Designers make the time for documentary idents

Animated sequences designed by 422 South will appear on Pioneer Productions’ two-part documentary The Day the Earth was Born, which will be aired on Channel 4 in October.

The consultancy has created graphics and computer-generated images for the programme, which illustrates the gradual development of earth. It married 3D CGI with live-action shots to depict rotating dust particles and gasses transforming into rocks and becoming baby planets, says Pioneer special effects co-ordinator Kathryn Johnson. She claims the mix lends the content a more ‘organic texture’.

The group originally won a three-way pitch last Christmas and began work in January. 422 South’s London-based team, headed by producer Becca Saraga, developed the sequences, with the 3D content being moulded by 3D artist Niall Flinn, using Maya animation software.

The programme also employs additional graphics from M2’s graphic design division Code and special effects consultant David Barlow. Code designed and integrated a 3D clock, which was burnt into the shots so as to be running continuously throughout the programme.

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