Te Taiao | Nature
Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
We created 3 digital exhibition pieces that feature in Te Taiao | Nature, Te Papa's permanent nature exhibition, and supervised the creation of the on-screen earthquake in the revamped earthquake house. We worked with Storybox and Te Papa’s exhibition team on the projects for 6 months, starting with meeting the various subject expert scientists, and then distilling the knowledge gleaned from them into engaging and informative animations
One of the first exhibition pieces that visitors see as they enter Te Taiao are the two giant moa skeletons, raised up on a plinth across from the entrance hallway. We were responsible for animating the ‘shadows’ cast by these two skeletons, with the goal of surprising the audience with a series of short blink-and-you’ll-miss-it animated moments of the skeleton shadows coming to life. Under the guidance of Te Papa’s moa expert Alan Tennyson we created 6 unique animated moments including an epic attack from a Haast's Eagle.
This animation is presented as a large 2m projection showing how the continent of Zealandia started breaking away from Gondwana 85 million years ago before reappearing as a number of small land masses including Aotearoa/New Zealand. During the process of breaking away and sinking down, various species either floated or flew here and were stuck - leaving Aotearoa with the unique biodiversity it has today. By projecting the animation on the ground people are encouraged to interact with the land masses as they move around - a big hit with children!
Into the Deep
Into the Deep is an animated submarine journey, highlighting 7 of the weird and wonderful deep sea species that exist in the waters off New Zealand. The aim of the piece was to highlight the various key adaptations that allowed each species to live in the dark and extreme pressure of the deep ocean. This exhibition piece was perfect as an animation as there is very little archival footage of the deep sea species that we meet. By designing and animating each species we were able to tell a visually consistent story about the submarine’s deep sea journey.
For this 5 minute live action video, Storybox tasked us with creating a realistic medium scale earthquake that could integrate with the shaking created by earthquake house, Te Papa’s popular earthquake simulator. After a lot of (slightly terrifying) research into how real objects would move in this type of quake, and consulting with a GNS expert, we came up with a plan of combining old school practical effects with a few key digital movements. We then tracked the shaking created by the earthquake house rollers and applied those movements to the edited footage. Creating a very convincing and integrated earthquake effect.