THE MACHINE INSIDE: BIOMECHANICS 

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Spring Shoe has just finished producing four animations and numerous illustrations for The Field Museum’s newest traveling exhibition: The Machine Inside: Biomechanics.   



MUSCLES 

Muscles

See the video  2:37  14.5 MB


How do you compare parallel muscle fibers with ones that group together in angles?  How do you show how, at the molecular level, an increased number of sarcomeres in a muscle fiber can make it move faster?  It’s easy to overwhelm an audience with science.  In “Muscles”, we tried to use surprising examples to illustrate concepts by comparing them to an iconic muscle bound brute.  Surely, muscles as big and fine tuned as his would be no match to something as small as a crab or a squid, right?


THE BIGGER THEY ARE THE HARDER THEY FALL

This animation shows why fictional monsters such as Godzilla and King Kong were too big to exist in the real world.  There are some advantages to being big, but do they outweigh the inherent hazards?

  

Sizes

See the video  2:44  15.2 MB


SOME ILLUSTRATIONS

The Biomechanics exhibition's overall design is very clean and sleek, and to offset that, Spring Shoe was hired to inject some humor in wherever possible.  Besides doing this in the various animations, I worked closely with the show’s graphic designer, David Quednau, to come up with light-hearted graphics that introduce the hands-on, interactive elements throughout the gallery.   Here are a few examples:

Giraffe bloodpressure

The resistance you feel when the blood reaches the head equals a giraffe’s blood pressure (280/180) –more than double a human’s!


Chimp grip

The chimp’s hand probably isn’t much bigger than ours.  Their, longer, denser muscle fibers can generate four times more power in the same range of motion.  


insulation

Don’t let your blood run cold–insulate!


Dead spider

Have you ever noticed that a spider’s legs curl up when it dies?  Thats because the fluid that pushes its leg out straight has dried up. 


BassMouth

The Largemouth Bass gulps down huge fish with its gaping jaws.  An example of Linkages (linking bones).



The exhibition is open at The Field Museum, in Chicago until January 4th, 2015 and then will tour various museums for the next 5+ years.