Rialto Bridge 3D Modeling: Progress 1

This team has the objective to create 3D models of famous alternative projects of the Rialto Bridge in Venice. Three weeks have passed since the team started working on the project. This first period was allotted to information gathering about the Rialto Bridge and, at the same time, to start the bridge modelling. Few issues have been already encountered and they are essentially the following:

  •      Retrieve dimensions and size information;
  •      Use 3D modelling and rendering software;

In order to get a realistic 3D model of a monument, whatever it is, it is necessary to have all the quotes and dimensions. In the case of a bridge is even more complicated, because there are so many details that cannot be replicated with simple basic shapes. This means that it’s necessary to go through all the iconographic literature available and find all the information needed. The references we are mainly relying upon, are the ones hereunder :

  •      “Rialto: le fabbriche e il ponte”. Donatella Calabi, Paolo Morachiello.
  •      “Public buildings in early modern Europe”. Deborah Howard.
  •      “I quattro libri dell’architettura” . Andrea Palladio.

2015-03-04 16_39_43-20141209154457792.pdf - Adobe Reader

So far, we focused on the first book, in which is reported the history of the bridge and the information about the three Rialto projects we have to model. The information we’ve been able to retrieve in this book allowed us to get an historical background of the bridge construction process, but provided us with only basic information regarding the dimensions of the various part of the bridge. Fortunately we found this basics information not only for the version of the bridge we can admire nowadays in Venice, but also for the version of Palladio and Scamozzi. As for Palladio’s version we can also look at the third reference and in general for the various projects we still have to check the book by Howard.

SketchUp (1)

As for the second issue, the 3d modelling, we have of course the problem that till we don’t have enough data about the bridge projects, we cannot start to model anything. Excluding this obvious problem, we’re facing another even more obvious issue: none of the teammate has experience with 3d modelling. We chose SketchUp as 3D modelling software. The user interface is quite intuitive, but it’s still something completely new and so it takes a while before we can master it and be fast in modelling the bridge. Our approach to the modelling part will be to start with basic forms (parallelepipeds, cylinders, etc.) and then add layers of details as we find more details in the literature.

2015-03-04 16_31_11-Senza titolo - SketchUp

Keeping all these situations in mind, we decided to change our project plan. It was conceived as a first block of general documentation gathering and then allocation of 2 weeks for each model, comprising documentation analysis and software utilization. Right now we decided to go through the iconographic vetting at once for the different version of the bridge and then accelerating the modelling part working in parallel. In this way we won’t have a different blocks for the three models, but we can develop them almost all at the same time.

– Marco L. Biancolillo, Omar Flores