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.

via Science Dump

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Comments (6)
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  • 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?

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