Alamo facade animation

June 28, 2016

A short animation featuring my improved facade on my Alamo model.



Bexar from the Tower of the Americas

August 8, 2015
Bexar 1836 from the Tower of the Americas

Bexar 1836 from the Tower of the Americas

This is an overview of the state of my model.  The image is taken from a point of view of the top of the Tower of the Americas, a structure in modern San Antonio’s Hemisfair Park.  The field of view includes San Fernando church and Main Plaza on the left to the Alamo compound on the right.

Most of the buildings have been completed with moderate detail and texture.  Some are the properties are divided with fences and shrubs.  Trees have been applied along the banks of the river.  The next big improvement will be to tackle the resolution of the ground textures.

Burning the Jacales

July 27, 2015
Cycles render of burning jacales

Cycles render of burning jacales

On February 25, 1836, three Mexican companies and a battalion assaulted the south side of the Alamo compound through the Plaza de Valero.  Taking advantage of cover provided by the surrounding jacales, the battle raged for several hours.  When it was over, the Texians sallied from the fort and burned the huts nearest to the compound.  Accounts say this was done in the evening but the 2004 movie shows it in the afternoon.

This render is my first attempt at rendering fire and smoke using Blender Cycles.

North side of Main Plaza

August 29, 2014


North side of Main Plaza

North side of Main Plaza

I just finished modeling the north side of Main Plaza.  It consists of four stone buildings with hallway through the center.  The building on the left (west) is the Yturri house and was used by Santa Anna as his headquarters during the siege.  The buildings need to be textured.

A reference for the model is a drawing of the block that was done at a later date.



I’m back!

December 8, 2013

Over 2 years since the last post here.  Wow.

In 2010, I got sidetracked on another Alamo-related project.  I was asked to create an animation (2D) of the action that led to the battle of the Alamo.  I decided to use a Microsoft technology called Silverlight because it was supported for multiple platforms.  If you have a modern PC with Silverlight installed for your browser, you can check it out here:

13 Days: The Siege and Battle of the Alamo

I was fortunate to be able to demonstrate this program at the 175th anniversary of the battle in San Antonio courtesy of Valero Oil Company.

This taste of programming got me hooked on Windows 8 and app development.  While participating heavily in the user forums, I was contracted to be the technical editor for a couple of books on app development.  In 2012, I released my own app for displaying worldwide earthquake data and recently updated it for Windows 8.1.–QuakeView.

In the meantime, Blender has undergone several iterations of improvements.  New tools have also come on the scene that should be interesting to try.

My near term goal is to clean up the terrain mesh and add textures to make a convincing baseline scene for rendering 1836 Bexar.


Continuing to texture

September 15, 2010

I am continuing the work of placing and texturing the buildings in Bexar.

Since the last post, I have also worked on a workflow to create a better height map of the area around Bexar.  It involves downloading the elevation data from the USGS and converting it to a 16-bit tiff that can be edited in photoshop to remove noise and correct for modern day alterations to the terrain.

I also experimented with Unity.  I have a small demo program in which I can ‘walk around’ the Alamo compound.

Some feedback on the San Fernando photo indicated that the walls are too gray.  Here is a rendering with a warmer hue:

San Fernando Church 1836

Sunset scene

May 7, 2010

Here is a quick render that was inspired by a scene in the 2004 Alamo movie which shows the San Fernando Church backlit by a blood red sunset on the eve of the battle.

Sunset in San Antonio