2021 Shortlist

What’s going on with space debris?

Country/area: Spain

Organisation: Lavanguardia.com

Organisation size: Big

Publication date: 20 Dec 2020

Credit: Pablo González Pellicer, Mario Chaparro.

Project description:

 This piece explains the increasingly worrying situation of the remains of space launchers in the different earth orbits and how they can endanger new missions with the danger of collisions. All this in the context of launching new projects based on microsatellites for worldwide internet coverage.


Impact reached:

 The project was published in the science section of the newspaper La Vanguardia on the launch day of March 2020 in Google Amp stories format. Its diffusion was extended to social network channels, through a video version for YouTube, Twitter and Instagram TV, as well as in stories format for the same social network.


Techniques/technologies used:

 The first process was based on the modeling, texturing and rigging of the satellites and rockets involved, to later illuminate and animate it. For this, Maya Autodesk and its Arnold rendering engine were used. Once the animation sequences were rendered in 3D, we went on to video montage and post-production using After Effects and creating the sequence of all the phases of the mission and the detail of the instruments. Once all this was done, the pieces were rendered in mp4 weight optimized to mount them in the Google AMP Stories format in which we assembled the entire sequence. All of them on the wordpress platform.

What was the hardest part of this project?

 The most complex thing was to visualize the saturation situation in the Earth's orbits and to indicate the deployment mode of the new Space X starlink satellites, all unified in a single aesthetic visual format. As well as combining several narratives in vertical scrolling together with the base text of the piece.

What can others learn from this project?

I think that in this project, editors may be more aware of the advantage of animation as a narrative and descriptive tool, both in science projects and in many other fields of journalism. Likewise, you can also see how these projects can have output on multiple channels (video, social networks, stories) since they are designed to be multiplatform both in format and composition, to reach the largest number of users and readers.

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