Canterbury earthquake national memorial 3d visualisation

Where: Christchurch CBD
When: March, 2016

What: In 2011, Canterbury was devastated by a 6.3 magnitude earthquake. It caused widespread damage across the region and 185 people lost their lives. So when the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA), Building Intelligence Group and Landlab . reached out to Buildmedia to create the Canterbury earthquake national memorial 3d visualisation, we were honoured.

We set out to create an aspirational, two-minute animation of the highest possible quality, for the most sensitive and emotional project we’ve ever completed.

Construction of the Christchurch Earthquake National Memorial Wall is planned to be situated on the banks of the city’s Avon River. CERA ran a design competition and in May 2015 the winning entry was won by Slovenian architect Grega Vezjak. The entire Memorial will be completed in time for the commemorations on 22 February 2017.

Our brief from the client was to create a presentation for social media that captured the essence, emotion and architectural beauty of the Avon river site. Plus pay respect to those who lost their lives; those who lost friends and family; those who stood in the face of adversity; and those who helped in the rescue operation.

All-in-all, the animation needed to pay respect to the overall project and give hope for the future.

Careful attention to detail was paid to each individual scene with multiple rendered passes crafted together to achieve the final surreal visualisation style.

A lovely representation – much better than the drawings shown at an earlier time.

Real-time Virtual Reality

As well as producing a linear animation we also decided to develop the entire 3d animation within a Real-time Virtual Reality environment to allow viewers to virtually experience it first-hand.
Viewers are free to walk around and explore the memorial as they wish with incorporated sound effects to aid with the immersive real-time experience. The sound of the Avon River increases as the viewer walks closer to it, and realistically playback in stereo, depending on which direction the viewer is facing to the river.

360 youtube video

Additional to this Real-time VR environment model Buildmedia also created a 360 degree video.

During playback the viewer can literally point the camera in any direction either using a mouse, or if using a late model handheld device, your gyro sensor can be used – simply point the camera in the direction you would like to look while playing the video.

Note that this is a relatively new technology that will require running directly within your device Youtube app to have access to this feature. To see it on your handheld device please click this youtube link.

Although sound effects were an important part of the project, we didn’t want them to overpower the visual presentation. Attention to other detail was crucial. The movement of water, floating leaves and soft human motions all required a great amount of time and care to get right.

Having friends and family affected by the tragedy, Buildmedia is proud to have created the 3d visualisation that’s close to our hearts.

We’re thrilled with the result and we hope the public enjoys it, too.

Awww thats beautiful, it brought a tear to my eye