Prize-Winning Animation Lets You Fly Through 17th Century London

Six students from De Montfort University have created a stellar 3D representation of 17th century London, as it existed before The Great Fire of 1666. The three-minute video provides a realistic animation of Tudor London, and particularly a section called Pudding Lane where the fire started. As Londonist notes, “Although most of the buildings are conjectural, the students used a realistic street pattern [taken from historical maps] and even included the hanging signs of genuine inns and businesses” mentioned in diaries from the period.

For their efforts, the De Montfort team was awarded first prize in the Off the Map contest, a competition run by The British Library and video game developers GameCity and Crytek.

Commenting on the video, one judge from the esteemed British Library had this to say:

Some of these vistas would not look at all out of place as special effects in a Hollywood studio production. The haze effect lying over the city is brilliant, and great attention has been given to key features of London Bridge, the wooden structure of Queenshithe on the river, even the glittering window casements. I’m really pleased that the Pudding Lane team was able to repurpose some of the maps from the British Library’s amazing map collection – a storehouse of virtual worlds – in such a considered way.

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