A Modeling Hierarchy

Yet another thought provoking post by Mike Cougill on the OST blog.  Here he focusses on how to compose the scenes on our model railways, and how there might be a “hierarchy” of detail in our modelling.  He introduces the post with:

There are a lot of modeling pages and photo galleries online and while the work is often first-rate, some of it doesn’t seem right to my eyes. Modelers are drawn to extremes. The funkier, more dilapidated or derelict the surfaces and textures are the more we like them. However, when every clapboard, shingle or foundation stone is a work of art in its own right, the eye doesn’t know where to go first. Our eyes can only focus on one thing at a time and when everything has been highlighted and outlined to the extreme, our gaze bounces back and forth leaving us confused or overwhelmed. Instead of directing our eyes around the model, the maker throws the whole bucket of content at us all at once.

He works through a cameo scene step by step, looking at concepts such as sightlines, leading lines and visual paths through a scene.  This is the conclusion from the post:

A visual hierarchy is a guide for aesthetic choices that can enhance your modeling and is entirely compatible with our more familiar practices. It is another tool that helps people understand what our modeling is about. By learning some simple principles and choosing what to emphasize, we can guide a viewer without overwhelming him or her with a mass of confusing detail. However, don’t mistake these principles as an excuse for selectively eliminating details. Instead, use them to elevate your experience of modeling to a new level.

My takeaway is this, though….

Our eyes can only focus on one thing at a time and when everything has been highlighted and outlined to the extreme, our gaze bounces back and forth leaving us confused or overwhelmed.

Read the full (and much longer article) here.  It’s worth the effort!  Here’s the evidence of the quality Mike’s still to be completed work (in ‘O’ gauge)….

 

About snitchthebudgie

Secretary of the East Surrey N Gauge railway club
This entry was posted in Hints and tips, Inspiration, Layout design and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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