17 Mar 17

Moving on from styrofoam, I worked with mount board. It is one of the most used material to make models because of it's smooth surface and it's also easy to work with. This time, I decided to create a building that is simple to create and does not have many complex designs. I am looking for a monument that has mostly angular shapes because the mount board is not capable of bending due to its strong structure. 

Going on Google, I found many buildings, however, none of it was what I wanted to create because I wanted to make a model that most people are familiar with, hoping at first glance that the object would look realistic in a photo. I managed to find a clear photo of the Chichen Itza Pyramid. I chose an image that had a clear front view of the building so that the measurements is proportioned, and also a close up detailed version to see what texture it has.

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I printed the photos so that I can measure the pyramid easily. Increasing the ratio by 3, it made it easier for me to work with as the measurements are bigger. I thought about how if I should create the depth to its right measurement and if I should cover the sides.Was these all necessary if I am only going to picture the front? 

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I definitely did not think thoroughly while making this. Even though this turned out quite successfully, I realised that there were few steps that I missed which caused a few errors while constructing it. For example, having incorrect measurements for the roof.

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The picture above shows how I had to improvise to create the depth between each block. The top should have been wider than the bottom and there should be a base so that it can stack easily. While I was measuring earlier, I only thought about the width instead of how deep it needed to be. It may look odd from the side as the roof is now slanted but as long as the bottom part of the room is perpendicular, it won't affect the base of the pyramid. It was hard to even get the top parallel to the bottom so I had to use my instinct to get it at the right angle, which worked out perfectly. Another mistake I did not think of is the exposure of the sides. 

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When gluing the two pieces perpendicular, I did not occur to me how the side needed to be covered because when the edges that has been stuck together may cause the glue to overflow and cleaning it would make it look messy. I was lucky enough to realise this as soon as I started making it. One last fault I did was the depth for each step. It didn't think of how the depth increases as it gets wider so I made everything the same length. 

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Once everything was fixed, I created the steps which was easy to make. Based on the picture I printed earlier, I could not get the right height of the step since the photo was taken from the front, but I managed to get the measurements of each width. I simply work my way from the bottom and kept increasing pieces till it has reach to the top. I forgot to cut out door holes at the roof but it was too late to fix it because I have already stuck it down.

Using mount board is fairly easy to work because it's like working with paper except the material is harder. I should have kept my cuts clean by slowly and repeatedly cutting my blade along the board. I tend to be very impatient which caused some excess bits to stick out making it look untidy. Working with PVA glue can be quite dirty as the dry glue gets stuck to your hand. Plus, the board itself is white so it will make the dirt look obvious. However, this can be fixed using photoshop. I may have made a few mistakes but they were minor and could easy be fixed. 

After having the talk with Adrian the other day, he told me about the concept of diorama. It gave me an idea of how I could combine two distinct objects together making it look as natural as it can be. Looking around my room, I searched for an object smaller than the pyramid so that I am able to play around with the different locations I can place it in. 

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Moving the thing around, it reminded me of the human behaviour. Climbing, walking, standing, moving around the monument. I was afraid this may give the wrong impression to the viewer because it takes away the whole 'is it real or not' impression away. Also I couldn't see the correlation with this and my proposal.

I started thinking about background. I have been making models that I did not think about how I would present it. I know that it is early to decide how to showcase my work but I had an idea of creating a replica for the backdrop. Looking at the printed photos, I did a quick painting using acrylic on paper by incorporating colours similarly to the photograph. When I placed the model in front of the painting, the model came out a bit dull which did not work well with the vibrant backdrop. I decided to use photoshop and individually at the structure on to the painting. This produced a different image than before.

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While I was cropping out the model, I realised that there were leftover bits sticking out from the edges which I had to exclude, mainly because it was hard to include it in. This made the building looked 'neat'. The fact that it looks fake at first glance, it made the piece look more interesting. In addition, the colour contrast between the two images is very eye catching, which I don't mind but what I didn't like was that it looked too fake.  I wanted it to look as realistic as it can (structure wise) but it didn't work because the original pyramid is not as perfect as my model. It's an ancient and ruin monument so re-creating using mount board, made it look brand new, which is why it did not work. Similarly to the background as well. It needed to have more texture and elements to it so that it is less idealistic looking.

Thoughts :

How about using a real background?

Placing the model in the jungle? or a park?

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Then I decided to photoshop the model onto a location that I took the other day. I had to adjust the lightning of the model to make it look realistic. I like the idea of this but I don't think this piece worked well due to the clear contrast between the two images. I will try this method again but instead of using photoshop, I will physically put the model in the location itself, then taking the photo after.

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