The BBC is going to be showing a program with images of developing embryos (there are some galleries online) generated from ultrasound, cameras inserted into the uterus, and largely, computer-generated graphics. It’s all very pretty, and I hope it will also be shown in my country, but…these pictures violate all the rules of scientific imaging. The images are clearly generated by imposing artistic decisions derived from the conventions of computer animation work onto the data that was collected—I can’t tell what details in these embryos were actually imaged, and which were added by the CGI guy.
I can tell you that the way they’re rendered as free-floating individuals suspended in great airy spaces lit by a glow through distant membranes like stained glass windows is complete hokum, and the textures just look all wrong. They ought to be slimy, wrapped in membranes, and enveloped closely in maternal tissues. I hope the program includes some honest description of the process of making the images, with before and after photos, so viewers can see how much of the work is interpolated and artificially added.