Turns out this show on Tsunamis would have been just as relevant today. As Japan struggles to recover from one of the worst earthquakes and resulting tsunamis in hundreds of years we couldn’t help but look back on this show we completed for CBS Eye Too Productions.

The challenge was to explain to the viewers how tectonic plates work underneath the ocean floor. It’s obvious that while producers had to spend ample time explaining the concept, there would be no reason to include such complicated, factual information without visuals to help them understand. CBS has relied on TMBA’s animations in many situations like this and the tsunami show was no exception.

Tsunamis are a force to be reckoned with. And that goes for creating them in 3D as well.

Waves are impossible to put into a mathematical equation, which is at the root of all 3D software. To create realistic looking 3D waves, ocean spray and mist requires “cheating” or fooling the 3D software, which not many 3D artists know how to do well. Tim McGarvey, president of TMBA, happens to be one animator who has learned how to do realistic water well, which is why CBS hired Tim and the TMBA team to re-create this great underwater depiction of tectonic action.

Produced for the Discovery Channel, TMBA took the science of tectonic plate shifts and tsunamis and used it as reference to create a realistic, colorful scene that is as eerily beautiful as it is practical. As viewers watch plates rise and shift, stall and generate energy which is then released–giving a huge shove to a massive body of water–it becomes clear how these fearful, destructive waves get their start.

A great 3D animation from TMBA does what no other visual can–takes you inside the story to the places a camera can’t reach, and explains what the camera can’t teach.

Read More: What Causes a Tsunami

Category : tsunami science / weather graphics