Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Mindi Lipschultz Creates Innovative Media for California Academy of Sciences

Wow! I just completed 2 years of media design and production on the new California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. It was a fantastic project and I created 31 media pieces including interactive games and kiosks, mini-documentary films utilizing archival footage and stills which were brought to life with some fancy After Effects tricks, edge blended projections to bring static murals alive, soundscapes and more. You can read the full story on the Blooloop Themed Attractions site. I'm posting some samples here for all to see and you can click here to go see more images and video samples. When you get there, click on the first image of my logo on black, then use the "View Album" feature in the upper right to get a slideshow. Don't forget to hit the back button to return to this blog!

One of the most popular attractions at the California Academy of Sciences is my Insect Collecting Game. Players use a hand tool that they swing in mid-air that corresponds to one of 4 scientific collecting tools on thescreen. In this game, players are virtual field scientists on an expedition in Madagascar. Watch the movie to see how it works!
At the conclusion of each round, actual Academy collection drawers animate out to reveal the insects each player collected. The software calculates each catch and places it in the drawer.
In this excerpt from the documentary about the history of the Academy's expeditions to the Galapagos, I wanted to bring to life the archival photos that the scientists took 100 years ago, so we separated them into layers and animated them using a "multiplane 3D" technique and also added special effects to give the visitor the feeling that they are traveling through the actual 1905 landscapes.

Islands of Evolution film  © California Academy of Sciences

There are so many more samples of the exhibit media to show here, but please go to the photobucket to see them, click here. I'll just show a few more ...

Portal to Undersea Galapagos Underwater Adventure, and... of the 4 interactive Kiosks for Africa Hall. Each kiosk has 2 Virtual Safari Adventures that get visitors involved in the stories depicted in the adjacent dioramas.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Mindi Creates First Ever High Resolution Spherical Film for Paul Allen's Science Fiction Museum in Seattle.

This "centerpiece exhibit" film was an 80 year retrospective of Science Fiction Films and literature. It utilized 5 projectors and the 2K film was divided up into 5 edge blended streams. I edited 14 picture tracks in sync and created original CGI mortise windows that displayed the simultaneous scenes. If you would like to download a better quality version click here. It will take you to the NOAA site and this is the 5th one down. NOAA provided the hardware system that this movie played on, Science on a Sphere... but even the Rocket Scientists had never seen it put to this use!

This is a frame of the film before it was "wrapped" around the globe.

and here it is after:

Here we are on Opening Day under the Space Needle. This is the Science Fiction Museum:

And since Steven Spielberg is on the board of the Museum, he was there for the Opening Day Ceremonies. I call this photo "Half Mindi and Steven with Son":
Click here to see The Globe, as it appeared on the front page of the Seattle Newspaper.

I became known as the "Globe Girl". I soon got a call from Big Buddha Baba Productions to produce another globe film. This one 3 times bigger than the Sci-Fi globe, for the post show of the new Spaceship Earth attraction at Disney's Epcot Center in Orlando.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Las Vegas Museum and Themed Experience

I designed 57 media pieces for the Las Vegas Springs Preserve. There was a lot of history here and great archival images to work with. I utilized some innovative animation techniques to bring the archival imagery alive and tell the history in a captivating way. This clip is about the arrival of the Railroad to Las Vegas and the auctioning off of the first land plots. There was a pre-existing visual device of a "Historical Notebook" that had to be integrated into the media, so here we go:

and the Hoover Dam story, among others, was told by a little water drop named Dewey:

In the museum, there were many interactives like this one where the visitor places a fossil they dig up from a sandbox on a scanner to identify the creature that it originated from.
I also designed media screens for this interactive where the visitor slides a mechanism to see the microscopic organisms inside the soil,

and this one where visitors learn what geological forces were at work to create the Las Vegas terrain.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Mindi's Television Producing work

I spent over 20 years producing animation and documentaries for most of the major networks including a 6 year stint at PBS in New York. Here in Los Angeles in the 90's, I co-owned one of the first digital TV animation companies. Here are some sample animated pieces I produced for various TV series and Music Videos (yuck, this blog really compresses the video):

I produced dozens of Main Title sequences for most of the major TV networks:
and I produced and co-directed this Janet Jackson Music Video in the heyday of MTV, which was featured in the "Top 30 Videos of the Year" on the VH1 countdown!
And there was a lot of great coverage in the Media. I appeared on 3 TV shows, including this one where I was interviewed regarding the innovative digital production pipeline I designed for the first Hi-Def animated series ever aired which was a combination of 2D and 3D animation techniques. The series was FREE FOR ALL on Showtime. Click here to read a little about my work on the show.

Back in New York I was a documentary editor for PBS, cutting such shows as:

and I received several Emmys and won many other awards, here's just a few: