Medieval Inn WIP


Hello everyone,

I’d like to have critique for a medieval inn I’m about to finish. I did everything, including diffuse, light, specular and normal maps for the textures.

The goal is to create a set of semi-cartoony-style medieval building to be eventually used in a scene for a game environment & prop demo reel (the models are therefore low res, and uses many intersecting geometry).

Tools used: 3ds Max, Photshop + Wacom Intuos4 tablet, Crazybump.

I would like critique on the mesh, textures, studio lighting, pretty much everything to help me improve!



Looks nice
But I think you should try something other than that studio lighting. I don´t think you want to make it look like some toy right?
Allso it look brand new with no trace of weathering or dirt.
One last thing I find strange is the base wich the building stand on. It look a bit like concrete and I don´t think that was used for medieval buildings :slight_smile:
this is just what I think

keep it up :slight_smile:


Hi phil7777,
The roof’s top beam being oversized and the chimney bulging out is probably intentional due to the semi-cartoony-style, but there are two nods to realism you could consider, if you want to:
First I’d suggest to get rid of the modern pipes coming out of the chimney. In medieval times the chimneys would have been directly above any fireplace with no additional piping.
Secondly, in your modell the frames of the windows are not attached to the general timber frame of the house. Maybe you want them like this for stylistic reasons, but to people who’ve seen timber-frame houses they look strange sitting in the middle of the white walls. Usually two vertical beams of the house’s frame would serve as sides of the window frame with additional horizontal bars for the upper and lower part, or the window would be between two horizontal beams of the general frame, with additional side bars.


The model looks good, but I don’t like you stone wall texture.
If this is supposed to be a medieval building, your stones are too perfect in size and shape.
Try to make’em more imperfect in size and shape.


Thanks smas for the tips!

I’m far from being a pro in lighting, what would you suggest for studio lighting? I don’t want the model to look like a toy, but I do want it to look semi-cartoony (explaining also the lack of weathering, but I’ll see what I can do).

For the base, you might indeed be right. For some reason I’m having a hard time finding reference images showing bases of medieval buildings. I’ll check it out!


Thanks archaeotect, you have very good suggestions.

The top beam’s oversize and chimney buldging are indeed due to the cartoony style.

For the chimney pipes, I’ve seen many with no pipes indeed, but I’ve seen other references with:

I’m not exactly sure what to think… where these modernised with time or did they actually had some piping in that time?

For the beam framing of windows, this is an excellent observation… I never noticed before. I’ll see what I can do!


Thanks SewerShark!

This is the actual brick texture:

The depth is from the normal map. I like your examples, if I have time, I’ll try another version with more imperfect sizes and shapes as you suggested!


For the chimney pipes, I’ve seen many with no pipes indeed, but I’ve seen other references with:

Well, how do I put this, none of your examples are real ;)
Still they made me doubt myself, so I did some research. Turns out these things are called chimney pots in english. If the web can be trusted there may have been instances in medieval england, and they were definetely around in Tudor times (which I would term renaissance, not medieval, but of course these distinctions are somewhat fluid and arbitrary). But "         Even so, the separate Chimney Pot remained rare until the end of the 18th Century when the         Industrial Revolution paved the way for the profusion of pot designs which became         characteristic of the Victorian period." And yes, I quote this just to save face:blush: So, if you like 'em, leave 'em be!

As to the base of the building: A stone base is only there to separate the timber framework from the moisture of the ground. Since your ground floor is already stone, it doesn’t need a base at all.
Lots of examples can be found on wikipedia’s commons: link link


Wow thx for the research!

Since the scene will be a fantasy setting, I don’t think things need to be 100% historically correct (for example, I want to add some mechanical stuff in the final scene).

For the base - you’ve made an excellent point. I just might remove it… :wink:

I’ll upload an update soon.


Love it, very cool.


Here is the update. Here’s what i did:

  • Modified some textures’ colors
  • Improved mesh
  • Removed “base”
  • Attached windows frame to vertical beams on walls
  • Made the wall texture dirtier (although you can’t see it from the distance)

What do you guys think? Is it getting any better?


Yes, it is! The larger corner stones are a nice addition.
Two suggestions:
There should be more colour and/or value variation between the individual stones of your ground floor walls (like you did with the roof tiles).
The ends of beams should not be lighter than the sides but exactly the same colour.


You’re absolutely right! I’mma do that right now!


Ok update done!

  • A few mesh improvements
  • Tone and color variations for brick textures



I’ve also got a question for you guys: Usually in semi-cartoony style games, do they use normal maps or they just use the diffuse?


model looks good

to me the textures just look a little bit too clean, I know it’s supposed to be cartoony but looks shiny and new.


This is looking great, but I agree with others that the textures are too clean. I think the stone foundation is still much too fine and orderly. Should be more like the examples someone posted of roughly interlocking stones. If you must use the brick texture you posted, it needs to have rougher edges around each brick and more rough noise on the faces.

Also, your wood beams on the roof and walls are too straight. From your wireframes, it looks like they have no subdivisions at all. On old buildings, the wood beams shrink and twist and warp a bit, and using long single polys makes them too “cg perfect”. This may be a slightly exaggerated example, but look at the awesome warping, varied thicknesses, edge checks/cracks, imperfect joinery of this image.


Thanks Artbot… excellent suggestion. Maybe I was being too worried about polycount. I will try to subdivise each large beams and tweak the shapes to make them look more imperfect. I will also try to make the textures look a bit less clean.

Stay tuned!


Thx Kushy, I will try to make the textures look a bit less clean and will update soon!


Here is a close-up of the textures. I’ve added some filth and changed the wood texture. keep in mind this had to look semi-cartoony. Comments are welcomed.

Next step: add some subdivisions to the wood beams and slightly tweak their shapes to make them look more imperfect/cartoonish.