5 Minimalist Animations that Convey Big Ideas

When we peel away the layers of complexity in a project, we are left with only with the message at its core. That’s one of the BIG reasons why minimalist projects can have a huge impact. Do them right, and they’re brilliant, but do them wrong, and they’re just boring. Here we highlight 5 animation projects that nailed the delicate balancing act of detail vs. simplicity and convey so very much with very little.

Patatap Will Have You Creating Visual Music in No Time

Well, this is addictive. Patatap is a ‘portable animation and sound kit’ which lets you create melodies by tapping your keyboard or your phone. Along with each sound a corresponding shape animation is played against a backdrop of color. On the desktop, just hit spacebar and the soundscape transforms, as do the colors.

360 Music Videos Are Here: Google Tech Puts You in Control

What if while watching a video you could look anywhere you wanted? We’ve all imagined it… and now that dream is here. Google recently introduced 360° video playback. Just move your phone around (or use arrows on your browser) and you’ll get a virtual reality panoramic view of the filmed world. It’s super trippy and we think it’s going to be a big deal.

30 Critically Endangered Species, 1 Beautiful Geometric Interactive

No matter how you put it together, we are in the midst of a huge extinction event. Almost as fast as we can categorize them, species are disappearing around the world… but there is some hope. Species In Pieces is a striking interactive visualization by Bryan James which assembles 30 critically endangered species out of CSS polygons, then shares the hopeful data on how groups are working to bring them back from the brink.

We’re About to Visit Pluto For The First Time. Here’s an Incredible Video to Celebrate

Right now, a great milestone in human exploration is taking place. NASA’s New Horizons, the fastest spacecraft ever created, is speeding towards Pluto for a rendezvous on July 14, 2015. The visit will beam back images of the dwarf planet for the first time in over half a century of space exploration.

This Jaw-Dropping Video Will Make the Earth Seem VERY Small

If you ever watched Cosmos as a kid (or just on Youtube) you know Carl Sagan loved to drop his catch phrase ‘billions and billions’. But Sagan didn’t just talk about how big everything was in the universe, some numbers are just too large to comprehend. This video explains the universe a lot like Sagan would, by showing it to us in a way we can’t possibly forget.

This Visualization Will Help You Understand the Unbelievable Number of People Lost in WWII

The Fallen of World War II is a documentary visualization that gives us a heartrending perspective of the casualties lost during the conflict. Created by filmmaker Neil Halloran, the 18-minute short breaks down the war’s tragedies, stacking them into a sobering tally of the people who lost their lives.

With numbers reaching into the tens of millions, it is difficult to comprehend the magnitude of the war, or how it compares to the conflicts of today. But with Halloran’s exceptional comparisons and storytelling, the magnitude of World War II is made clear.

These Two Visualizations Will Truly Make You Appreciate Musical Skill

Listening to a concert is one thing, seeing it is another, and this is something different all together. These two videos are the work of Stephen Malinowski, and his Music Animation Machine, or MAM. Using it, he’s distilled complex classical music pieces into colorful visualizations that help us to distinguish between the many instruments, and complex timings involved in performing them. It’s one more way to appreciate these masterworks.

Play the Daily Weather Forecast in a Box on Your Desk

Working in front of a computer (or any inside job) can really detach you from the world outside, so how about putting a bit of the outdoors on your desk? Ken Kawamoto has created the Tempescope, a device that simulates weather conditions for the daily forecast, playing it back inside a translucent box. Like taking a scoop from the air outside, the Tempescope is able to create environments from sun to rain, and fog to lightning.

Elevators in One World Trade Center Feature a Virtual Journey Through 500 Years of NYC’s Skyline

Riding the elevator to the top of the new One World Trade Center isn’t like any other ride – and that’s not just because it’s tall. Inside the five special elevators servicing the rooftop observation deck is a time-lapse video simulation that compresses 500 years of New York City’s skyline into the time it takes to reach the 102nd floor. The journey takes less than a minute and travels from swampy, tree covered Manhattan island, to the bustling skyscraper filled Big Apple we know today.