Sunday, January 6, 2013

Downtown Diorama Part 01 (introduction / concept),

Introduction & Concept

Hello! Here I am again with all my madness about dioramas, I have a new project that I’ve been working on and off in the past few months, the scale is 1:64 as usual. I will be sharing the “making “of this project and  I hope you can pick up something useful out of it or find it interesting, get some idea or maybe just looking up and planning something similar in the future.

The concept, the original concept was a dirty back alley scene, between two brick façade buildings (cutaway buildings) just like our favorite car chase scene in the movies. At first, I thought the scene was pretty good for my diecast photography, muscle cars in particular but I realized that it was lacking on something, too small, very few interesting viewpoints, I think it was not all that bad but there is more room for enhancement. And that made me think that I have to go over again and balance the composition by incorporating aesthetically pleasing view like planters, flowering plants and some bushes to tone down the rough setting of the diorama, so then I decided to extend the base to the front and completed the whole concept by making the other cutaway building as full structure with local shops in it and will be located in the middle of the base, I added also a main street and two inner streets that connects the back alley.

I started out with a sketch of the layout, you can see from the image the location of the buildings, the building in the middle of the base (originally cutaway) and the background building (cutaway) and the inner street going down the back alley connecting it to the main street. I also indicated in the drawing the positions of the cameras as I wanted to identify how many interesting viewpoints I can capture with this arrangements. The background building is cut away and the floor levels will differ from 2 to 3 storey’s high serving as the backdrop of the diorama, intentionally a bit higher than the building at the middle. Let me give you a brief detail about the background building, the first shop starting from the left is a car garage shop but not yet the final. the next one is the back of a restaurant, I will have there the exit door, kitchen exhaust duct vertically going to the roof, garbage bins, gas tanks, electrical conduits, AC units and many more, I certainly know the equivalent work that comes with it but those details are necessary component for authenticity and character of the scene which is, by the way, the main idea as initially planned on this part of the diorama. The third one is the competitor; I imagined the back alley will be a lot busier with mechanical elements and rubbish stuffs if I add another restaurant. The far right is an abandoned and dilapidated building, I run out of any good idea for this one and I still have to wonder about it. 

The building in the middle was divided into commercial spaces, the first shop from the left is a coffee shop and books store, I thought an outside sitting area at the front of house would also be a great additional point of interest but the space is not sufficient to put up the umbrellas and tables, it needs at least 3 tables but I will find a way to fit in this idea in any way. And at the back, I will have a small exhaust for the coffee shop kitchen or maybe it will be mounted on the roof. The facade, the lower part of the front facade will have a typical design as most coffee shops have. The second shop was originally planned as fashion boutique but on the second thought, an outdoor apparel or liquor store will give the diorama the atmosphere of a local scene. the third is a laundry shop, the front facade will be simple, I need more mechanical elements at the back alley and this is why I chose to put up a laundry shop, shops like this requires high electrical loads so it needs to have transformers, conduits and exhaust for dryers, big electrical cables and leaking pipes with moss which will make the back alley really messed up and a little shadowy which will make the scene very interesting if executed properly. By the way, all the descriptions of the shops and details as mentioned above may change a little bit when the actual construction takes place.

I also drew some perspectives and the picture here was the chosen piece among the couple of sketches (my drawing skills are deteriorating over the years, pls. bear with me) this is for visualization purpose only and not to be assumed as final, this is some sort of inspiration for me to keep on going each time I see this posted on my wall, it’s pretty effective. I spent a couple of nights developing the idea, gathering information and with the help of some reference pictures from the net and through my archive, I slowly making my way up, I also checked out some cuts from my favorite movies ….but ending up watching the whole movie!!! Anyway, with all these references and a mixed of wild imagination, I manage to get together the requirements for this project. 

The overall extent of the base is yet to be finalized as I still have a few things to reconsider, mainly at the front like adding a wider parking area, but while I’m trying to figure that out, I started the construction of the building instead.

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