Making an Impact on Great Lakes Science Center Visitors
Cleveland’s own Great Lakes Science Center asked us to shoot 360-degree panoramas of the inside of their NASA Command Module for use in their Skylab 3 Apollo Command Module Virtual Reality App.
How we Did it: Impact Communications accomplished this using our GoPro Omni virtual reality camera rig – an array of 6 GoPro cameras that essentially shoot in all directions for a 360-degree view. We rigged the camera onto a long pull with an LED light mat wrapped around it and lowered it into the tunnel of the Module, a rare artifact that people are not allowed to enter. We then used a remote from outside to actually snap the pictures. In post-production we then stitched all of the cameras’ photos together and rendered out a flat equirectangular-panoramic view of the entire image. This then gets projected onto a virtual 360-degree sphere in the viewing software. All of this allows the audience to experience viewing the entire inside of the Command Module. The audience points an iPad and can observe the inside in any direction.
Impact Services: For this quick turn project, the Impact team was responsible for the filming and stitching – the process of taking the video or still images from the six GoPro cameras used and literally creating one full image out of them. This includes laying the photos out to their assigned position, overlapping them, blending and manipulating the edges, and then color correcting. Special software is used for this detailed process. In this case, photos of the inside of the Command Module included multiple buttons, gauges, and switches. With the help of Photoshop, Impact was able to create a seamless look.
Fun Fact: When we reached deep inside the Module with the camera, we observed hand-writing on the bottom side walls. This was likely notes the astronauts made when in space. These details are not observable to the museum visitors, as no people, including staff, are permitted inside.
Impact Communications is most well-known for its work in meeting and event production, interactive museum exhibits and video production, but did you know that our team is also skilled in, augmented reality, virtual reality, app development and motion graphics? While each service area encompasses elements of cinematography, script-writing, video editing, programming hardware systems and installation (just to name a few), a great deal of our projects start with a sketch.
Take for example animated videos or interactive games. A key component in each of these is character design. We start with an idea and through illustration, that idea takes shape and a character is born.
At the Heart of it All
From set and exhibit renderings to multimedia storyboarding, our team of illustrators are at the heart of nearly every project we take on. “I’ve done various sketches and Photoshop renderings to show how we would lay out a live event stage, tradeshow or museum exhibit, or video filming set, in order to show how a room or space will look. The client gets a full picture, complete with lighting, props, etc., before the concept transforms into reality,” said Kate Triantafelow, an Impact Communications designer. “I have also worked with clients to design custom games, comics, and even caricatures.”
Projects that come through Impact Communications’ doors often include the design of logos, signage, animations, print pieces, and even social media promos. All of these can utilize hand-drawn illustrations to develop their visual concept.
Whether you need help with your next big event or exhibit, or you are looking for a video or app, chances are illustration will be involved. We look forward to bringing your ideas to life!
Have you met our fearless leader, Bob MacDonald? We recently sat down to ask him a few questions about the work he’s done in his nearly forty years with Impact Communications, how the industry has evolved and what some of his hobbies are.
As founder and president of Impact Communications since its beginning, you’ve seen it all. What is the largest-scale project your team has put together?
One of the most in-depth projects Impact Communications has worked on is the Battle of Midway: Six Minutes that Changed History, a large-scale exhibit with a theater component that opened in 2015 at the USS Midway Museum. Our team had grand ideas for this exhibit and after two years of planning and prep, the client gave us additional room to expand on our vision. The end product is a 4,000 square foot exhibit that includes five video components – two of which incorporate interactive features, an infographic that provides the significance of Midway and illustrates its exact location, a timeline, and a physical component where visitors can walk through a simulated torpedo blast with special light and sound effects. The exhibit also includes a theater where eight holographic characters appear in front of the film.
It was all hands on deck to pull off a project of this magnitude. Writing and research, technical direction and project management, graphic design, video editing and animation, exhibit design, fabrication and installation, technical programming and audio/visual permanent installation were all managed by the Impact team.
The USS Midway Museum was ranked #7 in the United States by the TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Awards in the Museum Category. It is the leading tourist destination in San Diego, attracting a broad range of visitors from around the world.
What has surprised you most about the evolution of your industry since Impact Communications opened its doors?
There are two things that surprise me. The first is the evolution of technology (when we opened we were shooting photos and movies on Silver Halide based film) and as a result of many technical evolutions, the pace with which things happen today. Mind you, I don’t feel big projects necessarily get completed any more quickly, (which is what people thought would happen), but we create a lot more iterations on various communications and the end product is much more “fresh and timely”.
What is your favorite thing to do outside of work?
Race sports cars and hang out and play with my family, including my wife, kids, grandchildren and dogs.
If you could have one super power what would it be?
It would have to be the ability to eradicate disease of all sorts. We have worked frequently with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in the US and SickKids in Canada and when you see the suffering that some families endure, you can’t help but have your heart go out to them.
In celebration of Junior Achievement’s 100th anniversary, Impact Communications has partnered with Junior Achievement USA to develop another fun and educational Augmented Reality App, JA History. The app features a young actress and animated graphics that take us through the decades to educate viewers on the remarkable history of Junior Achievement USA.
Impact has designed, scripted and produced all videos, graphics and app development, along with designing the AR triggers.
JA USA helps students realize that the education they are getting today will help them to have a bright future tomorrow. JA’s unique, volunteer-delivered programs, show them the many possibilities that lay before them.
When utilizing the app, visitors will:
- Learn about the 100-year history of Junior Achievement USA.
- Experience the growth of Junior Achievement in various eras.
- Enjoy interacting with innovative technology.
JA History may be downloaded for free from the App Store and Google Play. This app may be enjoyed at any of the 109 JA chapter offices across the United States, where the augmented reality trigger art is displayed. On the go? At home? You may also enjoy this app by downloading your own printable copies of the trigger art. Download the art via the main menu of the app. Once you have the printed trigger art, simply open the app and aim your device at one image at a time to experience augmented reality.
Whether it is producing a corporate meeting or a large-scale event, providing expert video production, executing an interactive exhibit, or the multitude of services in between, we are always striving to make an impact on our clients and their key stakeholders with the services we provide.
One of the things we always aim to achieve for our clients is to help them tell their story – one that is memorable enough for social media (because in this day and age, if it’s not “Instagram-worthy” it’s not memorable) and beyond! Impact Communications is comprised of thought leaders, trend setters and risk-takers. With nearly a 40-year history, we have a lot of stories to tell and we can’t wait to share them here with you.
Be sure to check in regularly to learn more about how we support our clients, the breadth of our services, and of course the latest industry trends and insights. We also plan to capture the true essence of what makes us unique – our incredible team!