Advanced Graphics Illustrate the World's Extreme Infrastructure

Mike Senese spotlights a new television program on the Science Channel that uses innovative graphics to examine how the world's cities have been built to overcome the challenges of their natural environments and serve their citizens.
February 5, 2013, 7am PST | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Senese examines the Science Channel’s new series Strip the City, which "uses oversized CGI effects to take a very deep look into the engineering behind some of the most iconic municipalities and the potentially disastrous natural elements they must overcome. Working with architects, engineers and historians, the producers have unearthed the specific elements that help San Francisco’s bridge survive tremors and Dubai’s towering skyscrapers stand firm in soft, unstable desert sands."

"But it’s the way that these scenarios are demonstrated that make the show so appealing," Senese explains. "Using a combination of real video and computer generated effects, layers of functioning cityscapes are peeled upwards to expose interior and underground features, which then get rolled back to show their internal workings."

“We’ve done quite a bit of big CGI shows in the past, but never anything quite like this, where we wanted to show organically and in real life settings how the infrastructure around people milling around fits and works,” says executive producer Carlo Massarella. “We wanted to do it in a way that literally apart took the city around the people that existed in it to show them the technology that might be just beneath their feet or in the train or in the subway system.”

The first six cities to be featured in the program include San Francisco, Dubai, Rome, London, Sydney and Toronto.

Strip the City premieres Tuesday, Feb. 5 on Science Channel.

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Published on Thursday, January 31, 2013 in Wired
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