I created this 3D mapping treatment so that I could visualize, as a proof of concept, how we may use a data set in a creative way to help tell a story. As a filmmaker, one of our duties is to engage the viewer and perpetually provide an experience that translates the information accurately in addition to being visually pleasing.
On a project that I’m currently working on for The Civil War Chronicles, we are creating educational and informative videos about the American Civil War. One of the challenges for creating content when you are dealing with certain time periods in American history is that anything prior to 1816, when the first camera was invented, everything was either paintings or drawings, carvings or sculpture. Luckily by the time 1861 came around 3000 photographers had cameras to capture the brutal fighting. With that being said, we are lucky enough to have still imagery to reference the carnage and the destruction of this unfortunate war.
Before The Camera Was Invented
Considering the camera was just recently invented it would take another several years after the war for motion pictures to enter our world. So ultimately, to create visuals for this period of American history you either have to rely on photography or reenactments.
In storytelling, a challenge that is coupled two almost any creative project is being able to visualize data in unique ways. One data set that is particularly hard to visualize is topographical mapping. In relevance to our project, we were looking to find a creative way that we could map out certain battlefields in Gettysburg Pennsylvania utilizing USGS (United States Geological Survey) data to accurately portray elevations and geographic elements that would lead to either a tactical advantage or a tactical mistake.
Why I Created This Animation
I created this animation so that we could visualize, as a proof of concept, how we may use the data set in a creative way to help tell our story. As a filmmaker, one of our duties is to engage the viewer and perpetually provide an experience that translates the information accurately in addition to being visually pleasing. To pull this off I harnessed Cinema 4D, Adobe After Effects, and Adobe Photoshop. Being able to control the angle of the sun on a particular day even in the past provides a forensic level of specificity in tangible detail.
While this animation is just a sample it serves a purpose as a proof of concept so that the team can comprehend the direction that I would like to go down creatively. Knowing that maps and mapping will be a predominant factor in almost every video we produce this animation will help us focus in on the solution. This will save us not only time but money and becomes pivotal that we stay on track for our budget and timeline.
What’s Next For This Animation
I plan on revising and updating this particular page as we get closer to production so make sure that you subscribe to my email list and never miss out on my creative updates.
What do you think about this quick treatment? I’m putting more content out shortly.