Professor Fletcher’s invention of the CellScope, which is a Nokia device with a microscope attachment, was the inspiration for a teeny-tiny film created by Sumo Science at Aardman, Dot. It stars a 9mm girl called Dot as she struggles through a microscopic world. All the minuscule detail was shot using CellScope technology and a Nokia N8, with its 12 megapixel camera and Carl Zeiss optics.

Shooting only four seconds of footage per day, the team worked painstakingly to produce the movie. Rather than create a model for the lead character which could be manipulated (a la Wallace and Gromit), the team instead created 50 versions of her. Each Dot model started life as a sketch on paper which was then turned into a 3D render before being printed on a 3D printer. The models were then attached to a metal rod before being painted – the artist involved in painting basically couldn’t speak or breath as he applied his brushstrokes to the 9mm high models of Dot.

Professor Fletcher’s invention of the Cellscope enables doctors in remote places to take pictures of blood samples with a mobile phone camera before sending them off for analysis. It is currently being tested in Uganda and has proven successful at helping to detect Malaria. Whilst the concept worked for Aardman, they had to come up with their own variant in order to get the required depth of field for the images. With a few thousand frames shot on the N8’s 12-megapixel camera, these were then stitched together to create the finished movie.

Talk about it!