05 January 2009

Too vast and beautiful

Forced perspective has long been a tool in the Imagineering inventory because it employs an idea that Imagineers are remarkable at: bending the rules. By altering the size of objects (props, building sections, etc.), our internal sense of how tall, or large, or how far away a structure is skewed to believe what Imagineers want us to believe.

This concept works not only on buildings and models, it also works in organic forms, like the mountain found in Epcot’s Canada. Peaks that would be higher or further away are scaled down and details that would be visible up close, such as the number of cracks in the stones, are lessened or left out entirely.

The greatest asset to the mountain, however, are the trees the line the ridges. The conifers, mostly cedars and firs, that constitute the plant-life on the mountain must also adhere to the strict guidelines laid out by forced perspective. Disney Horticulture monitors these trees to make certain that they are replaced as they grow in order to maintain the proper perspective.

Though the addition of the Soarin’ hangar has been accused of destroy the visual depth of Canada’s Hotel du Canada and the mountain, once in front of the pavilion they both rise majestically to the occasion with no hangar hindrance. All thanks to the flexibility of the rules and Imagineers’ imaginations.

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