3D weather graphics for real-time forecasts
A new look for weather maps and a completely new system for producing weather forecasts at the BBC.
Layers of Met Office weather data displayed over true 3D maps using the New Zealand 'Weatherscape' system adapted specially for the BBC. Weather data is shared across all the BBC regional centres as well as online outlets. 3D broadcast graphics all rendered in real-time.
The BBC Weather graphics picked up a BDA award in the category 'Information Graphics' at the BDA World Gold Finals 2006.
A composite of an actual glass sphere from a heliograph with 3D Maya animations of refracted skies, using After Effects. Below : static tests and broadcast versions.
BBC Weather ident - blue skies
BBC Weather ident - grey skies
Here are some early tests and example of reworked cloud symbol. The classic symbols were re-drawn - just a few minor tweaks, mostly to help them work at small sizes on the web.
From 'The Cloudspotter's Guide' by Gavin Pretor-Pinney :
'The cumulus symbols were used to stand for cloud cover for thirty years until 2005, when the BBC weather graphics were completely redesigned into a dynamic 3D system, which showed how cloud coverage and rainfall distribution varied in real time. Whilst the new system gave a much more accurate indication of cloud cover, viewers complained that the way the camera panned and swooped across the computer generated map made them feel sick. But perhaps that was just and excuse and, like me, they were merely sad to have to say goodbye to the friendly Cumulus symbols.'
Replacing symbols with data-driven surface effects - early proof of concept
Base maps - early colour tests
Early colour palettes for 'day' and 'night'
Tests for cast shadows
Test : Observed (satellite) day / night. Forecast (sun and shadow)
Icon development : symbol + background
Icon development : temperature + background
turned out nice again
outlook icon on the BBC Weather home page
BBC Weather graphics : On air
'Grey skies' opening
Atlantic pressure with rain
Northern Ireland close up
The mighty Dan Corbett