Not long after I began working at Studio 2108, the owners of the Great Forest Park Balloon Race came to us with this project. They had a very old web site. For such an awesome event full of life and color, their current web site just didn’t convey the grandeur of the event … at all.
With the event being what it was, we were very excited to be part of it, and our first order of business was to sit down and come up with a design and experience that was worthy and reflective of this great St. Louis tradition.
At that time parallax scrolling web sites were just coming around and showing up on all the cool award winning sites so we thought it would be PERFECT for this event.
So we rolled up our sleeves and began conceptualizing not only a great design but also a functional experience that left the visitor with just a little taste of the awe they would experience at the race itself.
We didn’t just stop there. I built a custom log in system for the pilots. This way they could update their profiles and event needs instantly. Which was a big help to management that previously relied on paper applications and numerous phone calls.
If that wasn’t enough, I drew up plans to create a 3D representation of the Event Itself. I took pictures at the event to get a good idea of where things were and what those things looked like. I created the textured in Photoshop. I modeled the items in Blender. And set up the scene in Unity.
We didn’t stop there either. Later I wrote a custom app that integrated with Google Maps. Visitors could go to balloontracker.net and see the locations of the balloons in the event. The balloons themselves were represented with custom icons that showed the sponsors logo. As the balloons took flight visitors could track all their locations and see where each landed. It gave them more time to continue as spectators after the balloons were up and out of sight.
The Great Forest Park Balloon Race continues to be fun a fantastic project that I feel blessed to be a part of. Although it started in 2012 it continues to be a exciting project that I love working on.