LC #42 Pipers Alley

View Full Version : BBC's "Inside the Human Body" - sperm cell animations

05-13-2011, 09:41 AM
I'm very proud to be have been a part of BBC's new documentary, "Inside the Human Body", which started airing last week. For the first episode, I worked on four shots for Jellyfish Pictures ( in London. (
Click here to go to the animation. (

The first is a plume of semen - the shot was fully animated when I took over, and I was in charge of lighting, rendering & compositing. We had to carefully make sure to make it look photoreal yet not distasteful in any way. The plume is a FumeFX vectorfield filled with Krakatoa particles.

The next shots feature a sperm cell entering the narrow space between the egg core and the egg shell, where it sets off a chain reaction, releasing material from "cortical granules" inside the egg, that hardens the shell, preventing other sperm cells from entering (very educational, working on something like this!) For these shots I was responsible for modelling (egg and egg shell), animation, simulations, lighting, rendering and compositing.

And the last shot is a forced perspective "wide shot" of the cortical granule reaction happening under the shell.

Stay tuned for breakdowns after the animations.

Software used:

3ds Max
After Effects

I hope you like it.

- Jonas

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