Lost World in the North Sea

The project

“Doggerland” is the upcoming exhibition at the Rijksmuseum van Oudheden in Leiden (English: National Museum of Antiquities), that opens on 25 May 2021. Motoko produced three animations as part of the exhibition about the area of land that once connected Great Britain to continental Europe.

The story of Doggerland begins in the time of the ice ages, when Doggerland was a vast grassy steppe. Over the past million years, the bottom of the North Sea floor was mostly dry land.

Mammoths, woolly rhinoceroses, giant deer, Neanderthals, and the first modern humans lived there, in a vast and rich landscape known as Doggerland. That prehistoric world was submerged beneath the rising seawater some 8000 years ago.

Read in English

The rise of the sea level in Europe, from the past into the future

The process

In collaboration with a team of experts at the RMO and Keen, Motoko developed two storylines about the intriguing story of the now flooded Dogger Bank area, starting a million years ago, through present time, into the near future.

We further developed these storylines into animations that are a mixture of infographics, maps and 3D shots. These are projected on two large screens that are placed at the start and end of the exhibition space.

The development of the Dogger Bank between 14000 and 7000 years ago, shown in three stages of the creation process

A challenge was to simulate the developing landscape in Europe around the Dogger Bank and the North Sea over thousands of years. We started with the highly detailed maps created by Olav Odé, which are archaeological reconstructions based on actual data.

With these maps as a basis, combined with elevation maps of Europe and bathymetric data of the North Sea, we were able to recreate and animate the landscape of the Dogger Bank in 3D and control the land and sea levels through time.

The exhibition

“Doggerland” the exhibition takes place from 25 May onwards, at the Rijksmuseum van Oudheden in Leiden, The Netherlands. Due to the current Corona measures, the opening of the exhibition will be helt online. Check the RMO website to find out how to see the exhibition.

Stills from the final animations that are displayed in the exhibition Doggerland, Rijksmuseum van Oudheden


Before Modeling And Animating, We Created Styleframes As A Visual Reference For The Animation Production

Before modeling and animating, we created styleframes as a visual reference for the animation production


Concept, design, animation:
Studio Motoko
Music & sound design:
Marcin Pawlukiewicz
Rijksmuseum van Oudheden, Keen Blikverruimers
Jeroen Schellekens