Brian McGrath, Mark Watkins

Manhattan Timeformations

An interactive model of the evolution of the Manhattan skyline over time.

Manhattan Timeformations

Manhattan Timeformations

Technical Description

The project was constructed with the 3D modeling software form*Z by autodessys, Adobe Photoshop and Macromedia Flash. Exporting from one program into the other required a number of experiments. Data integrity, file size and download time were major concerns. Flash offers the representation of a 2D space in which to work, so importing 3D models into the program involved the flattening of the data and the sequencing of animated views. Flash works well with vector-based artwork. About one-third of the data remained vector-based from form*Z to Flash, while two-thirds were formatted as lots of individual gif files with Photoshop. Flash also allows the designer to consider the presentation of information. Thus, a variety of related interfaces were created to support the data. The designer learned much about Flash in the interim, and Macromedia was eventually kind enough to recognize the project in the Showcase section of their website (McGrath & Wattkins)

Particular skills and resources necessary to realise the project:
Architectural and urban design background and drawing skills, 3-d modeling skills, web design skills, public communication/exhibition design skills.

Hardware / Software

Software: form Z (autodessys); Adobe Photoshop; Macromedia Flash