It all started with a two-week research and development period to iron out any problems and dead ends. Luke Carpenter, working in house with the BBC Creative team, brainstormed the various concepts, coming up with ideas that were practical in the time available. At the end, Luke had a list of ideas which avoided repeating things that had been done previously, but kept the same sense of humour and lightness of tone from previous intros. He conceded that the project involved a lot of work, but it was also great fun because the BBC Creative team gave him a lot of freedom. Luke found time to try out some extra shot ideas to add to the list and, to his knowledge, they were all used. He added, "I would have liked to have kept going. Once you staring thinking in this way, you see 2 animation in everything."
From a modeling point of view, the starting point was the generic 2 that was used throughout. Then there were around 20 shots that used completely new models, all of which had to be created in Cinema 4D. There's a bookcase shot that uses some off-the-shelf models for lamps and chairs as Luke didn't have time to create those. For the others it was the speed and ease of use that was key. Luke explained, "I love modeling in Cinema 4D. I find it very simple and creative and MoGraph makes repeated geometry so easy to create."
MoGraph was also used for the dynamic shots such as the vase and pyramid particle shots and to model the 2 sculpture in the gallery.
Other plug-ins were used to help create the liquid and particle effects such as on the shot with an exploding pottery vase. Luke revealed how it was done, "The paint filling and the paint pouring over the 2 used X-Particles and RealFlow respectively. The others used stock footage. The vase was lathed out in Cinema 4D, manually chopped up then dropped into a fracture object. A dynamics tag was added and one of the 2 models was placed inside then... bang! It was very simple to do. The small to medium particles were also created in this way using a simple cube. The fine particles and smoke were stock."