Flight Patterns Deconstructed
Monday, April 27, 2015 at 6:00AM
Randy in GIF, Malofiej, animated, design

Flight Patterns Deconstructed Animated Infographic

Flight Videos Deconstructed is a fantastic animated infographic design by Eleanor Lutz at TabletopWhale. Eleanor is a designer from Seattle and has a Bachelor's in molecular biology from the University of Washington. She used to work in a research lab teaching mosquitoes to fly through mazes.

This week's post isn't entirely scientific, but I thought I'd upload it anyway since it's related to animals and patterns in nature.

When I worked in an insect lab as an undergrad, I helped out with an experiment about mosquito larvae. As part of the process we used a Matlab program to manually input the larva's location during thousands of video frames.

It was a fun experiment, and I wanted to make something similar from Youtube videos. I found slow-motion videos of five flying species, and mapped out specific points on the wings during one wingbeat. I ended up with 15 frames per wingbeat, and I connected every frame using imaginary curves that went through all of the 15 mapped points.

Of course, 15 frames isn't nearly enough for any kind of factual conclusion, so this week's post is just an art exercise. But hopefully you can enjoy this as an artistic pattern based on real life :)

Animated infographics distributed as animated GIF image files are making a resurgence, and I believe it's because they are easier to share online than videos or embed code for javascript animations. They work best when the animation adds valuable context and aids the audience to better understand the information.

The design is also available as a printed poster that shows the flight patterns by breaking out the wing motion into multiple images.

I had the pleasure to meet Eleanor in March at the Malofiej Infographics World Summit in Spain, where her design won a Silver medal in the online design category. The design work she is doing is amazing, and her talk on animated infographics was one of the highlights of the conference.

Article originally appeared on Cool Infographics (http://coolinfographics.com/).
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