Liquid Assets MN: Seeing the Unseen (3d animation sneak peek)

Question: How in the world do you get the general public interested in something they cannot even see?

I am talking of course about underground infrastructure …

Some experts would argue, that if you cannot see a thing and it is not in your perception, it does not exist at all!

The idea that something is easily forgotten; or dismissed as unimportant if it is not in our direct view has been around for centuries.

You have heard the expressions:

  • Out of sight out of mind.
  • If a tree falls in forest and there is no one around to hear it, does it make a sound?
  • Far from the eyes, far from the heart
  • An eye evades a thing it does not see
  • Heck, an entire philosophy called “Subjective Idealism” was built around this very phenomena

So how do you get someone to care about something they cannot see?

The answer is quite simple …

And if you turn on the TV, open a magazine, or surf the internet … you will see MANY, MANY, MANY examples of companies spending millions of dollars to BE seen!

And I will tell you right now, the best marketers know this one simple rule: You don’t need to have the best product, or even the cheapest product. You just have to be first in the mind of the consumer.

Of course for that to happen … you have to be … you guessed it … SEEN!

I know, I know …

Water and sewer services are a public service and we don’t have big fat marketing budgets for slick ads, TV commercials and naming rights for sport stadiums.

Nope …

Our budgets are spent on-as they should- making sure infrastructure works.

Things like:

1. The pipes that deliver the water you count on for your morning shower and that very first cup of coffee.

2. One flush sanitary sewers that whisk away the wastes before causing sickness and disease.

3. Or the storm water systems that protect the environment and prevent your home or neighborhood from being washed away.

Pretty important stuff … AND … worth sharing!

That’s why it is essential that we continually find creative ways to engage the public and make infrastructure something that people can see and feel.

One such way that will help people SEE infrastructure is 3D Animation …

Ben Peters (BlueprintMN team member, Architect and 3D designer) created a 3D animation of ALL buried conveyance systems (water, sewer, storm, gas, elect etc) in a typical City intersection.

To drive home the point– of just how busy it is right under our feet– even though you cannot see it–Ben arranged to have all these pipes, wires and cables simutaneously lift up out of the ground!

Your sneak peek is below …


-andrew sullivan

PS; I like how all the pigeons are flying around and wondering, “What the heck is going on?”

PPS; Since Ben has joined our team I have watched him render buildings, water parks, a wastewater plant and a TV commercial. Wanna hear something really bizarre? On one of his last projects, Ben used a 3D printer to make a perfectly scaled plastic model of an apartment building … complete with colors! Not kidding. When the printing is done, you simply reach into the drawer and pull out a 3D plastic replica of your design.


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