Based on the content of the National Geographic Channel’s new series “Rebuilding Titanic” and aimed at an audience of individuals intrigued by the ill-fated ship—historians, teachers, students—the visual design and content of this site stylistically leverage the grace of the Edwardian era.

Thanks to historical content that includes rare historical film and photography this site is a key Titanic resource. The most exciting piece is the core interactive that puts extensive content—how the ship was conceived and built over a four-year period—into context and throws light on how massive an undertaking it was to create this nautical legend.

The navigation differs from a run-of-the-mill timeline interactive and is instead more of a virtual time-machine that the audience can control. Visitors can play out the time-lapse video between each milestone in natural chronological progression or grab the timeline and move it forward and backwards (placing visitors in the role of time-traveling observer as opposed to the guy running the slide projector).

• The project launched at the end of March 2011 with the core interactive concept in place—capturing the deconstruction of a detailed model of Titanic in stop-motion. It took two-and-half months to bring the site to life.

• Historical research and securing content from the period was a heavy part of the process in order to do justice to the history the style of the period.

• The site contains one primary master video experience (a time-lapse video of the ship’s construction) and more than 100 other content features like video, images and historical facts.

• The core interactive separates the Titanic’s construction into seven individual sections based on key historical milestones in the build process. The piece loads each milestone individually, then as each section is ready to be viewed, it begins loading the content and all other video assets for the next milestone progressively.

• By encoding the FLVs both forward and backward the limitation of video is overcome and it can be scrubbed smoothly in both directions. Additionally, the composited video was built using a combination of CGI and stop-motion techniques that bolstered the period style and historical nature of the piece.


Communication Arts

// From our friends at Communication Arts

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