A Very Minke Weekend

  Early stages of the minke

Early stages of the minke

Marlo here. I've been in my studio this rainy weekend, making a minke whale for Kev to animate.

Minke whales are baleen whales, meaning they have baleen plates that filter krill and small fish from the water. Despite being the smallest of the "great whales" or "rorquals" (which include humpbacks and blue whales, among others), minke whales are still huge mammals, up to over 10 meters (35 feet) long.

While I was lucky enough to see a minke whale in the Ross Sea last year, I'd never really looked closely at pictures of them until I sat down to paint one. They have rather long faces and such appealing patterning. 

  Ready to be digitized prior to animation.

Ready to be digitized prior to animation.

Once I'd made her, I had to disect her...

Then it was up to Kev to wave his magic wand (or whatever mysterious coding alchemy he performs). And by the wee small hours, UK time, he had!

Ms. Minke lives! But now she needs a final touch...

Minke05.gif

Voilà!

There are two subspecies of minke whale: the common (or northern) minke and the Antarctic (or southern) minke. Our minke is the latter. Why are we creating an Antarctic minke? It's one part of the animation we're making about Antarctica's Thwaites Glacier, a glacier of such urgent concern that the US National Science Foundation and the UK Natural Environment Research Council have teamed up in a massive project to study it.

THWAITES Graphic2.0.jpg