Case Study : Natural History Museum, Darwin Centre, London
A short clip of some of the interactives
We were appointed as the main software contractor for the new ‘Darwin Centre’ at the Natural History Museum in London. The Darwin Centre houses the Botany and Entomology specimens at the Museum and is also contains facilities for the scientists who work there.
We produced 16 digital installations which included 21 short films
We created a number of interactive challenges in which visitors are asked to interact with specimens and tools projected on an interactive desk, whilst being instructed by videos of scientists shown on an overhead screen. These videos of the scientists have been scripted and edited so that they appear to have a level of artificial intelligence.
We also produced a number of multi-user interactives some are triggered by touching objects, iIn one, visitors work together to catch mosquitoes, and then choose the best methods to control the spread of Malaria. In another of our interactives the visitor identifies butterflies.
As the visitor leaves the Darwin Centre they encounter, projected on to the wall, a large interactive comments wall. This is a multiuser interactive that allows visitors to add their own comments and enter into discussions about topics raised during their visit to the Darwin Centre. The wall projections contain flowing, animated lines linking topics, with visitor comments forming branches that hang from each topic. The visitor can use one of four terminals to add to the debate. Animations using ants, plant leaves and numerous objects that we created for other parts of the centre crawl, fly and drift past the scene that the lines are set in.
Online - NaturePlus
If you have been to the Darwin Centre and saved items onto your NaturePlus card, you will be able to view the content, images, videos and bonus features you collected and be encourage to participate in online forums and discussions.
We worked with the NHM web team to develop the Nature Plus system that enables visitors to collect content on a barcode card ticket as they go round the Museum. The NaturePlus system is now being deployed across other exhibition areas in the museum.
Short Films with motion graphics
We scripted, filmed and edited 21 short films consisting of interviews with scientists inter-cut with associated imagery. Some of the films involved more complex shoots, for example they required us to film the scientists at work, demonstrating some of the equipment and techniques they use. We also worked with footage the scientists had shot on field trips, and edited this into coherent stories about their trip.
One of our short films
…another short film
In additional to the films we created a variety of animation sequences. For example we created six sequences that illustrated how species were originally named though engaging animated typographical sequences. Another animation combined images taken under high-powered microscopes using animation techniques that implied the viewer was switching between specimens.
We brought to life some of the specimens, animating hi-res images of insects and plant specimens from the museums collection to show how they appeared whilst alive. We used these animations throughout the programs.