Building virtual Blackpool

Click on the image to see the (lack of) detail

Using the 3D model of the Victorian alleyway, created for the animation, I’m trying to create some art for the book cover for the second edition of The Hidden Masters and the Unspeakable Evil. Unfortunately copying and pasting something like 1000 houses, each individually defined right down to the window frames and chimneys is proving a bit of a stretch for the PC. (See the previous post on viral marketing for how it should render including the brickwork texture.) Even with a spanky fast machine it’s proving too much. It’s not rendered any of the textures or the small details such as the red chimney pots. It hasn’t even bothered with the houses in the distance, showing whole terraces as wire frames. Notice the top of the image shows Google SketchUp as ‘Not Responding’. At the time of writing it’s been like that for over an hour, every few minutes becoming active then locking up again for a similar time.

The grey windows of the further streets are deliberate as the model was never intended to be seen from this angle. (All the action in the viral animation takes place within a single alleyway so the houses are only seen from the rear. Read chapter 7 for the details.) For the book cover these windows will have to be painted in individually. Also the wide screen format of modern monitors doesn’t suit the portrait format of a book jacket so chunks of the landscape image will probably be chopped away. The distant houses, if SketchUp can ever be persuaded to render the middle distance, will probably have to be painted in later.

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