Water Falls: a Science on a Sphere Film

Illustrating Data on a Global Scale

Water Falls is a "Science on a Sphere" film that describes the NASA Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission, its scientific objectives, and how it fits into larger research enterprises involving the international scientific community's ongoing efforts to better understand our climate on a global scale. The film premiered on January 2014 at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, The Wild Center in Tupper Lake, New York, and The Space Foundation in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

These animated sequences are constructed to work specifically in the spherical projection platform, exploiting the singular properties that make spherical film an exceptional format in which to display scientific data sets and communicate their relevance in a fun, novel, and accessible way. Additionally, the IRC welcomed the challenge to create a hand-drawn, sumo-brush watercolor style for all of the animations.

During the 2013 spring semester Raymond McCarthy Bergeron, a graduate student from the Rochester Institute of Technology, joined the IRC to work on several animations as part of this effort. In addition to creating all of the animations for Water Falls, the IRC's production studio was used to produce aspects of the film that could be illustrated with traditional video techniques.

Water Falls: Science on a Sphere from ircumbc on Vimeo.

Production Notes

Collaborators: Michael Starobin, film director, and Victoria Weeks, video editor, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Technical Director/Modeler/Animator: Ryan Zuber
Modelers/Animators: Raymond McCarthy Bergeron and Tamara Peters
Undergraduate Intern: Brianna Page