Essential to the expedition, the architectural feats of Magellan’s Portuguese ships were built in massive oak and featured surprising properties. Their curved hull could bear several dozen tons of cargo yet also handled any sailing condition. Although they all looked the same, each of the five ships had a different size and volume. It will be important to reflect upon the historical reality of this maritime adventure to portray the everyday lives of sailors.
To represent the ships in their slightest detail, we will be creating 3D models of each ship to serve as references for our illustrators. Models will be based on the research of several Madrid engineers who have already compiled any existing information to recreate the fleet’s characteristics as closely as possible. A remarkable 1:24 model of the Nao Victoria—the first ship to circumnavigate the earth—was completed in 2020 according to these plans. It will also be set against a neutral background and filmed with as much attention to detail as what was needed to build it. This will show how food was stocked and how vessels were rigged and armed in the first episode, devoted the expedition’s preparations. The fleet’s five ships have been modeled according to similar plans and will also be filmed against a neutral backdrop to give an idea of the Armada’s magnitude.
Throughout the episodes, as a way of marking each important stage of the journey, each arrival and departure, whether in Seville, Rio, in the Strait of Magellan, the Philippines or the Malukus… Ugo Bienvenu, a master of wild scenery, will endeavor to draw a broad tableau from a distant point, giving meaning to the scale and showing the tiny ships as they would have arrived, lost at the very end of an unexplored world. These hand-drawn, lightly animated sets will serve as transitions between live action settings and illustration sequences in the same settings.