Saturday, October 30, 2010

Gone Fishing

Vacations are a time to take a break from the routine for some new, diverting, enjoyment.  Well it's that time for me.  Of course, for me enjoyment is my work.  I'm starting a new project and for a time I won't be able to make my usual postings.  As soon as I'm back online I'll have more to share.  (No, I won't be able to share anything from my new project.  They are always secret until they open.)

In the meantime, please don't be shy.  Take a look around the blog.  There are 139 postings here and I'll bet that you haven't seen them all.  Choose a topic that you like from the labels on the right.  Or, better yet, head down (on the lower right) to the Blog Archive.  Start at the bottom and check out an entry a day.  I'll be back before you know it.

The attached image is from my Pleasantville model.  Like so much of my work this SketchUp model allows me to explore it from any angle.  I've chosen a storefront and added a sign in the window.  Then I did have to add some blinds to make sure that the place looks closed.  But the sign certainly indicates the promise of return -- probably with big fish and big fish stories.

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Munsters - Bat's-Eye-View

Well, here is my last post for The Munsters house before Halloween.  It's a bat's-eye-view of the house, flying high above.  The lot is a recreation of the original Colonial Street location.  The Los Angeles River was actually directly behind the house, separating the property from the nearby golf course adjoining Universal Studios. This large property was over 100 feet wide and around 50 feet to the front door.  That's a lot of crabgrass.

The roof may look a little unfinished from this view.  That's because the house is based upon the backlot facade.  There was no reason to finish anything that would not be seen by the camera.

This Halloween, if you happen to be flying past The Munsters house, don't forget to swoop in and say Trick-or-Treat.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Munsters Details - Screened Porch

Here is a hidden detail not often seen on The Munsters house.  It is the screened porch on the far right side. In the Universal Studio feature file So Goes My Love the local fire department thinks that inventor Maxim's house is burning down.  Don Ameche (as Maxim) comes out of the screened porch to explain that it's just one of his inventions smoking.  Of course the irritated fire department ends up turning the hose on the inventor.

In The Munster there is tag at the end of an episode (forgive me for not looking it up) where Herman and Eddie are playing baseball on the side yard.  Lily comes out of the screened porch to remind Herman that he will be late for work.  One pitch from Eddie and Herman hits the ball that ricochets off the wall knocking Herman out cold.  Lily's not worried the car pool from the parlor will be by to pick him up soon.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Munsters Details - Front Window

As the Halloween month continues to build to a frighteningly fun conclusion I have just a few more images from The Munsters house to post.  The Munsters seems to be an audience favorite and that's why I've posted so many images of the house.  But my audience of Internet viewers is hard to understand.

My posting of The Munsters Revisited (I'll not link to it here) has had 298 hits as of this morning.  My next closest posting is the Tomorrowland Signpost at 56 hits.  Clearly the audience is looking for images from The Munsters, right?  Well, it turns out that if you use Yahoo images to search almost any variation of The Munsters my image The Munsters Revisited comes up on the first page of images.  Viewers come to the site look at the image and then go.

Some viewers stick around and look to see what else is available.  Few seem to have figured out that, like many blogs, I use labels to help viewers find what they are looking for.  At the bottom of each posting are labels that one may click on to find similarly labeled images.  If you want to find my other television images just click on the label below.  There is also a long list of labels on the right.  Click on Disneyland, or Seuss Landing to find a different assortment of my work.

Finally, don't forget to click on Older Post at the bottom of the page to view (you guessed it) Older Posts.  There are over 135 posts on this blog.

I try to give my audience what they want -- please don't be too shy to look around.  It's open house here every day.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Munsters Details - Side Window

The Munsters house was original built on a Universal Studios sound stage for the feature film So Goes My Love.  The house was called the Maxim house, after the lead character.  This side of the house had not been finished for the film since it was not seen.  When the house was moved to the backlot this side of the house needed some attention.  The beautiful window, seen here, also came from the film So Goes My Love.  It also came from the Maxim house, but it was built for Maxim's 2nd house.  The Munsters seemed to like their garden on the over grown side, so this window was mostly covered in shrubs.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Munsters Details - Kitchen Door

Here's another detail image from The Munsters house.  It's the kitchen door near the garage.  The door and the garage were added onto the house for the Universal Studios feature film The Brass Bottle.  Prior to that there was a window where the door and porch are that matched the lower window on the left.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Munsters Details - Bat-Vane

Keeping up a blog of one person's art is not easy.  In fact, if it weren't for SketchUp it would be impossible.  To celebrate Halloween I've been posting images of haunted houses.  Well, mostly The Munsters, but this month I also have a number of images from the Bewitched house.  Once a structure is created in SketchUp there are an infinite number of views that can be explored.  This is a view of the bat-vane weather vane.  This view also shows off the interesting roof line, finials and even the television antenna.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Munsters Details - Tower Balcony

Throughout the Halloween season I've been posting appropriate images from my SketchUp models.  This week has included an assortment of details from The Munsters house.  The latest is a close-up view of the tower balcony.

