Don Lee wrote: But for a project such as this one, did you ever consider using another software more suited to this type of modeling?
Nope. To my mind it was always essentially an architectural project, with walls, windows, stories, floor to floor heights, problems that needed to be studied in section, etc. I could have imported special objects created in other programs, but I wanted to avoid any compatibility issues and I needed to have strict control over the polygon complexity of absolutely everything.
Furthermore, most of the custom objects I created had to be parametric in one way or another. Gothic windows could be stretched vertically, leaving the upper tracery and arch in tact, (with a parametric value for the overall height) or adjusted slightly horizontally (with a MUL variable for the overall object) , so that I could easily change them as the general geometry of the church was established. Pews could be stretched in length as needed from the 2d symbol. The hammerbeam roof angels are completely parametric, changing position, clothing and hair style, and whatever stuff they needed to be holding (Medieval craftsmen were not keen on industrial standardization). In addition, most of the objects have a complexity parameter, so I could turn off the details of objects in the distance where they weren’t visible. As it was, I was just barely able to shoehorn the model into the computer memory and still leave enough elbow room for Artlantis to render it.
All this becomes less amazing when you consider that it took me nearly seven years to complete. I actually never intended to take it to such extremes, but the darn thing just turned out to be so interesting.....