Some history in Babylon.js

Often in games I see castles with square or round towers, but there is another type - a “D” shaped tower sometimes called the “Welsh Tower”. The square tower was vulnerable to tunneling and undermining at the corners, the circular tower had a diminished active space for living and storage and required circular stairs.
The “D” tower was a compromise - square facing into the castle and round facing out.

So here is a creation of mine : The Welsh Tower

With the initial camera, you can see the two D towers at the gate house - a typical use.( see images below). You can change cameras by hitting the “c” key to walk around the terrain or the walls. The round corner towers are a mesh and 3 instances, the round mid wall towers are also a single mesh and 3 instances. The wall pieces are instances too apart from one small piece at the back. The 24 doors and the 60+ rocks are instances.

In smaller castles the D tower could be a keep - the castle centre stronghold. see Ewloe Castle here

Now the second piece of history is the terrain - it actually exists and was created using a grey scale height map. The terrain and the events that happened there have a place in movies (“The Vanishing” on Netflix) TV serials (“The Horror of Fang Rock”) and even video games (“Dark Fall - Lights Out”).

The islands are the “Flannan Islands” and in the 1900s it had a lighthouse…In December of 1900 the light went dark, and when a rescue ship reached it on December 26th. the 3 lighthouse keepers could not be found. To this day, nobody knows what happened there.

The terrain was created with a grey scale height map of those islands.

Stay Safe All, gryff :slight_smile:

Beaumaris Castle:6 D Towers

Harlech Caste - the massive gatehouse with the D Towers


Ohh, and a little bit of a poem by Wilfred Gibson about the Flannan Lighthouse and its keepers :

“Though three men dwell on Flannan Isle
To keep the lamp alight,
As we steered under the lee, we caught
No glimmer through the night.”

A passing ship at dawn had brought
The news; and quickly we set sail,
To find out what strange thing might ail
The keepers of the deep-sea light.  

According to legend, three men were missing, but only two sets of oilskins and boots were gone from the light house. And it actually took ~ 10days to get a rescue ship to the islands. It landed a small boat at the simple dock I built. If you fall into the sea - you can always refresh the page.

Stay Safe All, gryff :slight_smile:


European/Japanese Castle design is a fun rabbit hole go down. The humble gatehouse is easy to overlook but they were packed with medieval technology which transformed the main point of entry into an impenetrable box of death. This is a really cool demo :+1:

For anyone interested in learning about castles and other medieval stuff, here is a channel with a lot of very informative videos and an active community of castle enthusiasts:

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Are you using parallax? Seems like it would be ideal here?

Naw. I use the Displace Modifier with a highish poly terrain. Works fine. Then I use the BJS Mix Material script for texturing.

Stay Safe, gryff :slight_smile:

And…would you may be have a minute to try/compare? The scene looks just perfect for this and I’d love to be able to compare them. Eventually, it could add something to your project. Else, no worries, I will do my own compare tests some day (hopefully;) …

Oh, and I wan’t to be an archer in your castle, so let me know when I can take my assignment;) :bow_and_arrow: A nice castle base indeed and we all need to protect our kingdoms these days, don’t we :dagger: :crown:

@mawa : There are a number of reasons that I do it in Blender :

  1. I’m not a very good coder.
  2. The islands are strange, they rise out of the water very steeply but are not very high and then gradually rise to the lighthouse. If you look at the image below you can see the grey scale has just a few areas of different grey colour - and it leads to “tiers”. I can fix this in Blender using the sculpting tools. (If you use the demo above and go into walk around the island mode, as you leave the castle, you will see the big island in the distance showing the tiers as I did not bother with that island.)
  3. I like to use the “babylon.mixMaterial.min.js” to texture the terrain. That requires creating an RGBA texture that defines where and how the textures are mixed. Easy to do if the mesh is already in Blender.

Stay Safe, gryff :slight_smile:

Thanks a lot @gryff for sharing that. This is very valuable information for me.
The approach, the tech and tools should always serve the project (in my opinion) so I very appreciate your reply (and the time you took for describing the process).
We’ll find another example to may be make this comparison (one day;)
u2 stay safe and have an awesome WE :sunglasses:


Neither am I. When you think of it, it’s just so much easier to pass over the problem to an eng;)

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@mawa : I’ve uploaded the Height Map file now - see above how the layers show.

Stay Safe, gryff :slight_smile:

I was talking about the walls. The next version of the exporter will have 3 parallax properties you can set for each material.

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uh, yes sure the walls. :zipper_mouth_face: I was also talking about the walls. :crazy_face: I skipped the relation when reading the post (sry)
I just luv to hear why people do things in a way, so I guess I disregarded the initial topic. Now that I read it, LoL, it is obvious: The walls, we where both speaking about the walls (more precisely bricks) :laughing: