Wednesday, 13 March 2013

The Bear!

Why helloo Thar! James here ;)

This is a post to document my progress through our project and to most importantly; highlight the development of one of our feature assets, 'The Bear' Tavern which sat right at the foot of the bridge entrance to Southwarke, our chosen area of interest!

Aside from contributing to reference collection, research and, conception of our plans and ideas in the first few weeks; I set about work on Inn.
To start things off, here is some research that I did initially after Liam discovered text hinting to 'The Bear's existence and its prime location! I was actually hoping to include a public house in our location, so  I was super happy to take charge of imagining this building.

I found a few resources for research  on the Southwarke
http://www.history.co.uk/explore-history/history-of-london/let-us-entertain-you.html
http://www.history.co.uk/explore-history/history-of-london/let-us-entertain-you/gallery.html

Here is some text I gathered from various websites freely hosting texts that may hold reference to things of this period.
Here are some extracts I found,

 > Bear Tavern. Or "Beare" as they spelled it at the time -

"- Evidence in abundance might be cited to show that the inn was a favourite meeting place with the wits and gallants of the court of Charles I and the Restoration. "The maddest of all the land came to bait the Bear," is one testimony; "I stuffed myself with food and tipple till the hoops were ready to burst," is another."

"- It was probably the best-known inn of Southwark, for its enviable position at the foot of London Bridge made it conspicuous to all entering or leaving the city. Its attractions were enhanced by the fact that archery could be practiced in its grounds, and that within those same grounds was the Thames-side landing stage from whence the tilt-boats started for Greenwich and Gravesend. It was the opportunity for shooting at the target which helped to lure Sir John Howard to the Bear, but as he sampled the wine of the inn before testing his skill as a marksman, he found himself the poorer by the twenty-pence with which he had backed his own prowess."

"- Under date 1633 there is an interesting reference which sets forth that, although orders had been given to have all the back-doors to taverns on the Thames closed up, owing to the fact that wrong-doers found them convenient in evading the officers of the law, an exception was made in the case of the Bear owing to the fact that it was the starting-place for Greenwich."

"- Pepys himself incidentally explains why he had so friendly a regard for the Bridge-foot tavern. "Going through bridge by water," he writes,

"- my Waterman told me how the mistress of the Beare tavern, at the bridge-foot, did lately fling herself into the Thames, and drowned herself; which did trouble me the more, when they tell me it was she that did live at the White Horse tavern in Lumbard Street, which was a most beautiful woman, as most I have seen."

Cool poem about the Bear! -

"- There you shall find the wit and wine
Flowing alike, and both divine:
Dishes, with names not known in books,
And less among the college-cooks;
With sauce so pregnant, that you need
Not stay till hunger bids you feed.
The sweat of learned Jonson's brain,
And gentle Shakespeare's eas'er strain,
A hackney coach conveys you to,
In spite of all that rain can do:
And for your eighteenpence you sit
The lord and judge of all fresh wit. "

"- Nearly a century and a half has passed since the Bear finally closed its doors. All through the lively years of the Restoration it maintained its reputation as a house of good cheer and a wholly desirable rendezvous, and it figures not inconspicuously in the social life of London down to 1761. By that time the ever-increasing traffic over the Thames bridge had made the enlargement of that structure a necessity, and the Bear was among the buildings which had to be demolished."

> Research

I did some research to gather what images I could that would help give me a good idea of what this Inn could have looked like! That would help me to the start conceptualizing and begin the modeling phase.


These etching on above are gold dust! Top left - The George Inn, one of the oldest surviving public houses from the 17th century


Before some of our members visited York to gather reference, I used Google Maps Street view to grab some great images of The Shambles, Full of original architecture from the period!

This, along with all the other great research our team pulled together helped me to get some idea's for what 'The Bear' might looks like, but also housing and buildings that would have shared very similar architecture and design.

White box & Concepting!


 Before I started conception on any details, I wanted to get a feel for the location we were building. I started to create a extremely basic white box, based of one drawing of London Southwarke in particular that I found. It seemed one of the most detailed so a good base to start...


Here are some quick screen grabs of the whitebox which Intended to use for concepting.





Here are some initial paint-over concepts to visualise idea's


An idea View of the market street facing london bridge gate house 1
This is simply to illustrate an idea I had to create a first person model holding a lantern for added immersion! probably too lofty however and unless we have lots of spare time near the end, don't expect to see it :(

Moi Concepts!

Here is a initial concept I made of  'The Bear' tavern, I quite liked certain aspects of it so you'll see them carried forward into further work...


Since we are undertaking so many modular houses, I wanted to do some quick concepts for style of house variety we could aim for in the 3D models. Also to demonstrate some scale of the buildings relative to a human character.


Modelling! currently still working on this stage but will be wrapping it up soon is my hope. I had to set aside more time to catch up on other work so inevitably fell slightly behind the curb here. Still, steam ahead!

In order of progress, here are some images of how 'The Bear has been taking shake withing 3ds Max.
I have been concepting and making changes on the fly so its seen a fair few evolutions so far.

Realy early on


Working out the court yard! This is where Archery was said to have been performed.

Final form is taking shape

Back here I will be placing benches and smaller assets to give some clutter and life to the courtyard. There will also be archery equipment and a nice tree back here.

Im going for a lower floor stone and timber construction,because I have seen it used in larger buildings of this kind. And then a mostly timber and plaster upper floors. Should look great!

Currently where I am at.

So its not done! but... it will be ;)
Im quite happy so far. Team rocks, keep it up. Yup, lets do this.

Take care!

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