This entire top of the tower was added to the existing Maxim house backlot set just for The Munsters television series.  It is supposed to lead to Herman and Lily's bedroom.  A duplicate of this area was built on a sound stage along with the interior of the bedroom.  The balcony was used in the pilot episode "My Fair Munster," and again in the episode "Rock-A-Bye Munster."  The real interior of the backlot tower was difficult to reach and it was far too small to accommodate the bedroom.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Munsters Details - Balcony Window

The balcony window at 1313 Mockingbird Lane is often thought of as Marilyn's room.  In fact, when one carefully reviews episodes of The Munsters, one will realize that this is the window for Grandpa's room.  Following the architecture of the house, the stair rises from the front to the back of the house, in the center hall.  At the top of the stair and to the left are two doors, one to the back of the house (or on the right) and one to the front of the house (or on the left).  The door to Grandpa's room is always portrayed on the left (or to the front).  This door is also used as the door to the guest room in the episodes "Family Portrait" and "Lily's Star Boarder."

In the episode "Love Comes To Mockingbird Heights," a boy tries to elope with Marilyn by climbing into this window, only to discover that Herman is sleeping in Marilyn's bed.  And in the episode "A Man For Marilyn" the balcony seen here at the front of the house is where Marilyn is rescued.  In both episodes Marilyn's door is shown as the door to the right (or towards the back of the house).

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Munsters Details - Window

Here is a detail image of the second floor window from The Munsters house.  The face above the window was no coincidence, it was supposed to add to the personality of the house.  In fact, this is why we love the Munsters house so much.  The house was as much of a character as Herman, Lily and Grandpa.  I created the image, like all of the other images of the Munsters house on this blog, in SketchUp.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Lift-Off Day

Happy Lift-Off Day!  According to the fiction of Lost in Space, October 16, 1997 is the day that the Jupiter 2 blasted off for a five-year journey to Alpha Centauri.  Of course, we all know that the journey did not proceed exactly as planned, thanks to that reluctant stowaway, Dr. Smith.  Also, according to the fiction, the Jupiter 2 was packed with just enough supplies to last the space family for ten-years.  Well, it's been 13-years since the fictional lift-off day.  Let's all hope that the family is still surviving (at least in reruns).

This is another one of my SketchUp models.  It includes the Jupiter 2 and the launch pad.

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Munsters Front Gate

The front gate of The Munsters house is always swinging in the wind.  But for some of us, the house at 1313 Mockingbird Lane still seems inviting.  This close-up on the gate is another view of my SketchUp model of the creepy old mansion.  In order to create the gate I imported a photo of the gate into SketchUp and then traced over it.  I then sized the gate to fit the opening and extruded the flat image into one-inch thick wrought iron.  The gate was one of the most difficult elements to create, but without it the house just wouldn't be the same.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Munsters House At Midnight

I don't know what inspired me to call this SketchUp illustration The Munsters House at Midnight.  Maybe it's the fact that I used a midnight blue sky?  I also deepened the shadows and darkened the overall color to give the house a nighttime look.  It's just one more Halloween look at The Munsters.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Munsters Driveway

Here is a view of the home at 1313 Mockingbird Lane that wasn't actually seen on the television show The Munsters.  It's a view up the driveway to the garage.  The stone fence makes a change at the corner pier.  The mostly wrought iron side fence was originally designed for Maxim's second home from the Universal picture So Goes My Love.  This is the same film that the Maxim house was designed for, and (in case you haven't been reading all of my blogs) the Maxim house was later redesigned as the Munsters house.

The garage was added next to the house for the feature film The Brass Bottle.  There are some nice close-up shots of the four-camel garage in that film.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Munsters In Black And White

I don't know if this works or not.  This is one of the SketchUp styles that will make any 3D model look like a vintage computer screen image.  For The Munsters house it makes it look kinda like the black and white television version.  Is it spooky enough?  Is it too hard to read?  Does it bring The Munsters into the wrong (1970s - 1980s) era?  Or is it the best version of the house that you've ever seen?

