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The main focus of this graphic visually to me wasn't so much how a cluster bomb works but incorporating the 5% dud rate for the 644 bomblets each rocket carried. Instead of using text, I showed the ratio with 32 out of the 644 being duds.
For the Afghanistan War, one of my graphics was to show how some of these 'smart bombs' worked. The focus of that graphic was changed when a friendly fire incident occurred during the war.
The first time I created an Urban Warfare graphic it was a smaller, black and white graphic under a tighter deadline. As the fighting was nearing Baghdad, I had a chance to go back and create this graphic with help from fellow USA TODAY staffers Bob Laird and Frank Pompa. I was able to create a detailed Iraqi city block with architectural elements used in Iraqi buildings.
During my studies at Elgin Community College, one of my assignments was to create a technical drawing. I chose the A-10 Thunderbolt. Many years later, when I heard there was an A-10 graphic being planned, I volunteered specifically for the graphic and was teamed up with Bob Laird. It was an opportunity to feel as if my career had come full circle to some degree.
With the invasion of Iraq looking imminent, artists at USA TODAY were given graphics in advance. One of mine was the Patriot Missile system. Most everything was created in Strata 3D. Renderings were finessed in Photoshop.
Content Copyright 2013 Robert W. Ahrens
Visual Storytelling | Data Visualization | Graphic Design