This image is a happy accident.
I built a city using Stonemason's excellent Greeble City Blocks, and was trying it out in different renderers. I imported it to Carrara, and played around with it for a while. Then, feeling lazy, I added Urban Future 3 - another amazingly complex and beautiful model by Stonemason with the idea of showing a perspective of my city framed by the central alley of the model.
Using Stonemason's work in scenes is always tricky. Once you've dropped one of his models into a scene, it's hard to call the resulting image your own. There's too much of someone else's artistry in the final product, even in terms of the rather lax criteria I allow myself. In this case, however, something surprising happened while I was playing around.
I had added a fog primitive to the scene to blur the background buildings a little, and I noticed that the lower part of the image was a pale gray that didn't fit with the look that I was aiming for. Not realizing that this was due to the fog, I tried switching on the ground (part of the Realistic Sky settings) and setting it to black, hoping to hide the distracting light patch at the lower edge of the scene.
Instead, for reasons that I still don't completely understand, my scene suddenly went noir. Everything was reduced to shades of gray and silhouettes. The result was much more interesting than what I'd been trying to achieve, and I decided to go with it, adding three figures to the scene to create a little vignette.
If you're curious to see what the scene might have looked like otherwise, you can take a look at Greebleville Afternoon.
06 May 2012