In the world of specialeffect anything's possible especially on April Fools' day
Isn't that amazing !
they wanted flying penguins for a TV trail It would join a long tradition of BBC April Fools' stretching back to the 1950s but how did it happen ?
Want we wanted to do is create a hypothetical moment that might come from BBC's natural history unit and use it to talk about the sort of unmissable content you'd get on bbc iPlayer .
We're going behind the scenes to see exactly how the impossible was made possible The first stage was to find some real penguin footage .
Started by trolling through hundreds of hours of stock footage to find our best penguin shots in the BBC libraries .
It was then the job of the animators to create the flying penguins .
our task was really how to get a penguin airborne because they're clearly not designed to fly We tried several approaches I think the very first one was a vertical take-off most of it looked too comedic During the research we discovered one species of bird guillemot that seemed to most closely resemble the penguin this is pretty much what we based our flying penguins on .
We start off by building a very rough wire frame skeleton of the penguins and then that needs to be textured and lit to get the realism required for them to sit well into the stock footage .
with the animators underway creating the penguins it was time to film the live action and insert our natural history presenter played by Terry Jones
We'd shoot Terry Jones on green screen on a set of snow that we kind of made up to look like the Antarctic .
To make him look as if he was really in the antarctic he was sprayed with fake snow and ice and wind machines created a breeze on his fur collar The special effects people were also on set to check that the shots would work with the real backgrounds and animated penguins After the filming the footage was set to the post production team to bring it all together when an actor is filmed against a green screen everything that is green becomes canceled out and replaced with the required backgrounds .
for a job like this which takes in all forms of footage we got stock footage we've got live action being shot we've got computer generated penguins There's an awful lot of details that need to be taken care of to put together something that creates a believable piece of natural history .
So with the mastery of special effects the impossible was realized .
bbc iPlayer Making the unmissable unmissable