Raytraced Castle

I was impressed with the other raytraced images I've seen on the net, especially Paul Gyugyi's, so I decided to try some myself. I've been working on a huge castle in my living room, made almost entirely from basic bricks, so I decided to work on it.

The tools that I used are:

It took a lot of time to place each brick for clickcom, but I made a good effort. Here's what I came up with: Well, that took way too much effort, so I decided to automate the process, writing a program that would convert a text file into input for clickcom, allowing me to "draw" a layout basic bricks with a text editor, using one file for each level of bricks. This worked wonders in my productivity.

Now with that many bricks, it takes forever to generate an image, so at first I generated "preview" quality images where the number of rays traced is reduced, and shadows are missing. I don't like how dark the shadows are, so I'll probably play around with the lighting eventually. In the case of "the completed tower" view, I actually prefer the preview image!

Under construction: Just the first level22K gif
The completed tower37K gif24K gif
The view from inside the walls24K gif19K gif
Looking down from above45K gif54K gif
The view from outside26K gif22K gif
Another view from outside19K gif15K gif

I decided to play around with different colors. Here's one of the above images, this time with three different color schemes. When Using grey, I randomly threw in some dark grey, black, and white bricks to give it some texture.

Color schemePreviewFinal
yellow26K gif22K gif
grey24K gif24K gif
random42K gif43K gif

If you're curious, there are 5584 bricks in the final product, which includes the walls and four towers (each a rotated clone of the original). Most notably, there are 2380 1x4 bricks and 2148 2x4 bricks.

Future plans

Obviously, I'm going to do something to improve the lighting. I'm thinking of making torches (like they use in the sets) and defining them as light sources. I'll probably place them along the lower walkways and the stairs.

Besides adding the main gate, I would like to make a movie by generating numerous frames, each with a slightly different view, simulating a minifig's journey through the castle.

I would also like to add a number of defending knights, commoners, horses, and scenery. Unfortunately, L3G0lib doesn't currently include any knight pieces, and Ben and Jer aren't releasing their models.

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