deal.

            I made the door of the drawbridge by reshaping a circle the exact same way as the door was cut out of the front face of the castle. Then I used "CNTRL+f" to fill out the weird shape, and then I extruded the points to make it just as wide as the rest of the castle walls. His drawbridge is rectangular, so my guess is he just reshaped a cube.

            The chain was just as simple. I added (space -> add -> nurbs) a donut. Then I assigned a material to it, and turned it black. I lowered the specular setting and raised the hardness of it so it wouldn't look so shiny. Then I selected half the vertices and pulled them apart. I did the same on the other side for symmetry. Once I had a chain link that looked nice, I went to object mode and copied it. I rotated it 90 degrees around the z-axis and moved it up so that it would look interlocked with it's brother.

            Be careful when you're doing this step. Press numpad 6 or 4 and look all the way around. Make sure they're not a mile apart, and try not to let them look like the metal parts are overlapping. You have some leeway, of course. It's going to be a very tiny chain. You could even make the link out of a circle extruded four times, to make a square donut. It'll be tiny enough not to show the difference.

            When you've got a position you like, link the vertices using "CNTRL+j". Then copy the object and do it again. And again. Until you have a chain of desirable length. Then copy it again, and move it far enough to span the drawbridge. Join the vertices one last time. Scale as needed.

            There are lots of ways to make the moat. I made a circle, and extruded it a few times. I made some waves and added a reflection. I hope to go back, and see if I can texture map a picture of some waves while still keeping a reflective surface. I haven't tried that before.
            The author gives a rough description of how to make his moat. See if you can find your own way, you know, for fun.

            Remember when I suggested starting a collection of images? Well, that sure comes in handy right about now. Also, that hill tutorial is the exact thing I used here for the backdrop.
            I also played around with the world settings (F9, under "world"), like I suggested earlier. I thought a twilight backdrop was just the thing. Try feeding an image into the world setting. Or playing with the buttons at the far right. They let you add a mist and make stars!! It's really cool.
            OH! Another fun idea is to select the camera, and (since it only has three parameters) play around with that for a while. Give it a lot of depth if you want to see the whole castle from far away. (Of course, you could scale the whole thing down. It's up to you.)

Here's my final product. Well, kind of final. I'm still playing around with this one.
I feel bad for you!