All my life, I’ve found myself tumbling into unusual obsessions. In January 2019, I tumbled into a new one. I was struck by the realization that Hogwarts underwent design changes in every Harry Potter film, and I wanted to be able to watch a time-lapse of those changes from a stationary vantage point. Any stationary vantage point. The only solution was to create a 3D model…actually, a 4D model, because it would encompass all 7+ versions of Hogwarts over time.
So I got started, beginning with the version of the castle from the third film. In 2020, I began to broaden my focus and develop details from the first film as well. As of mid-late-2021, I’ve completed most of the architectural elements for the first four films, as well as some of the landscape and several side projects.
Feel free to explore the list of all posts from the beginning, or check out frequently asked questions below.
- What design changes are you talking about? Hogwarts is Hogwarts, right? Nope! Each of the Harry Potter films features changes to the castle’s design. Some of them are subtle…others, not so much. Check out this post for information on some of the changes!
- What software are you using? I use an outstanding piece of freeware called Blender. You can download Blender for personal or commercial use – no strings attached – at blender.org. I also find myself using other programs like Meshroom, Adobe Photoshop, and Materialize. I edit my videos with DaVinci Resolve and I use REAPER for music editing/production.
- Are you doing interiors as well as exteriors? This project is focused on the exterior of the castle, but I do sometimes indulge in side projects that look separately at the interiors. Check out this post about the grand staircase from the first two films, for instance.
- Where are you getting your information? In addition to frames from the films themselves, the internet! It’s a vast repository of legitimate reference, especially for those who are willing to spend many hours Googling countless variations of key terms and chatting with other fans. I’ve been able to find blueprints, photos of the miniatures, behind-the-scenes shots, VFX breakdowns, photos of real-world filming locations, etc., etc. There are also a few books from Warner Bros. that include valuable reference material. My goal is to synthesize as many pieces of information as I can find to create convincing and accurate reproductions of the different castle designs. If you have images or information you think might come in handy, please do let me know!
- Will you make the model available for download? I’m afraid I have no plans to do so. But if there’s something you’d particularly like to see, don’t hesitate to let me know in a comment and I’ll try to oblige!
- Can we collaborate on building Hogwarts? I’m selfish…I enjoy this project far too much to let someone else do part of it for me! That being said, if you have similar interests, I strongly encourage you to start or continue your own project, and I’d love to see it and/or chat! When it comes to models of Hogwarts, the more the merrier.
- You haven’t posted in a while. Have you given up on the project? It’s in my nature to bounce around between a lot of different projects, so if it seems like I’ve been MIA when you’re reading this, I may just be focused on other stuff at the moment. My hope is to see this thing through to the completion of all versions of the castle.