E.O. Wilson’s Life on Earth is a completely digital textbook delivered on the iBooks platform. One of our goals was to make use of interaction to engage students with the material in ways not possible for a paper book. Of the 36 animations and illustrations I produced for the book, my favorite example is this illustration of the menstrual cycle.
This is a three-dimensional system that changes over time; printed texts must map all four dimensions down to fit the two-dimensional page. This inspires all sorts of cleverness; one approach takes a sliver of uterine lining and spreads it out across time to show changes in thickness at one point. That works for one point, but doesn’t show the whole system, and the mapping leap can be hard on students.
Here we had the luxury of a third dimension, time. We could show the whole system in 2D, and give control of the time variable to the student to let them experience the process forwards, backwards, or paused at any point to study the detail. Eye-opening!
client: E.O. Wilson Foundation
agency: Digizyme, Inc
role: Scientific Animator at Digizyme
E.O. Wilson's Life on Earth, Unit 4, Interactive 21.5 "Menstrual Cycle", 2014
available free on iBooks (link)
Evan Ingersoll, Scientific Animator at Digizyme: concept lead, visual design; 3D models, sculpting, procedural animation, shading, renders, composites, 2D art and visual interface elements. MODO, AfterEffects, Illustrator.
Background research, concept refinement, interactive programming, user testing, integration: Digizyme & E.O. Wilson staff  
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