Flooded fields of the Alamo

June 16, 2017

RearPond1280

Colonel Ygnacio de LaBastida, Commander of the Engineers of the Army of the North in 1836, made a map of the area around San Antonio de Bexar and the Alamo compound.  The map prominently featured two ponds just to the east of the walls of the convento courtyard and adjacent to the Alamo acequia (a probable source of the water in the field).  This image depicts a view of the back of the Alamo across one of these ponds.  The vantage point corresponds to a location approximately at the northeastern corner of the present day Alamo grounds.

For this render, I improved the textures on the rear of the Alamo church and convento and continued to experiment with terrain modeling and flora.


Alamo facade animation

June 28, 2016

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

 


Updating the Alamo church facade

June 21, 2016
Facade_1280

Alamo Facade (see Gallery for full size)

Seven years ago I posted a video of my first Alamo 3D model on YouTube.  Since then, I have been gradually improving my technical abilities and tools to create a more photo-realistic result.

The render above, represents my latest work: reworking the Alamo church facade.  For comparison, here is a render of my model in 2009.

take_00090

2009 Model

Here is a summary of the improvements:

  • Using a physically accurate render engine with global illumination (Blender Cycles) produces realistic lighting.
  • The lighting source is from an HDRI image (Hyperfocal Design).  This is another important contribution to realistic lighting and background.
  • Color grading.  The rendered result was corrected to improve color balance.
  • More geometry.  The new model has a higher level of detail.  For example the spirals in the pillars.
  • Higher texel density.  The size of the textures is sufficient for a sharp image of objects that are 1-2 meters from the camera.  Also, the texel density is more uniform across objects in the scene.
  • Bump and normal map textures add detail without increased geometry.  For example, the decorations on the doorway.
  • Physically based material workflow.  Materials were created using Allegorithmic Substance Designer and Painter.
  • Hand generated textures.  The stonework textures were created by hand using a workflow involving Photoshop, Inkscape and Substance Painter. This allowed the addition of realistic weather, dirt and damage effects.

Not visible in this render are the other improvements like the complete modeling of Bexar and more realistic landscape around the San Antonio River.


Soldado walking in the Main Plaza

April 24, 2016

Animation of a soldado walking in front of the San Fernando church in the Main Plaza of San Antonio de Bexar.

Continuing my study of animation, this render is an improvement of the previous try.  The feet make good contact with the ground thanks to a feature of MakeWalk.  I fixed some problems with the skinning of the model to the rig and I used the Blender compositor to reduce the render time by only rendering the foreground for the full sequence.

 


The Alamo from the Veramendi roof

January 13, 2016

Frame73

Here is a view of the Alamo compound from the roof of the Veramendi house.  More work on the vegetation and rocks around the river is needed.

And now a short animation:


Ben Milam

December 25, 2015

 

Milam

Ben Milam looks at Mexican position on San Fernando church

In 1835, Ben Milam lead a small group of Texians into San Antonio de Bexar in an attempt to take the town from Mexican forces commanded by General Martin Perfecto de Cos.  From the courtyard of the Veramindi house, Milam studied the Mexican positions around the San Fernando church using a field telescope given to him by Stephen Austin.  He was killed by a shot to the head from a Mexican sharpshooter in a tree across the river.

This 3D model was made using the Makehuman tool and Blender.  The textures were created in Substance Painter.

Link to Sketchfab model.


Bexar Dawn

September 4, 2015
March 6, 1836 Dawn

March 6, 1836 Dawn

The final battle of the Alamo occurred in the hour before dawn on March 6, 1836.  This image depicts what San Antonio de Bexar might have looked like on such a morning.  The view is from an elevated position just west of the Main Plaza.  The San Fernando church is flying the red flag of “no quarter.”  In the distance you can see the Alameda, Watch Tower and Alamo.  You can barely see a glint of sunlight reflection in places along the San Antonio River.

This render made with Blender Cycles.  Textures made with Allegorithmic Substance Designer and Painter.  HDRI from Hyperfocal Design.

Trees, foliage. stones and fences were instanced using Blender particles.  The foreground ground textures were improved from the low res versions used previously.  Ruts in the roadway and plaza may be seen.

Annotated

Annotated