BBC Earth – Origins of Life videos on DNA, RNA and ATP

We were hired by BBC Earth to produce a series of three animations to accompany a longform article on the Origins of Life. As this was quite a technical article, the videos were to provide some visual relief, explaining some of the complex concepts more clearly. These focused on:

  • DNA, and how it assembles and replicates, allowing the storage and duplication of all the information needed to build an organism;
  • RNA, and how it codes for proteins, which are essential for life.  In the primordial soup, it may have been the first carrier of genetic information, as it is able to store information, replicated and catalyse reactions;
  • ATP, which is used to power every cell.  Proton pumps create a concentration gradient, which forces protons through the ATP synthase motor, which turns ADP into ATP, storing energy inside them that can be transported around the cell and used where needed.

We focused on a high visual quality, while still using real molecular structures throughout.  You can read the article online here:

http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20161026-the-secret-of-how-life-on-earth-began

DNA animation:

 

RNA animation:

 

ATP animation:

Nanosat Launch vehicle for British Interplanetary Society

We produced this illustration of a small two-stage rocket, a Nanosat Launch Vehicle (NLV) for the British Interplanetary Society (BIS). It’s aim is to deliver small payloads to orbit, and has an approximate height of 9m, and is fuelled by liquid oxygen (LOX) and Refined Petroleum 1 (RP-1), a type of kerosene. It is based on the Reaction Engines (of Skylon fame) Blue Boomerang rocket design, which in turn is based on the British Black Arrow rocket, which is still the only successful orbital launch by the UK, launching the Prospero satellite in 1971.

Nanosat Launch Vehicle for BIS

Space Junk Clean-up at the Royal Society

We created this animation for Surrey Space Centre, who are one of 22 projects at the Royal Society’s Summer Exhibition, which features exhibits, talks and activites for all ages.

It puts into context the issue of space junk, and shows how Surrey Space Centre, in collaboration with others in the space sector, are building missions to test and refine methods for removing and reducing space debris.

The official spiel: “Since the beginning of the space age, over 7,000 tonnes of space junk has been generated – mostly empty rocket casings and dead satellites. Most of the objects launched into space are still orbiting the Earth, threatening collisions with active satellites. Our exhibit invites you to explore our flagship RemoveDEBRIS mission, which aims to be the first to test capture technologies that drag space junk back into the Earth’s atmosphere to burn up.”

Cleaning up Space Junk on the Royal Society website.

New Space showreel

We’ve just updated our space demo reel on the main page to include our most recent work from the year or so.  Watch it in full HD!

Our 2016 Space showreel:

You can still see our other showreels here:

Engineering showreel 2012

Science showreel 2012

Nuclear fusion educational animations – for Science Photo Library

We were recently hired to produce a series of animation clips for Science Photo Library, showing some of the complex nuclear fusion reactions that occur in the Sun, including the CNO cycle at the end. Here is a selection of our favourites!

Science Photo Library provides licensing of striking specialist science imagery, with more than 350,000 images and 20,000 clips.

Please contact us for more information.

Illustration of Biomass Satellite for Airbus Defence & Space

A series of two illustrations and an infographic created for Airbus Defence & Space to visualise their Biomass satellite, which will measure forest and vegatation in 3D over the entire globe, for the evaluation of biomass and tracking of its change over time.

Biomass illustration #1

Biomass illustration #2

Biomass Infographic

Read more about the project on the Airbus Biomass press release and BBC News

GMP-A satellite animation for SSTL

Our latest animation for Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd, showing their novel GMP-A satellite platform, which can hide away inside a launch adaptor ring, unfurling into a fully functioning geostationary communications satellite.

Epic zoom – atom to galaxy

Animation of a zoom out from the inside of a single atom to the entire galaxy.

The first scene shows a single quark, one of three making up a proton (red) in the nucleus of an atom. The nucleus is surrounded by electron shells (blue). The atom is one making up one of the bases (green) in a DNA molecule, which itself makes up a chromosome (X shape) inside the nucleus (white) of a human cell (red). The cell is part of the heart, and the view pulls back from the person’s body showing the streets and buildings of Manhattan, New York City, USA. The pull back continues to show the Earth in its orbit around the Sun, with the orbits of the other planets shown. The Sun is just one of some 500 billion stars in our galaxy, the Milky Way. The Milky Way is thought to be some 120,000 light years in diameter (about 1.14 zettametres, or 1.14×101 metres). The proton has a charge radius of between 0.84-0.88 femtometres, or 8.4×1016 metres.

Please contact us for more information.