Armchair Productions director Stefan Wernik launches new Wonnarua Map creative project

Water Monster_02 (1).jpgArmchair Productions director Stefan Wernik has recently finished work on the Wonnarua Map project. The project involves a Google Earth style map which can be panned and scrolled with overlays that show tribal groups, language groups and animation that tell local stories or legends.

The tribal boundaries of indigenous cultures in the Hunter region of NSW were never well documented. The interactive map is a collection of the attempts to record this information over the past two hundred years and present it in an elegant way.

Water Monster_01 (1).jpgAs well as interactive overlaid information, local stories are linked to Icons on the map, which when clicked show additional material and animations. Wernik worked with Victor Perry, primary consultant, JunburraIsis River_01 (1).jpg Aboriginal Consultancy Services to get the design and information correct. Perry provided the historical and cultural information, some of which is collected in one place and visualised in the Map for the first time.Isis River_02 (1).jpg

For the animations the jumping off point for the character design, colour palette and backgrounds was art from the area provided by Victor. The elongated bodies and long limbed silhouettes seen in many of these paintings was reflected in the character design. The earthy palette used in much of the rock art is incorporated in the overall look.

The animation itself is a combination of 3D and 2D. Much of the backgrounds are matte paintings with addedBurning Mountain_01 (1).jpg 2D animation. The aboriginal characters are 3D but given a flat 2D treatment. It was decided to animate to the creatures in a hand drawn way to give them an other worldly feel. Effects animation was also hand drawn with everything graded and composited in After Effects.

Says Wernik: "We'reBurning Mountain_02 (1).jpg very proud to have worked with Victor on such a interesting project. The team worked hard to create a way of showing the information in an elegant and interesting way. The combination of a interactive map and animation does just that, it really brings these stories alive. The interactive area, is definitely something we're expanding into with future projects."

View more of Armchair Productions award winning work here.

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