Product Development Technologies (PDT)

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Vanishing Cultures

Client: The Foundation for the Preservation of American Culture

The project celebrates the 200 year legacy of photography by using the traditional medium to visually document the stories and people who represent our national cultural heritage. The images of these vanishing cultures and personalities will be captured by the world’s largest film camera: a camera so large it barely fits inside a semi-truck. The project seeks to pay homage to the people, their cultures and the traditional technologies that are all dying away and being replaced as our world is remade by progress.

“Our team has been involved in the development of thousands of products through the years - we eat, breathe and live product development under this roof,” says Bob Coon, PDT’s Design Director. ‘Vanishing Cultures: an American Portrait’ is that rare type of project that drives you to think outside the box and create something unimaginably iconic, while at the same time striking an emotional and artistic chord.”

In order to best communicate the construction and functionality of the tool charged with capturing these massive images, PDT set out to create an animation that walks the viewer through the creation and function of the unique camera. This camera, large enough to walk through, is a nod to the expert craftsmanship and timeless skill of a bygone age of physical engineering that is now crashing head on into an era of technology and digitization.

“Our imaginations were stretched just as much as our computing power,” says Coon. “The project required clever geometric interpretations and 33 computers cranking away night after night to animate the camera and its unique functionality.” Mark Schwartz, CEO of PDT, explains that project also adds an interesting new aspect to PDT’s portfolio, which is largely made up of consumer electronics, medical, and defense products. “We are thrilled to have been afforded the opportunity to help bring to light this incredible vision that melds art, culture, and history via iconic images” says Schwartz.


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animation Industrial Design Mechanical Engineering


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