Third Planet from the Sun

This project was part of a guided learning experience for kindergarten and primary school groups at the VilVite science centre in Bergen. The goal was to teach the children the basics about the solar system and our place in it. The delivery consisted of two parts. First of all there was an app that would run on a smart board (a short throw projector with a touch sensitive screen) and secondly there was the animation itself.

The first sketch of the interface to help establish a mood.

The first sketch of the interface to help establish a mood.

First of all children dressed in astronaut suits would sit on a silver carped (their spaceship) in front of the smart board. Then once everyone was strapped in the guide would start the animation. Once they had travelled to the moon the animation stopped and they could get out and pretend to dance in low gravity like real astronauts.

Shortly thereafter it was time to get back in the spaceship and travel home. The application would provide the guide with an interface to use during the presentation.

In addition to that we mounted a webcam at the top of the smart board. The app could then be used to photograph the children in their spaceship and generate a composite image with a 3d render of the rocket from the animation to take with them.

The production of the animation started with a script of what should happen. Then I went ahead and drew a quick storyboard. Once that was approved I used it to work out the timing and compose a temporary soundtrack to make an animated storyboard. This was followed by a more refined animatic using dummy 3d models and basic camera movements and animation.

The initial storyboard sketches. The final animation underwent revisions and changes afterwards.

The initial storyboard sketches. The final animation underwent revisions and changes afterwards.

The initial storyboard sketches part 2. The final animation underwent revisions and changes afterwards. A water landing was added at the end.

The initial storyboard sketches part 2. The final animation underwent revisions and changes afterwards. A water landing was added at the end.

Then came an extensive build phase where all the 3d models had to be built from scratch and textured. To give it some authenticity the designs were loosely based on NASA’s cancelled Constellation program to go back to the moon.

The hand painted texture file for the count clock.

The hand painted texture file for the count clock.

Still frame from the animations showing the countdown clock in use.

Still frame from the animations showing the countdown clock in use.

Once all the effects, lighting and animation had been finalized the project was rendered and the different elements were combined. Then all was edited together, colour corrected lastly I went ahead and did a final pass on the soundtrack.

This project was one of the most exciting and fun to work on in 2012.

Still frame from the animation.

Still frame from the animation.

Still frame from the animation.

Still frame from the animation.

Still frame from the animation.

Still frame from the animation.

Still frame from the animation.

Still frame from the animation.

Still frame from the animation.

Still frame from the animation.

Still frame from the animation.

Still frame from the animation.

Still frame from the animation.

Still frame from the animation.

Still frame from the animation.

Still frame from the animation.

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