Computer Graphics World

JUNE 2010

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■ ■ ■ ■ Science/Medical T he gestation period for a mouse is 19 days. An elephant, 645 days. A human, 280 days. But for an anxious, f rst- time mother awaiting delivery of a beautiful baby girl or boy, those 40 weeks can feel like a lifetime. As the baby develops from a fertilized egg to a newborn child, it undergoes rapid, radical changes. It is easy to f nd illustrations of a growing fetus at select stages, particularly where the changes are sig- nif cant: four weeks, eight weeks, 18 weeks, and 38 weeks, for ex- ample. However, it is highly unlikely that an accurate depiction can be found for every week during the development cycle. Yet, many expectant parents want to know what their unborn baby looks each and every day, from the moment they get the exciting news to the day the child is delivered. Are some basic features appearing, such as the heart? What about the hands? Is it a boy or girl? ° ey also want to know, What is new today? What can I expect tomorrow? ° is weekend? In three weeks? Artists from 3 Dart, an animation/visual e˛ ects boutique in Exton, Pennsylvania, have answered those questions in a series of 22 June 2010 animated videos that take viewers inside the womb to show an accurate depiction of a zygote as it evolves into an embryo, then to a fetus, and, f nally, to a newborn. ° e project, headed by 3 Dart founders Chris Ferriola and Michael Zurcher, includes seven medical animations—each averaging two minutes in length—for’s Inside Pregnancy series. Since the animations became available on the Web site several months ago, Babycenter has witnessed a signif cant increase in traf- f c. ° e work also helped Babycenter earn a f nalist spot for an In- ternet OMMA Award for Web-site excellence. Conception ° e project was conceived by Babycenter and production company Ikana Media. Babycenter had wanted to build a library of content for expectant mothers, and, initially, its plan was to send out a short animation every two weeks via e-mail to would-be moms who signed up on the site. ° e animations and other materials would coincide with where the person was within the gestation cycle.

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