Contrasts is an experimental film about Sancaklar Mosque, created by M. Can Tanyeli for EAA Emre Arolat Architecture to be screened at Young Artist Initiative’s “Complements and Dichotomies” exhibition in Miami on February 23-24 2017.

Using original footage from the documentation of Sancaklar Mosque, as well as photographs by Cemal Emden from the same time, along with digitally created new footage, this film is a provocative take against the populist image of Islam in Western society. The film is somewhat obscurely separated into two parts, contrasting imagery of antagonistic Islamic views with the building’s underlying religious serenity in a single picture; hence “Contrasts”.

The exhibition space, located on the 6th floor of Herzog & de Meuron’s 1111 Lincoln Road parking structure in Miami, was designed and built as a simple, lightweight, enclosed black box with the intention of isolating the audience and accentuating the intense sound design.

The film features photorealistic CGI shots of the minaret tower and the stepped dome of the mosque. In reality both shots are very hard to acquire, if not downright impossible, due to their near-orthographic perspectives. The orbiting camera movement around the minaret tower requires a drone camera with a long lens, and the shot of the underside of the dome could have been achieved only if the floor of the mosque was at least 10 meters lower than original.

For recreating these images, the building was remodeled from the original plans. The minaret was textured using Cemal Emden’s high-resolution photography during the construction of the building. The photographs of the minaret were perspective-corrected and the final “diffuse map” was then put through several filters for a procedural “normal map” generation operation. This map was required for accurate light and shadow calculation during rendering. The textures of the dome were created from scratch, using generic concrete textures and the molding lines from EAA’s original reinforced concrete application plans. A “normal map” was also generated for the dome shot in a similar fashion. Both of the shots were rendered in Lumion 7 and the render passes were composited and color-graded in Adobe After Effects.

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