The most recent exhibition at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo is the Electric Fishes Demonstration Lab at the Amazonia House. The multisensory lab is home to a 5-foot-long electric eel, capable of generating up to 800 volts of electricity, and a number of other species of electric species. It was a pleasure to be involved with the development of this exhibition from its early stages and create a number of content pieces in different media.
One of the most popular displays is a bronze life-sized model of an eel built as an approximation of a 3D digital model that I created. When visitors hold the head and the tail simultaneously, their bodies complete a weak electrical charge and the model fish vibrates. When the model is idle the screen above plays a video I edited using real footage of the Amazon river basin; upon the completion of the circuit in the model, visitors see an animation video that I created to illustrate the uniqueness of the bodies of electric eels.
Elsewhere in the exhibition are panels with my illustrations and two additional animations that emphasize the differences between pulse and wave types of electric fishes. See a sample of the content created on the Portfolio page.
The Gulbenkian Science Institute commissioned me to direct and animate a video to be used as an online educational material in schools. Me and My Body is an appealing and accurate way to learn about organs, cells and the different methods scientists use to study them. The Portuguese version of the video (above is the english subtitled version) has had over 50,000 views on YouTube and received a lot of praise. The animation was distinguished with the First Prize for Educational Materials Category of the Ciencia en Acción Awards AND the Judges Special Award from the House of Science! These are two prestigious awards: the first attributed to the best educational materials produced in Spanish or Portuguese speaking countries; and the second given to educational materials for their originality, quality and teaching value by House of Science, a databank with lesson plans for teachers.
The Sant Ocean Hall is a permanent exhibition of the Smithsonian’s Natural History Museum. Many years in the planning and making resulted in a significant resource for the popularization and education of oceans as an ecosystem and how humans relate to it. At the evolution of whales corner, real size skeletons of fossil whales hang from the ceiling and an animation video features my landscape illustrations of extinct environments.
The permanent exhibition “Butterflies and Plants: partners in evolution” opened at the Smithsonian’s Natural History Museum. Acclaimed by the public, it features a live butterfly house and accompanying panels inform on the coevolution of butterflies and plants, featuring several examples from nature. I was commissioned to produce illustrations of a monarch butterfly that were later mounted on three-dimensional 5 feet wide wire structures to display at the entrance to the exhibition hall. I also created the illustrations of moths and butterflies in the animations that played on the exhibition’s website.