Building a house for Can You See What I See? The Night Before Christmas


A cardboard prototype of the house was first constructed with details drawn on in pencil to test how the final model will look. Temporary snow is cotton stuffing.


Model maker Randy Gilman carefully sculpts details out of carvable foam for the walls of the house.


The model house before the painted details were added. Randy spent about 70 hours to complete the model.


The trees were found in the Christmas section of a craft store and were modified with Styrofoam snow to enhance the realism. Miniature lights (also found in a craft store) were put inside the house and on one of the exterior trees.


To make the falling snow, I “airbrushed” the flakes in Photoshop. About a dozen tiny objects were also added or enhanced by computer. Otherwise the scene was photographed as is. The falling snow and tree lights were preserved in separate digital layers enabling the option of turning them off!

Click the picture to see the scene without lights and then without snow and lights.


Down the Chimney ©2005 Walter Wick,
from Can You See What I See? The Night Before Christmas