How the Titanic Sank: James Cameron’s New CGI Animation

It was 100 years ago next Sun­day that the lux­u­ry lin­er Titan­ic struck an ice­berg and sank in the North Atlantic Ocean with 1,514 souls aboard. It was one of the dead­liest mar­itime dis­as­ters in his­to­ry.

Last night, the Nation­al Geo­graph­ic Chan­nel broad­cast the pre­mier of The Titan­ic: The Final Word With James Cameron, in which the famed under­sea explor­er and direc­tor of the 1997 block­buster movie about the dis­as­ter presents the lat­est foren­sic evi­dence of what hap­pened that night a cen­tu­ry ago. At one point in the show, Cameron, fresh off of his dive to the bot­tom of the Mar­i­ana Trench, gives a sort of “play-by-play” analy­sis of the mechan­ics of the dis­as­ter (see above) using Com­put­er Graph­ic Imag­ing (CGI) soft­ware. The trag­ic ele­ment is com­plete­ly abstract­ed out of the pic­ture.

For more on the Titan­ic cen­te­nary, includ­ing inter­ac­tive fea­tures and a 46-minute doc­u­men­tary film on the dis­as­ter, vis­it the Nation­al Geo­graph­ic “Adven­ture on the Titan­ic” Web page.

by | Permalink | Comments (6) |

Sup­port Open Cul­ture

We’re hop­ing to rely on our loy­al read­ers rather than errat­ic ads. To sup­port Open Cul­ture’s edu­ca­tion­al mis­sion, please con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion. We accept Pay­Pal, Ven­mo (@openculture), Patre­on and Cryp­to! Please find all options here. We thank you!

Comments (6)
You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.
  • Jide Goyea says:

    I heard in a doc­u­men­tary that the Morse lamps used by the Titan­ic and SS Cal­i­forn­ian caused some sort of con­fu­sion as the skies around the North Atlantic in 1912 made Titan­ic’s dis­tress sig­nal to become unreadable.Is this true.

  • Frank Libbe says:

    When the bow sec­tion com­plete­ly detach­es from the stern (about 1:22 in this video), would­n’t the stern sec­tion lurch upwards due to the instan­ta­neous removal of the down­ward drag?

  • paul earvin bibal says:

    what is the app used in that cgi?

  • Everett says:

    The CGI ani­ma­tion is amaz­ing. But, after watch­ing how the RMS Titan­ic sup­pos­ed­ly sank in the video, I could­n’t help but think about the pas­sen­gers and crew mem­bers who were trapped inside the ves­sel when it went to the bot­tom of the atlantic ocean.

    There are a lot of ways to die that are far more hor­ri­ble than in a sink­ing ship, but I just could­n’t imag­ine a more hor­ri­ble death than the way those peo­ple died in that sink­ing at the moment. See­ing the Titan­ic sink­ing in that video and know­ing there were peo­ple still inside made me imag­ine what they were going through in that hor­rif­ic ordeal, when it real­ly hap­pened over a hun­dred years ago. The thought sent a chill up a spine. Wow!

  • Everett says:

    In the last sen­tence of my com­ment, I meant to say “the thought sent a chill up ‘my’ spine”.

  • Max Vero says:

    I’ve read in numer­ous accounts that the sink­ing went more along the lines Cameron sug­gests in his fea­ture film; ie, the stern fell back onto even keel — rais­ing false hopes — but then began to up-end, either because the ship was still whole along the dou­ble-bot­tom and being pulled down by the sunken bow sec­tion, or because the weight of the mas­sive engines were now near the point of the break­age. The present recre­ation does­n’t allow for the stern to set­tle back before up-end­ing. Why this shift?

Leave a Reply

Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.