Studio: Balance Studios
Project: National Railroad Museum - Pullman Porters Exhibit
Synopsis | Brand | 3D Animation | Print | Interactive | Broadcast
Synopsis: (top)

The National Railroad Museum commissioned Balance Studios to concept, design, and develop the multi-media and branding/marketing components of their newest exhibit "Pullman Porters: From Service to Civil Rights".

The overall goal of the exhibit is to "edu-tain"- to create an entertaining and informational story/experience with an exhibit flow-thru that peaks the interest and excitement of the visitor by providing an interactive verses spectator experience. The Pullman Porter exhibit combines the traditional museum exhibit concept of models and artifacts with modern and sometimes, ultra modern technology.

Balance began by recreating the Lake Mitchell railcar in photo-real 3D to be used as a fundraising and restoration reference. From there, the concept of a "virtual" Pullman Porter was accepted and commissioned. Working from a single black and white photograph from the 1940s, the Character Design and Animation Team designed, modeled and brought to digital life, Emanuel Hurst, an actual Pullman Porter, to act as the host of the exhibit. Using off the shelf and proprietary software, the Balance Animation Team meticulously animated, mocapped, rotoscoped, textured, lit and edited a striking recreation, that is sure to wow visitors for years to come.

Other multi-media components include the concept, design and development of the interactive history kiosk, fundraising and educational websites (, television commercials, web banner ads, and oral history films.
Brand: (top)

Balance developed and designed the comprehensive multi-media exhibit brand, which included logo design, brand standards, marketing and collateral design, and the “Did you know that...” concept.  

Logo 1Logo 2
3D Animation: (top)

Balance was also commissioned to recreate the Lake Mitchell railcar for fundraising and restoration purposes, Balance constructed a photo-real model of the train. Both the interior and exterior of the train were developed and displayed in multiple media environments.

Pullman Porters Exhibit - 3D Train Model Exterior (The Lake Mitchell)Pullman Porters Exhibit - 3D Train Model Exterior (The Lake Mitchell)Pullman Porters Exhibit - 3D Train Model Interior (The Lake Mitchell)

Using a single black and white photograph, the artists and animators at Balance created a photo-realistic, virtual exhibit host-Emanuel Hurst, an actual Pullman Porter. The team used facial motion capture technology and their proprietary software to capture the overall head and body movement with the detail of emotions found in the mouth, face, and eyes finished with traditional hand animation.

Pullman Porter 3D Avatar
Broadcast: (top)

Utilizing the exhibit concept, Balance combined the 3D Lake Mitchell and preliminary 3D AVATAR test animation to create a fundraising video presentation. In addition, a commercial highlighting the new exhibit was developed to attract visitors, statewide, to the exhibit.

Interactive: (top)

Featuring the fundraising video, Balance developed a website as a quick and accessible venue to send potential sponsors to learn more about the exhibit.

Pullman Porters Exhibit Website

Balance also concepted, designed and programmed a historical interactive kiosk highlighting music of the times, oral history video with actual Pullman Porters, as well as a short the film Memoirs of My Grandfather – a personal look at Emanuel Hurst through the eyes of his grandson.

Pullman Porters Exhibit Kiosk - Main Interface
Pullman Porters Exhibit Kiosk - Music PlaybackPullman Porters Exhibit Kiosk - Video Playback

Three web banner ads were designed to aid in the exhibit promotions.

Pullman Porters Exhibit Web Banner 1Pullman Porters Exhibit Web Banner 2Pullman Porters Exhibit Web Banner 3
Print: (top)

To establish a cohesive look and feel of the Pullman Porter exhibit, Balance designed the trade show brochures, exhibit banners, and the Gallery Guide and insert.

Pullman Porters Exhibit Tradeshow Brochure - CoverPullman Porters Exhibit Tradeshow Brochure - BackPullman Porters Exhibit 8' Banner 1
Pullman Porters Exhibit 8' Banner 2Pullman Porters Exhibit 8' Banner 3Pullman Porters Exhibit 8' Banner 4
Pullman Porters Exhibit Gallery Guide - Back/FrontPullman Porters Exhibit Gallery Guide - Inside
Pullman Porters Exhibit Gallery Guide Insert - FrontPullman Porters Exhibit Gallery Guide Insert - Back
 Balance Studios  |  1263 Main St., Ste. 212  |  Green Bay, WI 54302  |  920.433.9770