Computing KS1 / KS2: Creating computer generated visual effects

Two young coders visit BBC TV Centre to find out how code is used in making Dr Who.

We see archive Dr Who footage, and hear how the storyline used to be limited by the number of Dalek props that could be physically built.

Science presenter Minna Kane tells us that modern episodes of Dr Who make extensive use of computer programming, particularly for controlling highly realistic visual effects (VFX) using computer-generated images (CGI).

The children meet programmer Cat, who shows them how she can make an army of Daleks using 3D computer-generated images and a duplicate command in the code.

She also demonstrates the RAND command, which can make the different members of her Dalek army move at random, making them seem more lifelike.

They meet Rose, who films them acting in front of a green screen before using a chroma key effect to superimpose them into the Dalek Parliament.

This clip is from the series Cracking the Code.

Teacher Notes

Demonstrates how code commands can be used in creating visual effects.

Could be used as an example of simulating physical systems as well as showing various forms of input and output.

Curriculum Notes

This clip will be relevant for teaching Computing at KS1 and KS2 in England and Northern Ireland, Design and Technology KS2 in Wales and Computing Science and ICT at Second Level in Scotland.

More from the series Cracking the Code

Computing KS1 / KS2: Programming a robot crocodile
Computing KS1 / KS2: Creating a simple automated driving simulator
Computing KS1 / KS2: Programming a computer game
Computing KS1 / KS2: Programming a robotic toy car
Computing KS1 / KS2: Programming robots to play football
Computing KS1 / KS2: Simulating the experience of F1 racing
Computing KS1 / KS2: Programming a webcam
Computing KS1 / KS2: What are bitmap graphics?