An Exercise in FORCED PERSPECTIVE to make a minifig appear 2x larger than it really is in relation to the cart.
About this creation
My first "FORCED PERSPECTIVE" MOC. After the photos, I did quite a bit of photoshopping to take away the pedestals I used make the minifigs appear taller than they really are, in relation to the cart. (Detailed explanation of how I did it at the bottom)
ShangHai is a wild place, kinda' like the Wild Wild West once was, lawless, cops always have one eye closed. It's gritty, the streets are covered in a thick layer of construction dust, trash, and cheap cigarette butts.
Enter JinLin, stage right. (That's loosely translated as Golden Forest, actually it's an exact translation, and it's correct for that matter). He's a simple country boy who took the long train ride from ChangSha to ShangHai, in search of his dreams, in search of happiness and wealth, a life of leisure, someday owning his own Daihatsu and a nice 500 square foot flat in the West side of PuDong. But I digress.
Instead of his dreams, he found the only way to make a living that he knew how, selling his hot buns. Red-bean paste, pork and mushroom, spicy pork, shredded vegetables, you name it, he can stuff anything into his buns and make a quick buck. He rolls like that, and he rolls his buns like that too.
Every morning he wheels his hand-cart all the way from PuXi to PuDong (that's from West Pu to East Pu for those of you not so inclined as the to speak the next century's global language of choice, you bunch of lazy slobs) His rodent powered fridge below the cart keeps his buns cool until it's time to steamem' and sellem'.
Around 5am, while you're all still dreaming of sugar plum ferries, or in some cases, just dreaming of ferries, you bunch of ferries, he's tossing his buns on the bamboo steamer he dug out of a dung heap and getting the rodent powered steam ginny fired up.
Sure he had dreams of being in an all boy, or all mostly-boy rock band, banging on his drums all day, instead, the cold reality of 3rd world cheap labor means the only thing he'll be banging on is the dingy bent up lid to his bamboo steamer, desperately trying to drum up new customers. Get it? Drum,..oh nevermind. Stick with me, only 5 more of these miserable hotel shots to go.
Occasionally he busts a move. but usually not. His dancing is usually because there ain't a clean bathroom worth taking your dog for a shit in for 10 miles. And those are grilled chicken's feet back there on the grill. They like those here, a LOT. God only knows why, and last time I asked Him, he gave me NO reply. None!
Regardless of his lot in life, he'll greet anyone with two coins to rub together with a smile and an appetizing offer of his hot buns. "Come taste my buns!", he shouts out in Mandarin, and not the standard dialect either, we're talking serious ChangShahua here. Lots of r's where they don't belong.
It's 6am, and his buns are moving fast. Good thing the rodents haven't fallen asleep on the job. There's more in the fridge.
Yes, I said rodents. LOTS of them! Big ones, and they screw like people.
WTF !! Apparently this beat cop (or is he just another one of those pesky crossing guards) decided NOT to turn a blind eye today to the fact that JinLin's been stealing his bun stuffings, and he doesn't have a permit to be selling his buns on the street. He doesn't have a pot to piss in either, but that's beside the point. Who knows, he's only got 1 pot, and I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt that he's NOT mixing bun filling AND pissing in the same one. He might be pissing in it after all, maybe that's what gives his buns such a nice flavor. Nobody can quite put their finger on it, so yeah, it kinda' makes sense now. Hell, for all I know, Golden Forest might be using the pot to take showers, he might be using it for golden showers in the forest, nobody really knows.
Run Forest Run! Drop your buns, pick up your ass, and MOVE! Chinese jails are worse than you could ever imagine, or so I've heard... Not everybody comes out as a Bat-Man you know.
What will happen to JinLin? Will he escape the cops? Will his cart still be there when he gets back? Will the rodents be asleep on the job? Will he ever find out that the pork he's been stealing from the butcher is really dog meat?
Don't hold your breath, unless you go into a Chinese bathroom that is. And if you do, take your own paper or you might have to sacrifice a sock.
4th Wall Commentary (or in this case, 1st wall I believe, not counting my back-drop):
Well, it finally happened.
For one, I'm back on another business trip to ShangHai. Seems this is my 2nd home lately, so this time I brought some bricks to pass the time.
Secondly, this is my first "vignette" build; I usually do BIG stuff, but that takes so long. I threw this together in about an hour, excluding the time I spent trying to figure out how to take the pictures.
Being inspired by the local cuisine here in China, I tried my hand at a traditional dumpling/bun cart. These are all over the streets in the grittier parts of ShangHai, and even in the not-so-gritty parts. Makes for a good 80 cent lunch, or a 40 cent breakfast. The only problem with the build is, the only wheels I have on hand are as tall as a minifig, so I tried my hand at some forced perspective, placing the minifigs closer to the camera than the cart, standing them on top of black brick pedestalss, and then photo-shopping the pedestals away. I'm pretty satisfied with how the forced perspective came out. The lighting sucks in the hotel room, but it's what I got to work with. Now I just need to find that owner's manual to the camera, and uh, then translate it into English. Oh nevermind.
Hope you got a few laughs at my expense here. Hopefully you don't have to be here to get this one.
Here's how I set up the photo shoot for this Forced Perspective MOC:
this is 2009...? you don t post that often, ok, the build is nice, but the boldness of the story was a riot! lol, the theme is also refreshing and interesting, china seem to be a special place, full of intrigue... great story!!!
Quoting Chris Phipson
Been there, and unfortunately, I DO get it... blah blah blah etc so forth... Keep it blocky! ~ Chris.
Glad I didn't have to use "anything more suggestive" in the title to lure folks in! Sometimes the lure of hot buns in China is enough I see, especially for folks like you who've had the fever for the flava'!
Been there, and unfortunately, I DO get it... Moving on. Nice work with the forced perspective here. Although I'm not too sure how happy I am with you showing Mark yet ANOTHER way to prolong the time in between his posts. Aside from that smell every time you walk into a 7-11 over there (I still can't believe that they can legally call them eggs) I hope you're having a great time. Be sure to bring back a small child in your luggage to sort for ya! Heck, we'll all chip in for shipping if he can help us all out! Still haven't even TOUCHED the huge tub-o-bricks that needs to be sorted... Keep it blocky! ~ Chris.
Quoting Lee Jones
It is an interesting exercise; although, in a few of the pics there is certainly a floating effect with the figure. Nice clean build otherwise. Lee.
Yeah, after the fact, I realized that in some cases, it actually looked more realistic if I left the black brick pedestals in the shot, because if you really didn't know, you'd just think it is the minifig's shadow. On one of them I actually put in fake shadowing by using the blur function in photoshop. Cutting away all of the pedestals did leave them looking as if they were floating sometimes, and I think the lack of realistic shadows is the reason. Thanks for the input. I may take some time later on and see really how real I can get the pictures to look by shadowing the legs. I hate to put too much time in Photoshopping, because that will kinda' defeat the purpose of trying the forced perspective idea in the first place. I mean, I could have just taken separate minifig shots, cut them out, and superimposed them on the cart, but that would be cheating in a way, at least to me.
Pretty effective! And, while some shots worked better than others, it's certainly a nice method to keep handy in the ol' bag-o-tricks. Never know when you want to do a hobbit scene, right? Meanwhile, hilarious commentary and a nice build.