Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Steventon Rectory (Parsonage) rebuilt

The above is a cel shaded anim of just the Rectory (Parsonage taken from the original 3D file of the demo and passed through Swift 3D. Initially with the idea of creating an interactive Papervision3D file so that users can rotate it and explore the building. Unfortunately, due to the building having been created in Autodesk Revit Architecture and then exported to Autodesk 3DS Max as an .fbx file, there are too many faces and Papervision struggles to show them all. A rotation only was then decided on, until more time can be allotted to simplify the 3D model.

The small amount of research committed on this so far brought to my attention that there seems to be a discrepancy on what the building actually looked like due to conflicting sketches. The fact that the building no longer existed made it a prime consideration for being the first of Jane's homes to be re-built in 3D, discovering the uncertainty in how it looked made it more of a challenge.

Below are the sketches in question:

The two images above show a much smaller building than the two below, although each image states that it is Steventon Rectory (Parsonage).

These two images although on first look appear similar, the chimney placement is very different. There is a central chimney in the lower image, and not in the one above, although they both have a side chimney, which is not visible in the top two images.

There is a theory that the lower images are actually depicting Ibthorpe House, you can see the likeness to this building in the image below. Certainly the top of the second set of images above looks very similar - except for that central chimney.

I puzzled over this for a while and read various articles from Jane Austen experts such as Linda Robinson Walker in order to come to a decision as to how I portrayed the building. Within Linda's document Why Was Jane Austen Sent away to School at Seven?
An Empirical Look at a Vexing Question
there was this image of the land around the house which helped considerably in making that decision along with the logical explanation / view given by Linda Robinson Walker:

This image certainly helped place the building in the surrounding landscape and provided very useful information in regard to the outbuildings and garden. There may be further information available from the Jane Austen Memorial Trust and / or other organisations that would clarify this further, as it stands the look of the animated building has been created from the information found only on the web.

Many thanks to the organisations / people who have posted this information on the web, the sources mostly used were:

Jane Austen Society of the UK
Jane Austen Society of North America
Jane Austen

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Jane Austen demo now on YouTube

Finally succeeded in posting the Jane Austen demo up to YouTube. I say finally, as it has taken most of the day. Codecs, converters and then disabling all firewalls, anti-virus software on the laptop. This last part was because the 'old faithful' BT HomeHub kept losing signal - a few brain scratches later and my grabbed-at theory worked - Windows Defender, Kaspersky, Windows Internet Security and Pop-ups, all disabled, and hey presto, the file uploaded successfully.

I would love to know how you are supposed to know these things and plan your time accordingly. You are left with such a choice of what it could be: wrong codec, wrong converter program, wrong fps (frames per second) - all of which were thankfully clearly explained on the YouTube upload page. Having made sure you have now complied with the standard settings, and it still it will not upload, where do you go now? Could it be a problem with BT, or YouTube, a compatibility issue maybe, firewall on the router, on the PC? Maybe Kaspersky, ZoneAlarm? Very frustrating.

Still, with the above stated brain scratching session, I turned the whole lot off and risked catching a serious cold, but at least it worked, and so far no cold has appeared. I shall know this now and when I come to upload some more animations, I will be prepared.

Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy the Jane Austen - Steventon Rectory demo on YouTube.