The installation, called Animal Watching, featured a massive video projection that transformed the canopy of trees into faces of eight different animals, including a lion, an owl, and an elephant.
Using 3D animation software, the designers were able to give the animals life-like expressions, which were aimed at more than 50,000 attendees at New York’s Electric Zoo Festival in Randall’s Island Park.
“The intervention goal was raising awareness about the destruction of ecosystems and animal species,” the studio explained.
Using outdoor festivals to promote such causes is a natural fit for the subject matter, and a great space to command the attention of a large audience without pressuring audiences.
The installation first debuted in Parque Espana, Mexico City during the Marvin Festival earlier this year. In an interview with Lost at E Minor, Maizz Visual answered a few questions regarding the process of producing Animal Watching.
Where did you get the idea for Animal Watching?
“Maizz Visual, directed by José Morente and Israel Villalobos, has experimented for over four years with projection mapping on trees with other video installations.
“But it was after reading an article about the WWF organisation claiming, ‘In the last 42 years, almost half of the wild animals have disappeared due to the serious deterioration of their habitats’ that we decided to make Animal Watching.
“We thought that by putting together the animals and their habitats, the trees, we were sending a powerful message.”
How long did it take you to complete the entire animation and projection process?
“Animal Watching is a seven-minute long piece that displays eight shorter animations representing eight different animal faces. To accomplish it we had to work firstly selecting the animal images to be transformed into 3D and then animating each individually. This took us about three weeks to finish it and to be ready to present during Marvin Festival 2017, Mexico City.”
What change do you hope to happen after people see Animal Watching?
“We hope that people, apart from being amazed, take a minute to relate to trees and animals with habitats, and doing so, think about how to preserve them. Hopefully, it will also make them think twice the next time they are about to light a fire in the forest or damage a tree.”