Video game technologies and 90 minutes of work.
American The Weather Channel warned of the consequences of hurricane “Florence” is so unusual that the weather forecast has gained viral popularity. If at first meteorologist Erika Navarro stood near the usual card for such transfers, then suddenly she was in the center of events.
The level of the water around it rose (“She is above my head, I could not stand”), the house was flooded, the tree nearly ripped up, and the car turned over and drowned – all in a television studio.
— The Weather Channel (@weatherchannel) 13 September 2018
A month ago, the production of such a movie for the channel would have been impossible: less than a week before the shooting, The Weather Channel equipped astudio with a “green screen” at its headquarters in Atlanta. Her opening was planned for the peak of the hurricane season. Also, the channel needed specialized software to translate Unreal Engine graphics into a format suitable for broadcasting – on a similar engine , short films by Neil Blomkamp, the director of District 9, were created .
According to the company’s vice president Michael Potts, about 18 months ago, the industry seriously paid attention to the quality of graphics that it can offer to the viewer. Seeing in this trend the potential for coverage of weather conditions, the channel invested in technologies that are used in video games (such as Fortnite) and began collaborating with The Future Group, specializing in interactive. Thanks to new technologies, the channel showed a tornado in the studio in June, and a month later – a lightning.
The Weather Channel receives data directly from the National Hurricane Center (National Hurricane Center). To create one specific animation for the movie, it took 90 minutes since the information was received.
We can control any number of scenarios, consider how high the water level, the height of the waves, their speed, the density of rain and clouds.
The Weather Channel is not going to stop: according to Potts, the demonstrations will also do for forest fires and other extreme weather events.
Representatives of the channel believe that animation of this kind is not only effective, but also of practical value. For example, viewers can more easily imagine the expected water level, and some of the doubters may push it toward evacuation.