So many different forms of life start off in a mother’s womb. While these images of animals in the womb were originally misrepresented as 100% authentic, real photos taken by implanting cameras in animal wombs, the real story is a bit different, albeit still amazing.
The images are highly realistic because they were carefully created from months of research on real ultrasound scans, but they are enhanced with computer graphics created by special effects company Artem.
It took several months to sculpt the models from clay and modeling wax. The models were made for a special documentary, which aired on Channel 4 a few years back. The documentary followed three animals on the journey from conception to birth.
Artem created nine highly realistic models of mammals in the womb. Artem writes on their website, “Whilst images obtained via these filming and scanning methods are exceptionally revealing with regard to foetal development and behaviour, the project required an altogether more filmic quality for numerous shots of the developing foetuses inside the womb.”
Technology still needs to advance more before we can see real animals in the womb with this much detail, but these carefully crafted models were made to resemble the real thing.
The original press release for the Channel 4 show didn’t mention anything about tiny cameras in the womb, but multiple news outlets had a field day coming up with all types of explanations for the highly detailed images, which appear almost too realistic to be made from models.
Mike Kelt, the managing director of Artem, commented on the wild rumors surrounding the images, “It was frustrating that we didn’t get the credit, but it was also a compliment to our work that they thought it was the real thing.”
“Artem Director and project manager Simon Tayler comments the only way to represent the full beauty of the developing creatures was to create a number of highly naturalistic models.”
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“The models were sculpted in clay and wax before being moulded and cast in silicone using a variety of special techniques. They were then painstakingly hand finished to show blood vessels, pigmentation and hair.”
“The wombs themselves were made in a series of large blow-formed acrylic domes layered with hand painted silicon rubber.”