I recently had the opportunity to work with Dominic Faraway, a talented and quite prolific cg animator/art director residing in London. Check out the life-size holograms he produced for a recent Black Eyed Peas concert.
Above: a B-Lymphocyte undergoes apoptosis (programmed cell death) in the bone marrow.
Below, the next two shots approach a macrophage as it engulfs immune complexes which have accumulated on tissue surface. There was an exaggeration of scale in order to get the concept across. The antibodies would be much smaller than what is shown.
All cg was created in Cinema 4D, with heavy use of thinking particles and the mograph module for many of the effects throughout. To allow for smooth renderfarm renders via the NET render module, all particles were baked using a separate cloner targeting each thinking particle group. I then swapped the particle geometry from TP and used it as a child for the cloners. The result is an identical duplicate of the thinking particle setup, which can easily be baked using the mograph cache tag.
For post work, I used the plugin Zblur 2 to generate good depth passes and then used Frischluft Lenscare in After Effects for the depth of field. Trapcode Particular was also used for some additional particle effects and smoke. Video Copilot’s Optical Flares was used rather extensively (perhaps abusively!) in order to accurately replicate the lens flares you’d get from teeny the tiny floodlights deep within the interstitial spaces of the human body. Viva la lens flare.