I started this project as an experiment in repetitive patterns. In some sense this is a cheap way to create complexity. As a way to break the repetitiveness, I added a layer of roads on top of the buildings.
By also designing the interior of the buildings, they become much more interesting objects. Needless to say it adds a lot to the realism. Applying a little bit of decay to the concrete texture also makes it a lot more real.
I took the photo above in the city of Meknes, Morocco. This is a detail from a wall in the Bou Inania Madrasa, a religious school from the 14th century. The madrasa is considered one of the best monuments from the Marinids. It is a marvel of Islamic architecture. I was so fascinated and mesmerized by it I spent a couple of hours to take photographs from all the details.
The geometric patterns inspired me to make repetitive patterns myself and use them for my designs. In the images below you can see how I first drew a pattern from a top view and then converted it to a three-dimensional form.
This method of working resulted in some interesting forms, but it has one important drawback: the result will probably only look good from a birds-eye view. This is because the original shapes are designed from above. If you position the camera somewhere at eye level then everything will look pretty distorted and not in proportion.
To determine the direction of the moon, I moved it bit by bit along different angles, first horizontal and then vertical. Above you see a gif-animation showing the process.
Once I decided the direction of the moon, I wanted to only light the middle part of the scene. This way I created some focus. In the image below, I explain how I did this.
I did a lot of work in post-production and from top to bottom; I used the black and white gradient that I explained how to create in the previous post. Below you see how I transformed this gradient to use it as a mask by playing with the levels in Photoshop. The bottom part of the scene is almost completely white in this mask. This allows me to apply certain colours only on the lower parts of the architecture.
Below I posted a gif-animation showing the image before and after post-production.
Above you can see a mask I created and used for colour correction. Below you see a gif-animation showing the image before and after post-production.