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Munsters House

As of this morning The Munsters Revisited page of this blog has had 218 views.  That is the most views of any page on this blog, by a long shot.  The most views of this page occurred on October 1.  That's not a surprise.  At the beginning of the month viewers were no doubt getting into the Halloween spirit.  I did find that most of the viewers of the page were coming from Yahoo images, so a did a little investigating.  It turns out that if you search Yahoo images for "The Munsters" The Munsters Revisited image, from this blog, shows up on the first page.

Anyway, I believe in giving the audience what they want.  This week will be The Munsters week.  Keep checking back for images of that typical average American family home at 1313 Mockingbird Lane.  Today, I have created a slightly darker version of the mansion in SketchUp.  Don't forget to click on the label Munsters House to see all of the versions posted so far.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Bewitched-Past The Witching Hour

It looks like it is past the witching hour at the home of Darrin and Samantha Stephens from Bewitched.  This SketchUp rendering uses a style with a filter that gives illustrations a foggy look.  I've turned the shadows off too which adds to flat light that comes from the fog.  As a result it looks like this is a foggy morning, probably the day after Halloween.  The party is over.  Well it's over for the witches anyway.  Look for more Halloween fun next week.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Bewitched-Front Door

Trick-or-treaters should know what to expect at the home of Darrin and Samantha Stephens from Bewitched.  When you reach the front door you'll be in for a treat.  Samantha Stephens is living proof that not all witches are ugly. In fact, she is beautiful kind and generous.  But who wouldn't expect that, when even the front door looks so inviting.

This is just another view from the same SketchUp model that I've presented all week.  SketchUp is so enjoyable to work with because it allow one to view the models from so many different angles and in so many different rendering styles.  Even the shadows can be adjusted for the various times of day.  Obviously it's still early, so only the smallest trick-or-treaters will be out.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Bewitched-Broom's Eye View

When Halloween comes not every trick-or-treater will be walking around the neighborhood.  Some of the visitors to the home of Darrin and Samantha Stephens will be arriving by broom.  In that case they'll need to know what to look for.  This is a broom's eye view of the Cape Cod classic home from Bewitched.  Look carefully and you may notice that the roof ends at the gable.  I created this SketchUp model based upon the backlot facade now located at the Warner Bros. Ranch.  As inviting as the home may seem on the outside it is nothing more than an illusion.  Of course, most dabblers in magic (adept in making dreams come true) know all about illusions.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Bewitched-Another Style

This is one of my favorite SketchUp rendering styles.  It is called Scribble on Masonite.  The Masonite background texture adds a nice warm look to any rendering.  The house is, of course, the house used in the 1960s television series Bewitched.  This is sort of the view that snoopy neighbor Gladys Kravitz would have of the house.  I'm posting this rendering in honor of Halloween, but as Darrin Stephens was fond of saying, "It's Halloween everyday in this house."

Monday, October 4, 2010


Well, it's October.  It's the month for Halloween and witches, so this seemed like a good time to revisit the bewitching home of Samantha and Darrin Stephens.  This Cape Cod style home fits into any New England setting.  The rendering was created in SketchUp so it's easy to view the house from any angle, and that's what we're going to do.  I'll be trying out some various rendering styles too.  So this week is all about the home from Bewitched.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Seuss Details – Little House Parting Shot

Here is the parting shot for one of the little houses at Seuss Landing.  This is the same house that we have explored all week.  As we began the week I described the lightning rod, so that seems like a good place to end.  The company that fabricated the lightning rods was was very accommodating.  Since each rod (or actually finial) was to be custom made they were very willing to make each one different.  The problem was that would have meant that I would have had to design each one.

I'm not exactly lazy when it comes to design.  I really love to do it.  But as field art director I had seven buildings with countless details to manage when the offer came up.  This sort of design is easy (and relatively inexpensive) during the initial design phase.  But not so in the field.

I knew that each finial would be bent differently because of the crude bending method.  By turning and pointing the finials in different directions they would all look different.  Also, it's difficult to see more than two, or three of the little houses all at once.  Finally, if one were on a mission to investigate the design of each little house, one could only conclude that the similarities were intentional.  The similarities give houses a sense unity within the Seuss world.

Anyway, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.