top of page

Old Edinburgh Reborn


Robert Sproul-Cran is a BAFTA-winning broadcaster and film maker with more years experience than he cares to remember. In the course of making programmes for Channel 4, the BBC, Discovery and other networks including American and Canadian Public Television he developed an interest in 3D modelling using CGI (Computer Generated Imagery). Recently he was developing a feature movie based on James Hogg's astonishing novel 'Memoir and Confessions of a Justified Sinner'. He started to investigate what Parliament Square looked like when the old Scottish Parliament was still in session, to see if it was feasible to create virtual backdrops to the action.

Robert Wringhim - The Justified Sinner - lurks ready to murder his brother

An image from camera tests in the course of developing 'Confessions of a Justified Sinner'.

And what he discovered set him off on a ground-breaking mission which developed a life of its own...

Edinburgh's incredible legacy

As the capital city of the ancient kingdom of Scotland Edinburgh is incredibly well documented. There are paintings, prints, books, articles, plans, maps, official records and personal observations going back for centuries. As the 'Athens of the North' Edinburgh's beauty is world-renowned. And its characters, tales and legends have been made famous by authors such as Robert Louis Stevenson and Sir Walter Scott. But it has its secrets too. The image below is what fired Robert Sproul-Cran's imagination.

Parliament Square print from Kay.jpeg

The Parliament Close and Public Characters of Edinburgh, Fifty Years Since

Print engraved by John Le Conte, Etched by Thomas Dobbie 1st October 1844

Could this be turned into a photograph?

Robert started to build a virtual 3D model of the scene. Here's an early version with some dummy human figures for scale.

Parliament Square Edinburgh 3D CGI model experiment

Robert was fascinated to discover that in the 1700s St Giles Cathedral was hemmed in by shops - selling jewellery and wedding gifts! And there on the right is John's Coffee Shop where orders for silverware and gold might be agreed. On the left of the painting is the old Scottish Parliament - now lost forever.

Or is it?

Robert's quest has started to reveal some astonishing survivals from that time. You can follow this detective story as it develops if you bookmark this site and click here to Subscribe To This Blog. We'll let you know about new posts and images as they are created.


So why not go to the Blog page now to see where the story leads?

bottom of page