Williamson's Tunnels

We pondered long and hard about how to do these, trying ideas,
discussing them with Phil Hirst (producer and director of
'Lost Treasures'), until ultimately we decided that the best approach,
given that we had only a few seconds of screentime, was to build a
length of tunnel in 3D then fly the camera along it, with a spotlight
alongside to give the effect of torchlight peering into the dark.

How extensive the labyrinth of Williamson's Tunnels really is, and indeed
why they were built in the first place, is not for this webpage.

But if you are interested in knowing more, you can see The Williamson
Tunnels Heritage Centre website by clicking here, and The Friends Of
Williamson's Tunnels website by clicking here.


On the left is a screengrab from the scene setup.

Although this is not a fully rendered frame, so it has none
of the lighting and texture effects used to darken and
dirty the tunnels, all the main elements of the shot are

The model that winds around corners and has a couple of
junctions that we shone some light along. A generic brick
texture, onto which we added more layers that gave
the patchiness and streaking.

Although this is brighter than the final, you can clearly
see the falloff in brightness further along the tunnel.


One of the shots taken during live-action filming showed
'Lost Treasures' presenter Mark Olly examining a pipe
that was driven through the floor of one of the upper
tunnels into the level below, a level which has yet to be

This provided an ideal lead-in to the cgi of the tunnels.

Matt Tidmarsh, the editor, supplied the live-action shot
and we roughly matched it to the end of the real pipe.
From the image at the top you can see our model
included this pipe for the camera to travel down before
reaching the tunnels below.

Once the cgi was finished, Matt did a 'crash zoom'
between the live-action and the cgi.


On the left is a rendered frame from the shot, with motion
blurring from the fast-moving camera, and all the tunnel
wall textures visible.

Click the link to see the complete cgi shot.

Click Here for The Final Shot