Mechanism Digital Heightens Production Value of Two New Why Planes Crash Specials

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Mechanism Digital produced CG recreation for "Human Error."

Mechanism Digital produced CG animations for MSNBC

Mechanism Digital designed and produced stylized explainer graphics for MSNBC

New York, NY - Mechanism Digital (

), Manhattan based VFX and animation studio, has created dynamic graphics for two additional nerve-wracking, yet informative, Why Planes Crash specials. Produced by Peacock Productions, they will air on MSNBC as “Why Planes Crash: Human Error� and “Why Planes Crash: Fire in the Sky.� As in the first two specials which aired last year and this past spring, the graphics produced by Mechanism consist of CG recreations of notable airplane accidents. The crashes in each show were related to cause, as indicated by the episode titles. A firmly established rapport with Peacock Productions and the aid of project management software, Creation Flow (

), resulted in smooth and clear communication and approval processes. This in turn enabled Mechanism’s producers and artists to maximize productive time while developing more sophisticated animations than the previous two shows. For instance, in the earlier productions, Mechanism composited animations of 3D airplane models over live action background video footage photographs. In Human Error and Fire in the Sky, 3D elements and backgrounds were built within the 3D space of Autodesk’s Maya software. By utilizing the 3D environment, Mechanism animated the camera in all 3 axes of motion, eliminating visible photo and video edges; ultimately creating more dynamic shots. Lucien Harriot, Mechanism’s executive producer and VFX supervisor puts it simply; “The show’s graphics become more dramatic with each hour that we work with Peacock.� The major difficulty in producing shots with a 3D environment is that it increases the number and size of project files and layers, making them very render intensive. The time Mechanism saved in the efficient communication and approval workflow was absorbed instead by the finishing and final render passes. With about 20 different shots averaging 20 seconds each, and delivering groups of shots to Peacock within days of each other, the project required a tremendous amount of processing power. To meet the demand - and the deadline - Mechanism relied on a recent upgrade to their render farm which included quad-core processors with double ram.

About Mechanism Digital:

Established by Lucien Harriot in 1996, Mechanism Digital is an award winning digital production studio and a leading provider of visual effects for feature film, commercials and episodic television in New York City. The studio’s team of directors, artists and producers specializes in 3D animation, compositing, conceptual design, animated characters, digital environments and on-set VFX supervision.


Deborah Roth (646) 230-0230



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