Last spring, I started work on my second book about dioramas. I finished the first draft in December and have spent the last few months editing the manuscript and designing the cover.
Since completing Diorama Design in 2017, I had begun to recognize the limitations of the conventional tabletop diorama. There never seemed to be enough space to translate what I could imagine into a miniature scene that was small enough to fit on a bookshelf.
It was then that I decided to start building forced perspective dioramas. With this technique, it’s possible to portray depth and distance without having to make the diorama impractically large. After making the switch to forced perspective, I haven’t looked back.
My first experience with forced perspective dates back to my film school days, when I made a 16mm short. Set in the future, the film’s opening scene was a forced perspective shot of an airfield with three landing pads, showing a spacecraft touching down on the nearest pad. I had seen forced perspective used in many sci-fi films and TV shows, and it was a rewarding experience to be able to apply the technique in my own film.
Making forced perspective work in a diorama context is even more challenging than in film, because the size limitations are more stringent. Most of the progress I’ve made with this technique has been through trial and error.
Very little has been written on the topic of forced perspective dioramas. It’s an unfulfilled niche in the diorama how-to market. So I summarized what I’ve learned from my own experiences working in forced perspective over the past three years, did some research into the origins of the technique, and wrote Forced Perspective Dioramas. It will be released this spring.