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Shark Week: How Was Discovery's Chompie Created?

Chompie's presence marks 25 years of shark week programming.

 

Downtown Silver Spring's favorite shark is here! Despite his ruthlessness, he seems to get the crowd going, with smiles all around.

Crewmembers started installing the giant 446-foot Great White shark Friday evening and worked into Saturday. From afar, it looks as though Chompie's body goes through the middle of the Discovery Communications' Building at One Discovery Place in downtown.

Chompie was just an idea 2006 until a scale model of the building with the shark was designed to help create measurements of the shark, according to Discovery Communications spokeswoman Tammy Shea.

Then, individually scaled clay models of each portion of Chompie were built. This process allowed for patterned pieces to be created.

The patterns were then scanned into a computer program and the file was used to direct a fabric-cutting machine to make each piece, marked with numbers and sewing directions.

Once the sewing was complete, a team of airbrush artists animated Chompie's features and brought him to life.

The five pieces, which include the head, two side fins, dorsal fin and tail are hoisted into place by a crane and then tied down using cables and ropes.

The installation doesn't stop there, Chompie must be continuously inflated by air with 10 air blowers so he doesn't go flat.

Shark Week kicks off Aug. 12, featuring Air Jaws Apocalypse, Shark Week's Impossible Shots and Sharkzilla.

Send Patch your pics of Chompie to Tamika@Patch.com or twit pic us @SilvSpringPatch!

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