Duncan McCauley, the agency behind the design of the renovation of the Railway Department's permanent exhibition at the Deutsches Technikmuseum Berlin, reached out to me in the beginning of 2023. They were finalizing the concept and design for their upcoming exhibition, "Railway: Revolution and Everyday Life," and were keen to include three animated videos as projections. They requested my expertise for consultation and animation services to bring their vision to life.
The mission was to seamlessly weave three engaging videos, collectively dubbed "Trains Tell Stories," into the exhibition's tapestry. Tasked with deepening the tour's narrative and emotional resonance, my challenge was to animate existing illustrations, crafting immersive visual tales. These videos needed to speak to a diverse audience, conveying complex historical concepts sans sound, while meeting strict display standards for seamless playback and viewer immersion. Each video had a different setting within the exhibition, and they varied in format, with one being very narrow (582x1920px) to fit a specific display requirement.

When the scripts for the videos were already drafted the storyboards had to be created. I was working with the team, hashing out scenes and transitions to ensure they'd translate well into animation. The visual look for the videos should be watercolor styled, so we aimed for a frame-by-frame animation look. All the videos featured one man and his cat as the main characters. The cat was actually inspired by this old painting of the locomotive assembly hall.

After finalizing the details of the first video, the other two videos were fully illustrated and then animated by me. This approach reduced the coordination rounds for the remaining two videos.​​​​​​
In the end, this project really highlights the power of teamwork and creativity in bringing historical stories to life. With careful planning and attention to detail, these videos serve as emotional reminders of the lasting impact of rail transport, appealing to audiences of all ages.​​​​​​​
Once the work was complete, we put the videos through some on-site testing to make sure they fit seamlessly into the museum environment. Working closely with stakeholders and on-site technicians, we fine-tuned everything to ensure top-notch playback quality and viewer engagement.​​​​​​​
Project Manager: Julius Kirchner (Duncan McCauley)
Screenplay/Script:​​​​​​​ Dr. Ariane Karbe
Illustrations: Anna Niedringhaus
Animation: Natalie Reingruber

Consulting and Animation

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