For our visualization series in geology, titled Visual Earth, we collaborate with educators from the MIT Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE), the MIT Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences (EAPS), and the University of Lyon 1 in France. We started the Visual Earth project in 2011 with animations of geologic structures, inspired by the Physical Geology Tutor (PGT): an online resource developed by engineering geologists led by CEE’s Prof. Herbert Einstein. Since then, our project has grown to include 3D interactive media in plate tectonics and climate cycles. We also collaborate with Prof. Nicolas Coltice and his team in Lyon on the Geosciences3D project.


We created the 3D animations in Maya and composited the videos in After Effects. For production details, see related posts in our Bits & Pixels blog.

Art and animation by Krista Shapton
Produced and directed by Violeta Ivanova

We especially need imagination in science. It is not all mathematics, nor all logic, but it is somewhat beauty and poetry.

- Maria Montessori