Human sperm created from embryonic stem cells

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Used to describe the complex research carried out by Professor Karim Nayernia at Newcastle University, creating human sperm from embryonic stem cells. His research paper was due to be released into the public and having seen a previous animation by the CfDR (Bio Transformation’s cloaked antibodies) wanted to include a visual story to aid disseminating his process. In the past, there has been increased ‘bad press’ with regards to stem cell research, the intention was to help alleviate this. The design challenge was to understand and decipher the key elements of his process, translating them to become visually interesting and communicating the story effectively, imagining an alternate reality. Both Prof. Nayernia and Newcastle University had no preconceived ideas regarding the process of delivering this information. It was down to my own personal approach to decide the best method and graphical context to use. The choice of 3D animation made the process easier to comprehend and the story more apparent, instead of static 2D illustrations. The narrative evolved over a series of meetings, sketch storyboards and wire frame animations. More details were included after seeing how easily and effectively the animation could tell the story. Attention had to be given to not over complicate or over design the key elements. One section involved a ‘hidden’ process requiring the use of a metaphor, explaining that something was happening. There was a fine line between realism and cartoon, subtleties in the cells splitting caused major issues. Sorting of the cells was characterised by a rotating arm with an illuminated green spinning ring to give the perception that something ‘hidden’ was happening. Another company regarded our animation as being significantly important that they took the time and effort to re-create a frame by frame facsimile of ours instead of using the one we created.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2009


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