Sometimes you need a little house for your hero. Maybe you need something in a wide shot to show the location but it doesn’t get much attention or time on screen. Or maybe you need a structure that is pretty unique and you want control over it. Well, for things like that I sometimes use paper and cardboard.
I used brown wrapping paper and cardboard. You can use glue stick or white glue or craft glue or wood glue. Almost anything will work.
Once it is finished, paint it how you want it.
Even the roof shingles are painted on this tiny house. You can even see some of the paper joints. The amount of detail you put on it will depend on how close you want to film to the house. Once it is painted to the proper level of detail, take it outside and take a ton of photos in real light.
Outside the lighting is real, the shadows are real. The highlights are real. And most of your defects or shortcomings will disappear.
Notice how differently it looks in different lighting? See how the shadows are perfect, and the sun highlights are perfect?
If you can place your building in a real setting outside then the lighting is perfectly matched to the house and the land it sits on.
Most of the time I might photoshop extras into the shot, but the more you can add that is real, the easier it will be.
Notice how the reddish sunset colors on the house match the reddish ground? You don’t have to use all the surrounding land, but now at least you have perfect land that you can manipulate in photoshop if you desire. I did a few quick minutes of photoshop work on the above image.
“It was almost evening, at the goblin farm, with the goblin family safe inside. Tomorrow their crops would be destroyed”
There you go. A few hours while watching tv in the evening and you have a goblin house, for free.
I have made about a dozen or more of buildings like this. They are lightweight, and store easily. They can be be mixed and matched to suit your shot. If you photograph them together, the lighting will always be perfect. The more landscape you can create in real life, the better all the lighting, focus, highlights and shadows will line up. Create as much as you can, fake the rest.
Go ahead, make a mess, make a small village, have some fun.