Side (?) Project: Hogsmeade Station, AKA Goathland Station

Still on computer rest, but here’s a post I’d been working on before that happened.

I woke up one morning with an itch that needed scratching: I wanted to work on the version of Hogsmeade Station from the first film. Despite only being featured briefly in two scenes, this environment really contributed to the magical feel of the film for me.

It’s really just two shots that make such an impact: the first shot of the station and the last. The first is a misty nighttime shot under the footbridge as the Hogwarts Express approaches. The last is the final shot of the whole film, a gorgeous reverse shot from higher up, complete with a distant Hogwarts sparkling in the sunlight as John Williams’s music swells. Both scenes were shot on location at Goathland Station.

I have no technical drawings for the station, so I resorted to more creative methods to get the scale right: aerial photos from Bing Maps and Google Maps, plus motion tracking and photogrammetry from shots in the film and on YouTube. Here’s some stuff lined up in Blender:

I also tried to match up the position of Hogwarts in the final shot. I don’t know if I’m going to make these all part of the same file, but it’s worth exploring:

The digital matte painting in the film used a photo of the miniature. Sadly, the castle perspective isn’t going to match exactly, because the lens used to photograph the miniature doesn’t match the lens used for the Goathland plate. (By my calculations, they would have had to move the camera about 160 feet away from the miniature to get the right perspective. I can appreciate why they didn’t.)

Here’s a plan view, showing the relative sizes and positions of the station and the castle:

They’re not super far apart…not much room for the lake. Another complication is that the platform seems to be about 100 feet below lake level, in the imagined real-world scale of it all. This allows the castle to appear higher and more impressive, but it raises more questions about how I could faithfully integrate these into the same environment.

But for now…let’s start the model!

At this point I shared a brief video on YouTube:

Aaaaaand then not long after, the doctor told me to stop using the computer altogether for 2-3 weeks. (I’ll be hitting 2 weeks this weekend…but I’m still hurting, so looks like it’ll be 3.)

Good thing WordPress still let me publish this draft from my phone!


6 thoughts on “Side (?) Project: Hogsmeade Station, AKA Goathland Station

  1. I was about to say that’s not 2-3 weeks, but good thing to see you’re still alive :p
    Goathland is a really nice place, it’s one of my favourite locations I visited in the UK, there are trees with coins hammered in them in the forest near it for some reason.


  2. I was super curious and hopeful that you would incorporate Hogsmead station into your model. But I didn’t think it would happen after you said you didn’t know how far beyond the model you’d go.

    This is amazing news. I always wanted to see what an aerial map would look like, showing how far the station is. And here it is, suddenly.

    The station in films 5&6 has a simpler design, so it would be cool to see that as part of the changes. But then comes the issue of when did it move? Film 5? Would it have moved in HBP when the gates are shown on the opposite side of the castle from where the station was in OOTP? And how to the carriages get into the entrance courtyard before DH?!

    Looking forward to wherever this station project ends up taking us. I’m here for the journey.

    Get well soon!


    1. I’ve pondered that, too…do I only include the two designs in SS and OOTP, respectively? Do I continue the SS design through GOF, and then the OOTP design through the remaining films? Hard to know the best course of action…I can’t say that I really know what my approach will be yet. It’ll be a fun challenge, though.


  3. This is great to see! I live a few miles away from the station.
    For our own project we were trying to map the changes in the station’s position and how that relates to where the carriages go etc… it’s an absolute nightmare because (reasonably enough considering it’s a film) many of the shots depicting the castle in the background in some way depict it simply to make for nice cinematography with little concern for spatial relations or basic geography. Even still, it’s interesting to track the changes! I’d be interested in seeing a similar spatial distance map for the closing shot in OoTP. One final thing I found interesting is that although it (as much as it can do) makes sense to suppose the station remaining in its film 1 position until film 5, in PoA you can see a sign when the carriages are journeying to the castle which indicates that Hogsmede station is in the (rough) direction it’s located in by the fifth film. So perhaps it could have switched then? Who knows.
    Anyway, hope you’re well again soon!


    1. Also, the train arrival shot in Goblet of fire shows it heading towards the OOTP location and away from the PS/SS location.


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