Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Carcere III (finally) Underway

It may not look like much yet, but this is the framework for the final CG version of Piranesi's Carcere III. Naturally there's a whole lot more to be added, but for a day's work this isn't too bad. There would have been more if I hadn't realised that several of my calculations were wrong (including the central tower) and had to be redone, which was kind of a bummer until I decided 'stuff it' and eyeballed as much as I justifiably could. Still worried the tower might be too tall, though.

Also, look at this spiral. Look at it. That there is three hours of fiddly, painstaking work to get the messy-as-all-hell polygons of the original curve to behave themselves, so it gets a screenshot all its own.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Mathematism, part the First

And so it begins, my inevitable descent into uncontrollable OCD. I want to get this model as accurate as possible, so with a red pencil, a near-dead iPod as a calculator, and a pink tape measure more suited to the fashion lot upstairs, I set out to calculate as many of the values in this piece as possible. As you can see, I didn't get anywhere close.

However, I did make two critical discoveries; first, this etching actually has a vanishing point. The horizon is about 50 feet below the shot. Second, Piranesi is not using the 70 degree field of view of a human eye here; the camera angle is about 135 degrees. No wonder the perspective looks weird. Given the time these etchings were made (1760-ish) and the amount of knowledge about perspective that was available then, I suspect Piranesi's camera angle was a (mercifully consistent) mistake, rather than an artistic choice. It also explains why I was having such trouble reproducing the shot in Maya.

This will be continually updated overthe next few days as I nail down all the measurements. Watch this space for an exercise in dullness and pedantry.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Step Three: Ragequit

After four-odd weeks of fighting with the perspective of Carcere XIV, I decided 'stuff it' and moved onto the far more perspectivally legible Carcere III. Proportions of things aren't spot-on (especially not that bridge on the rigt of the shot), but  I actually understand what;s going on, which is an improvement. The main part of the scene is fully pre-vized, just need to figure out the back of the scene, figure out and then fix the measurements, finish the background of the scene and work out the camera and then I'll be ready to go into production.

Friday, 1 February 2013

Attempting to Comprehend the Carcere. Send Help.

More work on the pre-viz, with a bit of improvising for the background forms. Still nowhere near finished.

Where does that pillar/wall/thing with poles sticking out go? Further back, where it meets the bar coming off the far wall but doesn't pass the bottom of the shot like it does in the original?

Is it closer to the camera?

But then what about the far wall? The strut coming out of the side connects to the two struts coming out from the pillar nearest camera! The far wall can't come forward or it disconnects from the central pavilion thing.

Does it descend lower than the camera to give the illusion of being closer? Where the hell is the floor, anyway? And how does this camera work?

I am beginning to understand why Piranesi could never get a job in architecture.