On Sunday I was over in Toyosu and decided to pop into the Tokyo Gas Science museum. I animated the exhibit a few years ago so I was curious to see if it had changed at all. Surprisingly nothing had gone, actually there were a couple of additions.
The exhibits are targeted to give children a hands on knowledge of gas and energy information, but adults seem just as interested in the subjects as well.
And like almost everything else in Japan it is packaged with cute characters to make it appealing, thankfully so or I would be out of a job. Unlike my other character work which has cute factor only like Tokyo Police's Pipo-kun these characters seem to add (a little) meaning to the exhibit. Each character represents energy states so children can visualize the concept of energy.
By using touchscreens, AR interactive games and infrared cameras. It explains how we use gas in our lives and how we should conserve this limited commodity. Hands on things like cooking classes and science experiments make the museum quite a good day out for children.
There are many interesting examples of the history of energy and future technologies like fuel cells wind and solar power.
The most surprising thing for me was how my work had been reused so many times. Unfortunately with entirely different dialogues which meant lips were out of sync. On the upside the kids couldn't care less so I suppose it's just me being fussy. Considering the animation was made over the space of a few weeks Tokyo Gas really got it's monies worth. Looking back now I know why I was told to DELETE much of the mouth detail, not only to save time but so it could be reused over and over!
Some trivia, the original versions I made of the characters I made to look like towel and furry stuffed toys.A couple of years ago, fur wasn't being rendered very much so I really wanted to use my new software. I was told there was not enough budget for the soft look, oh well. Restricted again by the bean counters! Personally I really wished that went with the plush toy look - oh well.
more pics here