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Animating a Maritime mission

15 October 2010

Here's three animated films that admirably show how to convey a lot of complex information in a very clear, informative and entertaining way.

Animation outfit Beakus worked on the three movies for the National Maritime Museum's 'Old Weather' project. The museum is trying to crowdsource as many members of the public as possible to help it transcribe thousands of pages of ship's logs. The idea is that the data will help to fill in gaps in our understanding of what the weather was like in the previous two centuries – helping scientists to understand and predict what the weather will do in the future.

Apparently computers have failed to read the pages of hand-written script, but humans can interpret and transcribe the delicate type - given enough of them.

Beakus used a variety of techniques, from 3d cgi to motion-tracking and 2d motion graphics.

Film one
is called Global Weather Reconstructions and tracks three ships from Britains naval past: The Alfred, The Bugle and The Terra Nova as they travel around the globe.

Film two
is The Art of Crowdsourcing which uses a mix of 2d and 3d motion graphics to the power of crowdsourcing.

And film three, Why Weather Readings Are So Useful explains why weather readings taken at sea can illustrate weather patterns all around the globe.

Why weather readings at sea are useful from National Maritime Museum on Vimeo.


Beakus was asked by filmmaker Mike Paterson, who directed all the live action in the films, to create the videos.
The credits are as follows:
Director: Steve Smith
Design and animation: Leo Bridle
Commission: National Maritime Museum & Mike Paterson
Modelling: Darragh Mason
Animation: Luca Paulli
Compositing: Jesse Collett
Sound: Mike Paterson

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