Created in Maya 2017 for Kathryn Hadley’s PH 205 course.

This animation explains how multiple forces interact to create unique forms of tidal flexing on the moons of Jupiter. It can be complicated to consider all the effects of rotating, orbiting, accelerating, bulging, and gravity pulling that contribute to a moon being kneaded like dough (and thus warming internally).

The trick with this video was to setup all the effects quickly, by noting how Earth’s moon works, and then revisit each effect in more detail for the less stable interactions of moons around Jupiter. It was also very tricky to gauge how much to simulate reality verses separating out the different effects in a simplified fashion – to show how they layer on top of each other.

Exactly when and how Io speeds up and slows down during it’s elliptical orbit was the toughest thing to simulate accurately (we ended up closely studying a specific simulation at to get it right).

As for learning objectives, the teacher notes:
“The changing speed of Io as it nears Jupiter is a critical thing here. It is one of the main points of what I am teaching about orbital dynamics. This motion is addressed in other parts of the course, not just this video, and it would be confusing to students to stress Keplerian motion everywhere but here.”

Created with Tilt Brush, for Nicole Brown’s BA 390 course.

This animation sets up the major themes of this course, by laying out the 4 major elements of “marketing mix” and exploring what problems we might encounter culturally if there was no such thing as marketing.

This was set out to build each part of the animation around references to classic advertisements, the teacher prioritized keeping the tone light (for an international audience that might not recognizing American ads and movies). Thanks to the flexibility of creating art and animations in VR in real time, using Google’s Tilt Brush app, we were able to completely rethink and re-record each shot in this 3D animation just one week before it’s due date.

Marine biologists place sensors on sperm whales to track their vitals (by shooting the sensor into their skin with a gun). This sensor generates a long spreadsheet of numbers that is very difficult to visualize. Students are asked to look at dozens of different numbers that were generated during the hours that the whale dove deep into the sea to forage for giant squid.

The goal of this project was to display changes in the whale’s internals over time, along with all the numbers from their spreadsheet. The whole journey is sped up to take about 6 minutes instead of 6 hours. The teacher speaks over each section of the journey, giving context for the depth, intense pressures, lack of light, etc. as the whale completely exhausts it’s blood oxygen and muscle tissue. And as an added bonus we threw in two violent interactions with giant squid, as this is the reason the whale is diving (to risk death in order to eat).

It was animated in Autodesk Maya, enhanced in Adobe After Effects, with audio editing in Audition and the final assembly in Premiere.


pH and Plants is an interactive learning module about the importance of pH in agriculture. It seeks to explain the consequences of a pH imbalance, as well as a few common techniques to manipulate pH balance effectively.

The module is laid out in a non-linear fashion, and allows the user to explore at their own pace and order.  Adobe Illustrator was used to create the graphics and Adobe Audition to edit the audio, while Adobe Edge Animate was used to animate and code the module for the web.

The module is bi-lingual, English/Chinese. The flags at the bottom of the screen will switch both the on-screen text and the accompanying audio.

rus233: Russian revolution, Betsy Ehlers

This animation uses a series of authentic political propaganda posters and photographs to illustrate moments from the history surrounding them. The goal was to help students keep track of a lot of different players, groups, and complicated events which took place in a short time line. We also hoped to bring in some of the exciting and dramatic realities involved in the history, without derailing from the bigger picture.

While the original goal was to use projection map textures onto crude geometries in Autodesk Maya, like the end credits of Captain American The First Avenger (by Method Design (formerly Rok!t Studio)(more : ), we ran out of time and ended up just keeping everything 2D (with very limited animation). The original idea was also to deliver the voice over in rapid fire style of a 1940s news reel, but we decided to just let the instructor use their real voice and personality. In the end we also thought that it might help to repeatedly go back to a literal timeline covering all the events to help the viewer keep track of where they were as events played out. The opening planet was animated in Maya, and the image of soldiers running was animated in Adobe Flash, while the rest was edited together in Adobe Premiere and Adobe Audition (along with extensive photo editing and drawing in Adobe Photoshop).



wr121 : Choosing an artifact , Tim Jensen

This animation offers a wide variety of examples, with making any single item stand out as the the best option. The goal was to help students appreciate how many options they had, without making them focus in on one approach as more valuable than others.

We started out with idea of indiana jones hunting for an ancient valuable artifact, but eventually decided to drop that framing metaphor in favor of always going in many different directions with the imagery. This video was mostly created with a Wacom Cintiq monitor, and Adobe Photoshop. Drawings were compiled and animated in Adobe Premiere. Audio was recorded with Audacity, then processed in Adobe Audition.