Hammer (Version 2)

Another example of the Hammer, this version shows a much longer handle and wrappings that appear to be made of leather strips with animal fur.

I modelled this similar to the first hammer but with thicker straps around the handle and mallet. Unlike the first hammer stone which is flatter on one side this hammer appears to function for the same purpose with either side. I used DamStandard, Inflat and the SnakeHook brushes in ZBrush to create the look of fur around the handle. The feathers were created between Photoshop and Maya using jpegs on a polygonal plane with Lambert shader.

The works of the third week (Fire Pit)

I am happy to join Longhouse project in the third week. I was responsible for the fire pits. It was an amazing work. I used maya, zbrush, substance painter, and houdini to make this asset. Before making them, I searched lots of resources about ancient fire pits on the web, and then I drew a rough shape of it. Finally, I put this asset into UE4 for the preview.



References of the adze from this time period are obscure enough that I had to develop my design from images of the tool used by other regions as well. Based on the images and measurements supplied by the research-team the adze appears to be a cane shaped tool of an average 26.7 cm in length, made of the usual combination of materials that include wood, stone and wrappings. 

I approached my modelling of this object to suggest it may have been constructed from the V section a single tree branch, cut short on one side with enough space between to allow for the insertion of a stone blade to be wedged between the split and then attached in place with wrappings and glue.


This past week I re-modelled my Mortar & Pestle and I am a little happier with the result. In addition I re-modelled an Awl I made and I also finished up a Scraper and worked on some Beads. The Awl already has an existing obj. file but I worked it out anyway. The Scraper and the Beads for some reason were much more difficult for me to wrap my head around. I really struggled with the Scraper and it took me a good bit of the weekend to figure out the simple shapes. I struggled with the “chipped” or “flaking” effect on the Scraper. It was a challenge to make this object look like a stone which had been chiseled away. I am not satisfied with the progress so far on the Scraper but I will have a look at it with a fresh pair of eyes on Monday. The Beads were relatively easy to model but I think the textures may be the challenge with these. This week I visited Crawford Lake again. With the lockdown restrictions being lifted this week I was finally able to get into the Longhouses and I took photos of the interior of the longhouses and I also took photos of as many objects as I could as possible reference for both myself and for members of the CG Team. I will post the ZIP. file in the CG Team folder for anyone who is interested in having a look at them. Hopefully they will be of some use!

Scraper in Zbrush WIP
Beads Zbrush
Stone Beads


The hammer or war hammer was identified under the weapons category so in that case I based my size relation similar to that of the axe, as another object that can be wielded with one or two hands. The main difference in the construction of the hammer from the axe appears to be that it was assembled by insertion of a wooden handle into a stone instead of stone into wooden handle and then secured in place by methods that would appear similar to the axe with wrappings and possibly some form of glue.

The wrappings around the handle appear especially heavy on this weapon so I had to model quite a lot of straps (similar to the axe straps) while keeping them more tightly bunched together.  In ZBrush I added a bit of textures to the handle and mallet to help sell the impression that this object was made of thick wood and heavy stone.

Deer Scapula Hoe (Tiling)

For the Deer Scapula Hoe, I first referred to some information online to determine the correct size of this bone. They appear to be an average length of 7″ to  9″. Between the reference supplied by the research team and a few images found online I thought I had enough examples to see the variety of shapes and sizes of the average bone and the slight differences in their form.

Modelling a bone like this in Maya was an interesting process as I tried to maintain clean geometry into a more organic form. The next step was bringing the model into ZBrush where I could add some of the textures one might expect to find on an animal bone used for tiling.

Mortar & Pestle

I started modelling my objects last week. I modelled my “awl” and I moved on to my Mortar and Pestle. For this set of objects, I had two reference images which I quickly realized would not be enough. I went online and googled a number of reference images. I was surprised that there were substantially less images than I had imagined that there would be. So that was a bit disappointing. Onward. I modelled some basic versions of these objects in Maya using the references I could gather up and then exported the files to Zbrush where I tinkered around for quite some time. I created my low and High-res versions in Zbrush. I was unsure of how to replicate the details of the mortar and pestle as almost all of the images I found were quite low res. I was uncertain if I should model them as less detailed and then add the textures. I was unsatisfied with my versions of the mortar and pestle so I tried to find some better reference imagery. This was a research ‘rabbit hole’. After quite some time I stumbled upon “COWAN’S” auction site. This site is a veritable treasure trove for this project and likely any other projects in which texture and detail research would be involved. If you have read this far into this post, I would recommend having a look at it.  https://www.cowanauctions.com/lot/haudenosaunee-iroquois-wood-mortar-and-pestle-3966421. Today I will be re-working my models using this site for reference for my mortar and pestle and also for my beads, which are next on my list of objects to model. 

Low/Mid/High res w Normal map
Close up view of reference image. I was able to hover the square in the above image over my object which is great for texturing etc.
Zbrush sculpt
Mortar & Pestle


After getting great scours of reference and measurement for the chisel model, I straight forwardly brought those images in Maya and started with cube of 11 centimeter. Although making gap for the beaver tooth inside the wood stick did required some time because I wanted to make that detail, yet keep my cube clean with less polygons. For the strips of the plant fiber I followed Kris’s procedure of the axe strips, and beaver tooth was simple enough to make in Maya.

To enhance the details I took model to Mudbox increased subdivisions took whole day long sculpting with mouse 😀 . For the plant fiber look I increased thickness of it to make it look rounded then started sculpting cutting lines on it thankfully achieved the results which I wanted. Finally Beaver tooth after comparing two different pictures this is what I was able to make. We came to know that beaver were really big in size like dinosaurs back in the time so here’s my precious chisel tool made of really strong beaver tooth.

Ancestral Cities Longhouse Study

This preliminary exploration attempts to understand how a longhouse in an ancestral city would be reclaimed by the natural environment 10 and 20 years after the residing Huron-Wendat community relocates to their new city. This is the first iteration which will be followed by an updated version that includes more information guided by the “subsequent areas of research” topics on the last page.


Grinding Platform

My next item is this simple grinding platform. It comes with a plate like base to hold the food, and a small stone used to grind it. It was simple enough to model in Maya, and then bring into Mudbox. I added some stone texture, and slices into it to make it look more worn in and natural, since it was made out of rock and not a manmade metal or something smooth.

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