We Come From Stars – Periodic Table Animation for NSF
Have you ever wondered how the elements of our universe formed? Or, how does the periodic table of elements relate to astronomy…to us? For hard science, it’s surprisingly romantic to consider that we all come from stars. SayoStudio’s Nicolle R. Fuller created this educational periodic table animation for the National Science Foundation. We’re so excited to see the released animation and be able to share it with you. (scroll down to skip to the animation!)
In this animation, we diverged from SayoStudio’s more polished style, to explore a graphic, hand-drawn look. We’ve used this chalkboard style in still-illustrations before, and it imparts a level of energy and approachability that differs from 3d art. This example, a hand-drawn styled science illustration, was created for Sky & Telescope magazine’s Voyager Infographic.
However, in this case, credit for the style idea goes to Josh Chamot, NSF media officer. He envisioned an animation based on A-Ha’s Take On Me music (read this fun article from MentalFloss) video from 1984. We took that inspiration, and flipped the look to white lines on black, to better suit the astronomy subject. Initially conceived as a quick, fun animation for year of the periodic table, it continued to grow into a full production.
Working with NSF to Create the Animation
Josh Chamot and physicist Peter Kurczynski wrote the script, from which Nicolle mapped out the sequences needed. Next, she got to work animating spinning hydrogen atoms, exploding stars, and a sweeping view into our solar system. She used a mix of hand-drawn cell animation, and Cinema 4d’s sketch and toon to create the drawn animation. Overseen by Executive Producer Cliff Braverman, she continued to refine the animation. Adding in more exploding stars, editing details in the particle collider lab, and
You may notice the kids in the animation… fun fact, they’re Nicolle’s! We’d hoped to include more diverse kids–friends and classmates–but coronavirus made that difficult.
Presenting… NSF Periodic Table Animation, Enjoy!
Be sure to turn on your sound, to hear the wonderful sound editing and production by Amina Khan. To learn more about the science and NSF’s ongoing research in chemistry, physics, and astronomy, see NSF’s article.
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