When Hollywood filmmakers created a classic movie set, they employed a number of optical illusions to make it look three-dimensional in the medium of 2-D film. Many of the most iconic movie sets have been, at least in part, depthless, thanks to the widescale use of matte paintings and forced perspective to make a few cardboard and styrofoam props on a studio set look like living worlds on the silver screen.
That’s what makes the work of Dutch artist Siebe de Boer so fascinating. He takes classic movie sets and recreates them as fully three-dimensional computer models that can be fully explored and viewed from any angle.
So far, de Boer has only done four, but they are incredibly well done. He’s re-created the War Room from Dr. Strangelove, reproduced the austere modernist living room–complete with DNA staircase–from Gattaca, and brought the nuclear stacks of Brazil‘s Shangri-La towers to life. But the one I particularly love is de Boer’s re-creation of the Greenwich Village courtyard of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1954 masterpiece, Rear Window, which takes on the same air of a ramshackle secret world, buried by the architectural concretions of the city that surrounds it.
When you consider the fact that all four of these sets would never have been fully three-dimensional even when they were being film, de Boer’s work is even more impressive. These digital dioramas are an unobscured look at classic movie architecture that never existed in the first place.