James Cameron Exhibition – Interactive Touchscreen
For who: Australian National Maritime Museum
w/ Luscious International & the Avatar Alliance Foundation
When: May, 2018
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
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.
“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.”
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 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.