James Cameron Exhibition – Interactive Touchscreen

Client

For who: Australian National Maritime Museum
w/ Luscious International & the Avatar Alliance Foundation

Where: Sydney

When: May, 2018

Brief

Design an engaging, interactive touchscreen experience showcasing 3 vessels’ descent to the bottom of the ocean – The Deepsea Challenger’s descent & sinking of the Titanic & Bismarck.

Concept & approach

Interaction concept

To create a beautifully simple guided storyline, controlled by the user with one finger.

By simply swiping up & down, the user drives a complex animation sequence, exploding the ship into parts and revealing snippets of the storyline as they go, with minimal input.

The screen is located in a museum and will be used by ages 5 to 95 so absolute simplicity is vital. Learning from past and existing museum interactive screen, i decided that guiding a user through a storyline makes for a much richer & enjoyable experience. They feel in control consuming the story, not just left to their own devices, poking and prodding trying to find something interesting.

Aesthetic & technical considerations

I wanted the designs to align between scientific diagram & realistic lighting and shading, running in realtime.

Using an orthographic side view with 2d text overlays satisfied the scientific look. Unity 3d engine would take care of the rest.

A big hurdle was the massive poly count on the DSC model. Opting to run a 3d game engine in real time, limitations forced us to heavily optimise the models and textures.

Original (and amazing) 3d renderings by Kollected.
Used only for demonstration and reference purposes.

“By simply swiping up & down, the user drives a complex animation sequence, exploding the ship into parts and revealing snippets of the storyline as they go, with minimal input.”

Animated wireframe

Of courses there’s quite a massive amount of work that should slot right into this section. All of the Unity development and interaction testing. Stuff that cant really be shown here.

I want to thank Agent Reality (aka Thred), developer Brendan Voltano from Blue Volcano for his countless hours & technical expertise on making my vision into a reality. Also Greg Cooper for his 3d modelling and animation.

The outcome,

Jim Approves

The final interactive,
installed in the museum.

Installed on a 55″ 4k touch screen & running on a Gigabyte brick, the interactive runs super smoothly at 55-60fps at all times giving the user super responsive feedback.

James Cameron at the exhibition launch, interactive screen in the background.

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