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The New Orleans Square
Haunted Mansion

NOTE: These models were created in the early 2000s. My processes, software and
skill-set have since progressed. :) ~ Ray

The first thing I need to do is get my bearings. I am not as familiar with the New Orleans Square Haunted Mansion (which is in Disneyland), as I am with the Liberty Square Haunted Mansion in Orlando. I only visited this mansion once, way back in 1986, and I wasn't paying very close attention to architectural styles in those days.
I have studied many photos of this mansion, and I believe I now understand the general layout of the facade. I was compelled to create the grand front columns of the mansion first.

Already some of you may recognize this as the Disneyland mansion!
Even I find it pretty exciting to see the model at this stage of construction so quickly! Now I can use this structure as a "measuring stick" to use as a basis for comparison as I construct, and add more structural elements to the mansion.


The ironwork which encloses the mansion verandahs is a particularly daunting challenge. After studying photos of the ironwork, I was able to make a fairly close recreation of the patterns and designs using Photoshop.

If I was to create this shape as a solid 3D object in Lightwave, the number of points, and polygons needed to create the object would quickly overwhelm my computer, causing it to slow down to a ponderous pace! To avoid this problem, I am making the ironwork using "Clip Mapping". With this process, I can create a single rectangular polygon (with 4 points), and map the ironwork image to the polygon, and create a a greyscale alpha channel which will make all of the black areas transparent when rendered. A drawback of the technique is that the ironwork will have no "thickness", but since I do not intend on rendering any close up shots of the ironwork, it should work fine.

I added the verandah floors, the side portico, and a rough version of the mansion walls, and cupola. I am a little concerned that the scale of some of these elements is incorrect. I guess I will not know for sure until I try to fit the windows, and doors.

It was a little complicated, but I managed to get all of my ironwork images aligned with their clip map alphas, and the results are very nice. All this detail is represented by only 22 rectangular polygons!

To the right of the main entrance, the porch is enclosed with shutters so I had to create a new image map, and clip map for that area. I also added some of the details around the verandah roof. Windows will be next.

All of the windows are in place, although they are difficult to see here since they have the same default texture as the rest of the model. Next I'll create the doors, and I still have to create the iron railing on the second floor porch, at the front pillars.
But it's beginning to come to life!

Using several photos from online sources, I was able to piece together a fairly accurate picture of the front door. Just as with the Liberty Square mansion, I am very surprised by the lack of detailed photos of this mansion available online. Unfortunately, I have no immediate plans to visit Disneyland, in order to make my own, personal photo resource collection, as I did with Liberty Square.
Here is my 3D rendering of the front door.

I finally made the cupola window frames. They were not as difficult to create as I expected them to be. But there are still a lot of details to add to the cupola.

Here is the rest of the cupola. It still needs the weather vane, and the surrounding ironwork, but that will come later.

The second floor verandah doors are very different from the first floor entrance door. Detailed photos of these doors are very difficult to acquire, since they are fairly well hidden deep behind the ironwork, pillars, and trees, of the second floor. I don't know if they really have the spider web transome design, but I received photos from fans which show the first floor entrance doors (inside the shuttered area), which do have the pattern, so I went with it.

Once I get this, and the other recently created elements, incorporated into the model, I will be very close to being able to begin the early stages of creating a paper model prototype!
Unlike the Liberty Square mansion model, this model will require few textures. Most of the surfaces are relatively smooth painted surfaces which will only need to be assigned colors, and surface properties.

Now for some details.
The ship weather vane.

The iron cresting which run along the roof, and around the cupola. You'll also notice that I applied textures, and colors to the model.
These are not the final chimney positions. I realized that they need to be within the iron cresting, not centered on the cresting. Also needed "siding" on the cupola base.

I added numerous lighting fixtures. In this rendering only two are lit.

And here is my first fully rendered lighting test for the model!
The NEW Halloween desktop image of this scene is available HERE.

The 3D models are created with Lightwave 8.0 by NewTek,
and composited using Adobe Photoshop CS .

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Disneyland, Walt Disney World, Disneyland Paris, and all Haunted Mansion photographs, characters, multimedia and artwork are copyrighted by and/or are trademarks of the Walt Disney Company / Disney Enterprises. This website is not affiliated in any way with any Disney company. Site launched 9.26.04. Copyright © Ray Keim. Haunted Dimensions™
Email Ray: haunteddimensions@gmail.com