Copyright 2002 T. Sheil & A. Sheil  All Rights Reserved

All Gauge Model Railroading Page

Holiday Villages

Building Placement

Buildings are key elements in our vignettes.  They are the setting around which our scenes are made. Placement of buildings creates a scene and guides the viewer's eye.

The human eye sees movement, color, and then shape.  It then focuses on whichever element is most important at the moment.  In buildings, shape has its place.  The human eye is prone to focus on height more than width, when addressing a shape.  The higher structure will always draw the eye first, regardless of the width of the smaller structures around it.  You can use this to so place your buildings as to guide the viewer's gaze exactly where you want it.  Building placement works in conjunction with figures and accessories to make scenes and guide viewers to and through vignettes.

As a rule, taller and brighter buildings draw attention.  It is best, then, to have your best scenes placed before the taller and brighter structures.  Keep in mind that lights work as color.  They are bright and draw the eye.  Always, use buildings and other items to keep the viewer looking.  You don;t want him to be focused on one part of your miniature world, to the exclusion of all others.

This is a 3-dimensional world, and the viewer sees what is closest first.  He will focus on the foreground and move across it, then look to the items further back.

Below are some simple figures to illustrate a little of building placement.

The tallest building attracts the eye.

The eye is drawn to the left

The eye goes right, gradually

The eye goes right quickly

To the right

The eye focuses on the left, drifts right, but will drift back to the left.

Color - bright buildings are more notable

Change the colors, change the focal points.  Remember that lights have the same effect as bright colors.

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