Thursday, March 7, 2019

Clermont: Where Do We Go Now

I've been requested to clarify the new concept for Clermont. I can understand a cleared slab of plywood gives little indication about a master plan so here are a few ideas I wish to develop over the course of this year.

Analyzing the prototype from an actual survey

The decision wasn't made overnight and the new layout plan has been on the work since last fall. Interestingly enough, I found out old drawings I shared back then with Jérôme. They are a proof of concept and were meant to figure out if it was possible to create a better representation of Clermont.

Scaled down satellite image is a perfect fit

To make sure my intuition was backed by reality, I simply used a satellite image and reversed it (our layout is a mirror image of the prototype). Fortunately, it fitted perfectly our space and proved we won't have to fudge elements. That last thing was important to me because the moment you start playing with distance between structures, roads and other elements, realism goes down the drain.

A close up of Clermont

 As you can see, on Clermont side, all roads will be redone to closely replicate the prototype, including the intricate sloping streets and stone retaining walls. Topography will be much more gentle than it used to be according to pictures we took during our few visits on site.

Updated track plan

On the other side of the peninsula, a deeper scene will be developed around a small meandering brook. I already presented this idea last week, but I feel a plan better show how this scene will probably be about 24" deep. While convenient from a scenic perspective, this is also a way to save on florist foam and get the best out of available space. A large mountain top as we used to have is a pure waste of space. You only see the first few inches, the rest is out of sight. For this reason, it is a better idea to set a large valley where the peninsula is larger than a huge hill.

And let's be honest, building a shallow hill instead of a large mountain will take far less time and resources. That may sound lazy, but I mentioned it countless times our project has a lot of constraints we can hardly control. If sculpting a hill takes one week instead of a month, it means we can achieve much more and see a decent amount of progress. On the positive side, it also means we have more time for actual scenery (colors, textures) which have a greater impact on a scene.

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