Exposition Universelle et Internationale de Paris, 1900
November 11, 2007 8:03 AM   Subscribe

Exposition Universelle et Internationale de Paris, 1900. Approximately 200 antique photographs of Paris at the turn of the 19th century, mostly from the 1900 Paris World's Fair. French CG artist Laurent Antoine is reconstructing the Exposition in Maya 3D. Bienvenue!
posted by cenoxo (13 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Lovely photographs, thank you!
posted by honeyx at 8:22 AM on November 11, 2007

That would be the turn of the 20th century.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 8:25 AM on November 11, 2007

Cleary, Metafilter has issues with century naming conventions.
posted by dismas at 8:29 AM on November 11, 2007

That depends which side of the Channel you're on. Fin de siècle, if you prefer. Enjoy the picture show.
posted by cenoxo at 8:32 AM on November 11, 2007

What incredible modeling work. Outstanding.
posted by fake at 8:38 AM on November 11, 2007

Such an interesting period in the history of Paris, and the exhibition looked just fantastic. The lifts in the Eiffel tower have barely changed a bit.
posted by fire&wings at 9:44 AM on November 11, 2007

Those Maya renditions are amazing! I loved seeing how the individual components were modeled, then assembled into larger and larger subunits of the final incredibly complex structure.

Can anybody explain the process a little, in words of few syllables? How do you go from a photograph to a 3D rendering? How do you pick out, say, an arch which is only visible from the front in the photo, and render it as an independent 3D structure? Do you just guess at the stuff you can't see? How do you set the dimensions of the structures? Can you scan the photo or do you measure things and enter dimensions by hand?

And how long does this process take? Obviously this will vary widely depending on the person and the project, but ... ballpark? Thanks!
posted by Quietgal at 10:56 AM on November 11, 2007

I'm a sucker for old photos of cities, especially Paris, so thanks for this. (Allow me to give a shoutout to my man Atget.)
posted by languagehat at 12:28 PM on November 11, 2007

Quitegal, I'm just a 3D fanboy, but that's a big topic with many variables, all depending on the capabilities of the application(s) used. For general info, browse the galleries, forums, and tutorials at 3D communities like CG Architect, Renderosity, Creative 3D, and 3D Allusions. They frequently post articles about top notch architectural work like that of Alejandro Nogueira, or King Kong CG Supervisor Chris White.

For specific info, look for tutorials for specific applications, like these for Maya. This one [PDF] shows how to create a building facade from a photograph in Photoshop and Maya.

To get your own feel for 3D modeling, try free applications like Google Sketchup or Blender, both of which have enthusiastic user groups and forums.
posted by cenoxo at 12:46 PM on November 11, 2007 [1 favorite]

posted by cenoxo at 2:01 PM on November 11, 2007

As an encore, the Library of Congress has several Kinetoscopes of the 1900 Paris Exposition produced by the Thomas A. Edison company (if you've got the bandwidth, the larger MPEG files are easier to see):*Previously.

Not to be outdone by the advent of moving pictures, Laurent Antoine (aka 'Lemog') has created a video flythrough of his 3D models, Exposition Universelle Paris 1900 - Trailer #1.
posted by cenoxo at 5:13 PM on November 11, 2007

Cenoxo, thanks for the 3D info links. I looked at a few but ... sigh ... I think I'll leave the rendering to the pros.
posted by Quietgal at 7:06 PM on November 11, 2007

Gah - if the individual Edison Kinetoscope links above are borked, use this list of LOC search results instead. There's a "Digital ID" at the bottom of each video's page with a permalink.
posted by cenoxo at 9:07 PM on November 12, 2007

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