(Almost) All OOTP Changes in One Post!

Hogwarts didn’t change much in Order of the Phoenix; I was able to knock out the major changes in no time.

GOF on the left, OOTP on the right, and you can slide to compare:

As you can see, the south side of the quad building was changed. (The poor little GOF version only lasted one film!) I suspect this was because the quad floor was raised quite a bit in (I believe) GOF. The other change noticeable from that view was the addition of spires at the corners of the clock tower courtyard, on the far left.

Here’s another comparison, with SS on the left and OOTP on the right, to show how far we’ve come in the first five films:

(The SS landscape has been hidden to make it a “fair” comparison with the OOTP version, which doesn’t have any landscape yet.)

Anyway, back to GOF vs. OOTP:

We can see here the other big changes: the steepening of the spires at the viaduct entrance, the addition of a couple new spires, and the addition of Snape’s window, in the dungeon level just to the right of the stone bridge. These tweaks were all featured in a single shot that pulls out of Snape’s office, through the window, and up into the snowy sky above Hogwarts, past the steep spires.

Otherwise, Snape’s window is pretty hard to glimpse; it’s basically out of sight at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour, and there are no other exterior shots of it in the films that I can think of. So here’s a closer view of my recreation:

At close range like this, you can see that the tracery on some of the windows is pretty flat. But I only have so much time to devote to this project, and I’m already drowning in polygons.

Anywhoodle, let’s wrap up with another SS vs. OOTP comparison, showing the whole castle.

Same castle, but…not! Which is kinda the whole point of this project, I suppose, haha.

By the way, I’ve been careful with my phrasing in this post, because these are not ALL the changes in OOTP. The stone circle by the wooden bridge mysteriously disappeared (only to reappear in future films), but I haven’t built the stone circle yet so there was nothing to remove. I also may build Hogsmeade Station when I build the environment, and that got a brand-new design and location in this film.


10 thoughts on “(Almost) All OOTP Changes in One Post!

  1. Wait the stone circle vanishes? Huh. Didn’t know that. Probably because I straight up can’t think of an OotP scene in that area.

    This is all so exciting! Only HBP of the real model films to go!

    I kinda prefer the olde beehive-like squat spires of the classic castle’s gallery, but I guess it is handy to have an easy indicator what film a given screenshot is from.

    Press F for the Quad’s dungeon cloisters.


      1. There is one scene in the OotP movie that begins with a shot of the clock tower and the bridge in the fog from the gatehouse, which was only be possible with all of the surrounding trees removed. Said trees, however, are still present in the sweeping shot you mentioned. The missing stone circle could perhaps be an error in prop placement, since it’s featured in the official HBP model.


  2. Ohh, man, you have no idea how satisfying it is to finally get an answer to when those spires got added to the Clock Tower Courtyard! They’re there in the videogames, but obviously not in PoA, so right up until this moment I thought maybe the guys at Bright Light had diverged from the miniature for some reason. But, nope, they’re accurate to the OotP miniature; which was obviously the primary reference when the BL castle was first built. That’s very satisfying.

    That second slider is one of my favourites you’ve ever posted, too; illustrates the big back-end changes so well! This blog (and my recent visit to the location) is chiefly responsible for awakening a nostalgia I didn’t know I had for the Alnwick Castle sections of the original design, so thanks for that, haha. It’s lovely to see them getting a new lease of life and some proper attention through the lens of this blog. (Don’t get me wrong, I love the later iterations of the castle and I’m very much on board with Mr Craig’s changes and the reasons behind them… but still, it’s awesome to be able to take a train and actually walk around the Hogwarts grounds. Locations definitely have their advantages!)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hey, great progress. 🙂 I’m attempting some photogrammetry of my own, and chanced across your video in which you used a CoS shot to render in the photogrammetry for the quiddich pitch etc. I was wondering how you acquired the relevant metadata to achieve this given the information that Meshroom might require to generate a scene?
    Good luck with this project again!


    1. Oh, I just feed it the images and let it work its magic. Meshroom prefers to have the camera/lens metadata to work with, but it’ll try to figure that stuff out if it’s not present. The main prep work I have to do is brightening the images, and sometimes blurring or blacking out objects that move so they don’t confuse the software.


  4. Wow. You’re so talented, Joe. Your work is one of the most interesting things on the internet. Post pictures of yourself! 😃


  5. I suspect the Stone Circle vanishing in that one sweeping shot was just an error when blending the model shot and the shot of the Hagrid’s hut at Leavesden. Behind the scenes videos from a studio that worked on the model footage shows how they basically retextured the model landscape in post to add detail. I’m willing to bet the Stone Circle never left the model, but was lost in this process. Or maybe they were moved with the trees, as Carlosmz suggested, but were never added back on post. In any case, it’s the only shot in Order of the Phoenix that features this area, so stones left the on-screen universe in OOTP, intentionally or accidentally.

    Overall, I think every change they made to Hogwarts in year 5 was a downgrade (besides Snape’s window). The shorter spires and some spire-free areas made it feel magical with its mix of architecture and lack of uniformity. I liked the windows on the south quad wall in GOF; it’s like a dungeon with giant windows in that one corner.

    Another change not covered here: Have you thought about doing the boat docking area below the Great Hall that only appears in some shots in OOTP (a result of the ending scene being cut from the film)? If you have no idea what I’m talking about, I’m happy to elaborate with pictures.

    A long comment, but, hey, I’ve found my people here. 🙂


    1. I agree that it likely never left the model, but as you said, it’s the only shot of the area in the film, and the stones are very clearly not there, so I’m counting their absence as canonical haha.

      I’m not sure what you’re referring to with the boat docking area and final scene – please do elaborate!


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