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!