The creation of the Interactive Vernal Pool exhibit

Published Tuesday May 28, 2024

Concept visualization isn’t merely a buzzword in our business; it’s a crucial element that bridges the gap between complex information and audience engagement and understanding. Recently, the Cincinnati Museum Center approached us with an idea to create an interactive exhibit that showcases the importance of seasonal vernal pools in the Midwest.

What is Project Vernal Pool?

Vernal pools are seasonal wetlands that provide critical habitats for a variety of wildlife, including amphibians, insects, and birds. These pools are essential for the survival and reproduction of many species, making them vital natural assets to protect. Known internally as Project Vernal Pool, Kinetic Vision’s Visualization team was tasked with producing a realistic representation of the seasonal changes that occur in these important, but largely unknown ecosystems.

The final product is a six-minute time lapse video that showcases the movement and interactions of vernal pool wildlife across the seasons. The video, part of an interactive exhibit on display now, not only educates visitors about the importance of vernal pools and the rich biodiversity they support, but also raises awareness about the need for their conservation. 

The creative process

The first step of every project is to educate ourselves on the subject matter and understand our customer’s needs. For Project Vernal Pool, we collaborated with the museum’s experts to learn more about these important mini ecosystems. They provided us with detailed information on the animals, insects, and their yearly life cycles, which was essential in creating an authentic and accurate exhibit.


Just like in Hollywood movies, our visualization team utilizes storyboards to begin the creative process.  Concepts were created to define seasonal wildlife and environmental changes, including important factors such as fall leaves and winter snow and ice.

Digital asset creation, animatic, and animation

Once the storyboard was finalized with the client, three-dimensional digital models of the pool environment, water, and resident animals were made. This phase includes modeling, texturing, and staging the assets to bring the scene to life.

Movements of the wildlife were tested using an animatic, where stock images are utilized to block out their choreography and timing. Using the animatic as a template,  our skilled artists then brought the various amphibian and insect models to life by animating their motion to accurately depict their behavior and interactions within the vernal pool environment.

Asset composition and adjustments

The final step is composition, where the animated wildlife and environment are brought together. Through careful layering techniques, the fauna was seamlessly integrated into their natural habitat. Scene lighting, shadows, and textures were adjusted to ensure that the various wildlife appeared realistically as part of the natural vernal pool environment.

The Seasonal Vernal Pools exhibit is now on display as part of the new Get Into Nature Gallery at the Cincinnati Museum Center. Visitors are immersing themselves daily in the captivating natural environments that have been brought to life, and we’re honored to have been part of its creation. To meet some of the people that made this exhibit possible, check out the two-minute documentary below!

Our talented storytelling team enables our clients to educate and inform their audience using video, animation, AR/VR, and interactive content. To learn more or discuss a current need, please reach out to [email protected].

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