- 4 x 60 minute documentary series
- Release Date
- 5th May 2011
To take audiences under the skin of the human body, producing photoreal sequences exploring what happens during conception.
Our multi-award-winning work on Inside the Human Body presented a uniquely difficult VFX challenge; representing an unfamiliar internal world in an engaging and new way that would appeal to a BBC One audience. With no reality to match or to base our work on, our team conceived and art directed our sequences from scratch, as such it was akin to working on a fully created animated piece rather than supporting VFX. We joined the project early on in the production, a critical part of both the development and commissioning of the series. We then worked principally on Episode 1 – Creation. The CGI look and approach was instrumental in leading the editorial and visual approach to the series.
When approached by the BBC development team to pitch the idea, our creative team recognised an opportunity to push the boundaries of what was achievable on a TV series. We decided to show the amazing processes that happen within our bodies in a narrative and immersive way rather than an abstract functional way. This allowed us to try out some new techniques and ideas, taking the lead from very strong creative art direction. This meant thinking about creating beautiful imagery and concept work first with camera positions that would enhance the scale and not compromise on our creative team’s approach. Complex simulation work helped add layers of detail that were essential to achieving the final look and feel.
The initial inspiration came from the photography of Lennart Nilsson. Looking at his magical imagery of the inside of the human body, along with the work of Jellyfish concept artist Chris Rosewarne, the team started to build up a picture of the way the CGI sequences should look. The principal objective was to create a world that would feel like it was shot optically in a very cinematic way, with a narrow depth of field, highly complex and beautifully art directed environments and a genuine sense of amazement at how the work had been achieved. It was important that it had a very strong photographic feel but still presented magical and “unreal” worlds of complex, immersive, cathedral type spaces.
The work we completed not only helped lead the look of the series but was genuinely new, different and beautiful. Our work on the project has been recognised by numerous award organisations including, Visual Effects Society, RTS Crafts, Televisual Bulldog Awards and the New York Festival.