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  • Writer's pictureKatie Lofts

Honours Blog - Buildings - Week 1

Updated: Dec 4, 2022

24/10/2022 - 30/10/2022 Inspirations - Edinburgh Earlier this year I had went on a trip to Edinburgh. I had been before but this time I knew I wanted to take lots of reference photos for this honours project in particular. Some things I love about Edinburgh is the architecture, of course, but also even just the materials used and the way they have aged/been preserved. My goal for this project is to mix real life inspirations with fantasy ones, and sort of ask the question of, "what if I do X but mix it with Y?" - e.g mixing Victorian slums architecture with bright colours.

Above is the biggest inspiration I have in regards to placement and silhouette of my buildings. This was just a regular set of houses outside of my hotel, but I really adore the tight-knit feeling of it, and especially the differing heights and overall verticality. This is going to be what I base my very first block-out on, in purpose of figuring out scale and positioning of my buildings. However, I do not want to feel very reliant or attached to this picture, or recreate them 1 to 1 - just moreso as a base to build on top of.


Inspirations - Overwatch

A big inspiration for this project is definitely Overwatch. I really adore their quirky approach to their props and architecture especially, and above are some screenshots I compiled while playing in-game. Something I noticed and want to include in my own work is how sort of intentionally wonky a lot of the buildings look - they are certainly inspired by real-life architecture, but are given a unique charm that really helps them feel apart of Blizzard's fantasy world here. My favourite map in Overwatch has to be King's Row - meant to be Blizzard's take on Industrial Britan but in the Overwatch universe. You'll notice that, around King's Row, there are a lot of high-tech implementations that would be obviously ill-fitting for the time, but I think the intention was to emphasise their played-up fantasy of the contrasting modern and old-fashioned elements. Another common quirk of King's Row is the notorious amount of pipes scattered around the map, some in places that seemingly make no sense, like rooftops. I think this can be a polarising touch in many people saying "it makes no sense" as a reason for this to be bad design, but I personally really love it. I feel like it effectively plays up the idea of what King's Row is meant to be. Another thing to keep in mind is that when you are actually playing Overwatch, you don't get the chance to notice a lot of these details, or even consider that doors or pipes are leading to literally nowhere - a lot of the props are just filler, concentrated at eye-level. So, when I am creating my scene, I am not trying to create a realistic and sensical street of fully-fuctioning buildings that you or I could live in. I am moreso trying to trying to capture a certain feeling, and mix certain elements of real-life with fantasy, which I think Overwatch or specifically King's Row does brilliantly. King's Row is literally a single road of houses that lead directly into a big factory.



I started with a blockout inspired by my Edinburgh photos to get a general size reference. The above image is something I found while researching and I really love the feeling of it, and my goal with this project is to capture a similar feeling within a confined space of my diorama. I want to be able to combine different real life inspirations with my more fantastical, bright style. I will be referencing a lot of Victorian era architecture, but my goal is not to create a 1 to 1 replication of it.

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