Rebuild the KCR Terminus - step 2 | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Rebuild the KCR Terminus - step 2

An update on progress, plus requests for modern drone photos of the tower, and old photos / films of the whole station building.

Here's the latest model (email subscribers, you'll probably need to click here to visit the website and see the model):

KCR Clocktower (masked) by gwulo on Sketchfab

The first model was built from modern photos of the clocktower, and shows the whole tower. (click here to view).

But the problem with using modern photos is that large sections of them won't match the older photos, eg here's a good view of the clock tower as part of the main building:

KCR Clock Tower & KMB Star Ferry Terminus - 1954
KCR Clock Tower & KMB Star Ferry Terminus - 1954, by harryhktc

And here's the clock tower seen from a similar angle in 2008:

KCR Clocktower

It's easy for you to make the connection between the two photos, But a computer will see there are many more differences than similarities, and won't consider these are views of the same building.

So the next trick is to give the computer a helping hand, and mask out any parts of the new photo that aren't visible in the old one:

KCR Clocktower (masked)

Hopefully that gives the computer more matches than differences, and helps it connect the photos together.

You'll see I haven't just masked out the Cultural Centre, but also the bottom section of the clock tower. If you look at the 1954 photo above, you'll see that the lower section of the clock tower was originally embedded into the larger building, and hidden from view. It's still clear to see which parts were hidden:

KCR Clocktower (detail)

"A" shows where the red bricks change colour, with the darker bricks inside the old building. Then "B" shows where the granite blocks change to a smaller size. (I guess they saved money by using smaller blocks where they wouldn't be seen,)

Drone photos

If you zoom in on the top section of the model, you'll see it isn't very accurate. It would be great to get photos taken from above, to help refine that section. If you know anyone that is skilled at taking photos from a drone, please could you ask them to take a look at this?

Ideally we'd get three more sets of photos, taken at approximately half way up the tower, level with the top, and at 1.5 x the height of the tower. If each set could have 20-40 photos, that would give good coverage of the whole tower.

Step 3 - Adding the old photos

For the next step I'll start adding in old photos, first masking them to hide anything that doesn't show the clock tower or the terminus building. I'm hoping we can use the clock tower model from this step as a central reference point, and then link the old photos to it and slowly build out the terminus building.

For this I'll need sharp images of the buildings, either from still cameras or films. If you have any, please could you send me a copy?

Thanks for your help,


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