by Polly Bennett. Published: 18 May 2012

A 3D animation, illustrating design plans for the Inner Tracking System (ITS), was unveiled at the ALICE ITS Upgrade Meeting this week. Freelance animator Kajsa Christiansson worked with Luciano Musa, Petra Riedler and Stefan Rossegger of the ITS group to put together the clip, which details animated models of the proposed ITS Upgrade plans for the LHC long shutdown in 2017/18.

The ITS is the central most detector within ALICE, currently composed of three separate detectors (the Silicon Pixel Detector, the Silicon Drift Detector, and the Silicon Strip Detector) layered within two barrels around the LHC beam pipe. The animation illustrates one of the design proposals for the upgraded ITS in three parts: firstly, the design of the CMOS sensor of the ITS silicon tracker and its assembly on carbon fibre staves; secondly, the assembly of the inner barrel; and thirdly, the assembly of the inner and outer barrels.

Kajsa worked with the ITS group to plan, sketch and storyboard the clips before putting models of the designs in 3D and animating them. She summarises, “I was able to use some models that were prepared with CAD applications, while some had to be adjusted when brought into the 3D modelling programme. I also created other parts based on design sketches.” Following this Kajsa added materials, textures, colour correction and light to the clip to give a more realistic feel. The animation was then rendered in separate sections to allow for potential changes at a later date. Finally, the timing and sound was edited.

The process, from pre- to post-production, took about 4 weeks. “It was a very short time and therefore quite challenging, especially as some materials and the placement of several design parts evolved during the project. But it was very fun and exciting to do.”

Watch the final animation here: