Adventures on the Holodeck 4
Captain's Log: February 29, 2012

The Great Hall

      To more effectively learn the Bryce program, I purchased a tutorial called "The Great Hall". This tutorial gives cookie-cutter instructions for building a model of the great hall of a castle. I say cookie-cutter, because the tutorial gives the exact numbers to enter for the size, shape, and location of every primitive (cube, cylinder, sphere, torus, pryamid, et cetera) used to build the parts of the model. I does help you to learn the names of the tools and the workings of the interface.

      This building is massive in size and in the sheer number of primitives used in the construction. The model has a central hall, shown below, and two halls on either side of that. Four inner sets of the long side walls have nine arches each. Forty eight columns support the arches of the inner four side walls. Eight more columns support the three arched roofs. There are three front walls and three rear walls that have three arches each. The two outer side walls have four arches each.

Feodora in the Center Hall
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      In the picture above, Feodora is standing next to a pool with a decoration in the center. This is the kind of ornamental pool that might serve as a fountain in one of today's shopping malls. There are three of these pools in the central hallway. What appear to be ramps on either side of the areas between the pools are those sets of forty eight steps. Feodora is sized to scale based on the size of the room.

      One of the features of the program is called "multi-replicate", which allows users to build things like flights of stairs from a single stair step. There are eight sets of stairs that have forty eight steps each. Once one set of steps were completed, the entire lot could be copied and placed in the locations for the other seven sets of stairs.

      The person who wrote the tutorial might have been asked to show how steps can be built. Oddly enough, there are no steps or ramps outside (in the tutorial) leading up the any of the outside doors. I will add my own steps before I use this model.

Feodora in the Left Side Hall

      This tutorial took most of my waking hours for over two weeks. During the course of the work, I tested different ideas and different methods to achieve the results. Also, the author supplied rendered images of the finished parts during construction. Unfortunately, his pictures were not produced according to his instructions. I liked his finished product better than the one made as per his instructions, so I made one of each. The duplication of effort helped me to remember how and why things worked the way that they did.

Feodora as seen from outside (right side of the building)

      One of the double-edged swords of these models is that there are no hard surfaces. One can, and often must, put one object inside another. I have used this to my advantage to sink unwanted parts of one model into the surfaces of another. I explained more about this in the last installment: "The Study".

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