Carillon Redux: Continuing the Bell Chamber

Original bell (left), and modified bell for top level.

The 50 bells of the carillon gradually change shape as they decrease in size. The flare of the bell increases and the vertical shape grows proportionately more compressed. Unfortunately, as mentioned previously, we have no references that show each bell’s height and profile. All we have are the bell diameters.

So we’re going to have to do a little guesswork, based on the reference photos that we have in hand.

The first step is to make a copy of our original bell (above), then make it stubbier and increase the flare to approximate the shape of the smallest bell. We’ll leave the diameters the same for now.

Blended bell shapes from original (far left) to modified (far right).

Next, we’ll use Maya’s blend tool to create a series of bell shapes that gradually morph from the original, largest bell, to the smallest bell. Eight shapes, one for each level of the carillon. The blend tool is intended to be used for animation, but it works perfectly here as well.

Framework with 50 carillon bells in place.

Now we can duplicate the eight shapes to create the 50 bells, scale them based on the actual diameters, and move them into place.

Nuts and bolts: Smaller details are added.
Details, details

Each bell is held in place by one or (for the largest bells) three bolts. We add those as well as the circular cushion placed between the top of the bell and the support girder, to insulate it from the vibration.

Bell clapper with attachment for transmission wire.

The sphere-shaped clappers have flat “tongues” (my word for them) that are used to connect the transmission wires. (You might recall that the carillon bells are fixed, and the clappers are pulled to ring them.)

Test rendering showing bells with clappers in place.

Here is a quick rendering to show the current state of the bell chamber. It’s filling up quickly and nearly done.

Bell crank.

The (nearly) final touch will be the bell cranks, or tumblers, that change the direction of the transmission wires from vertical to horizontal. Each bell’s clapper is attached to a crank, which is then attached to the main wire that descends through a series of supports, through the bell chamber floor, then to the console far below.

Set of bell cranks is roughly positioned on level 5.

We’ll just place a few of these in position for now. The rest will be added when the transmission wires are in place, since everything will have to line up.

Test rendering from inside the ball chamber, showing bell cranks.