Hyde Park Barrack Museum
Character Animation, Technical Direction, Created at Local Projects
Opened in 2020
Awards: Winner of the 2020 Museums and Galleries National Awards (MAGNAs)
- Permanent Exhibition or Gallery Fitout (Level 4)
An UNESCO World Heritage-listed site in the heart of historic Sydney, the Hyde Park Barracks is an extraordinary living record of early colonial Australia. Inside this Convicts Colony gallery, visitors will find a 360 immersive interactive room, it depicts the colonial life in Sydney through a wide range of animation showing the early life of convicts in Australia.
As the Motion Designer, I worked closely with a creative technologist, UI designer and a freelance character animator Jae II Son in this gallery. I was responsible for character animation and technical pipelines between motion, design and development.
Visitors are given an iPhone at the entrance, it serves as an audio book to walk them throughout the entire museum. Instead of traditional museum displays, we have opted for experiential and emotionally-charged exhibits that give visitors an immersive understanding of what life was like for its early residents in Sydney.
The gallery is designed into six zones wheres people can walk freely. People can trigger the animation on the wall by walking closer to the designated zones with an ambient background music and narration on their audio phone. Visitors will have a full experience to listen and see the incredible convicts' stories about Sydney history.
One thing that made this gallery difficult was the dimension and the quantity of the characters, the dimension is over 30,000 pixel and it contains over 200 animated assets, each of the characters are carefully rigged and animated based on the story, background and vegetation were also separated into pieces. Each assets has their own ID and carefully map into the canvas pixels by pixels, we spent over one year to organize, prepare, animate and render.
I was challenged to recreate this painting into 3D, technically we could do this, but it requires tremendous of work and time to animate everything into 3D, also it will lose the special style of this painting. Given a week to do a 3D test, I modeled one of the primary character in Maya, and brought it into Zbrush to do further high-poly sculpting and texture paint everything to match with the rest of the painting style. It was difficult because all these characters are based on real history, so I have to animate them very carefully based on the story. I was happy about the result given we only had a week to do this 3D test, but we didn't go for this direction after carefully planning.
Modeling: Maya, Zbrush
Texturing: Zbrush, Photoshop
Compositing: After Effects