Jellyfish Pictures' Fight For Life VFX work: part one
FIGHT FOR LIFE – Trauma Vision baby shot
Jellyfish Pictures recently completed some sterling VFX work on the new BBC TV medical documentary series Fight for Life. 3D World covered the news of the cutting edge depictions of 3D anatomies the studio created in issue 94. As promised here’s visual effects supervisor and director Phil Dobree’s explanations of some of the work that went into creating the key shots in the show.
“This shot is from program 1 which focuses on birth. It highlights the size of the baby in the womb compared to the size of the birth canal and ultimately the width of the pelvis. As humans have evolved our heads have got larger and consequently it has become more difficult to give birth naturally. Our brief was to highlight this by using what we called a “trauma vision” look (essentially x-ray in style). The idea for these style of shots was to keep away from the strict x-ray look as this had been overdone in the past. The series also needed light relief from the much more explicit photo real and real shots of the body in trauma. We decided to go for this light “fresh” look.
“In order to achieve these shots in cgi we first had to have a considerable library of very detailed and medically precise models. We started with one male model which was essentially accurate with all the internal organs, circulation, muscles, skeletal system, nerves and brain in place and in proportion. We spent a considerable amount of time getting this model absolutely accurate and then adapted it for all the different body types we’d be needing throughout the series. In this particular shot we needed both the pregnant mother and the foetus complete with all these systems in place. This was just the beginning as these models had to all be able to be animated and posed. Normally we’re used to just rigging and animating “skins” of characters, for this we had to rig and weight not only the skin (the lightest part of the model) but ALL the other systems as well. This obviously created a very heavy model to work with. We had to create workable proxies to actually animate and then these needed to be swapped out at render time.
“The rendering as shown by the huge number of passes in this breakdown was no less complicated. We needed to separate out the various body systems for the compositors in Shake to put together and have the flexibility to animate on and off highlighting different internal mechanisms and traumas. Each system then had a number of passes rendered out for the compositors to achieve the final look.
“Highlights and glows were added to enhance incidence passes and more solid ambient occlusion passes were reduced in opacity or brought up in order to highlight different systems. The compositors also animated on and off a particular pass in order to draw attention to what the shot was illustrating. In this case the baby in the womb and the mother’s birth canal.”
To view the Trauma Vision baby shot click here
on Thursday, August 2nd, 2007 at 4:36 pm under News.
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