Mount Hood is home to one of the largest glacier cave systems in the lower 48 states. And its slowly disappearing.
OPB went to document these caves before they completely melted away. After a lengthy expedition to the caves, OPB had multiple hard drives full of video, photos, journal entries, and cave measurement data.
The challenge was how to create an immersive online story that could complement the TV documentary.
The solution, I designed and built a long-form story experience that highlights the best multimedia seamlessly with the narrative of a written story.
Excellence and Innovation in Visual Digital Storytelling – Online News Association (2014)
Working With Cave Data
OPB wanted an animation to show the whole structure of the cave under the glacier. Luckily for us, as the cavers explored the tunnels of the cave, they took measurements with a laser measure. It recorded their position, which direction they were facing and the distance to the wall that they pointed to.
Sadly, the data recorded to an obscure file only few systems can read. To work with the data, I booted up a virtual machine with Windows 98 to install COMPASS, a cave modeling pr0gram. This allowed me to map, manipulate and export the needed file for our animator.
Start with raw data and sketches.
Make a 2D model.
Make a 3D model.
Send workable file to the animator.