Prints / Dyax Corp ‘Kalbitor’

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Kalbitor is a prescription medicine used to treat sudden attacks of hereditary angioedema and the concept behind these three visually striking images created by TJ, through GSW, stemmed directly from this. The images had to realistically illustrate the different attacks associated with the disease. The oedema that is produced during these attacks was visually represented by the hand effect under the skin- this was the main concept generated for the pitch, which the client liked and went for. TJ combined both the use of photography and CGI, using models and our in-house photography studio to take the shots. The results: three photo-real and beautifully striking images.

Platinum winner at the Creativity Awards in NYC, as well as a Gold at the Clio Healthcare  Awards, and a National Addy Award in the ‘Photography, Digitally Enhanced’ category, this campaign has been widely acknowledged for its creativity.

Owner and Creative Director, Jim Nisson, said: “Medical Illustrations are normally very dry and for the most part utilitarian as opposed to creative. Your work for Kalbitor was so amazingly real, with a seamless integration of techniques, like photography and CGI, which really arrested our attention. One judge gave it a perfect score and another stated “good use of craft.” The entry has also received numerous comments of admiration from viewers of the winner’s exhibit at the design shows.”


  • Client | Dyax Corporation

  • Agency | GSW Worldwide

  • Photography | L J Hopkinson

  • Creative Direction | Taylor James

  • Complete Prod | Taylor James

  • Additional Photoraphy | Taylor James



'Behind the scenes'


We were commissioned by GSW to create three visually striking shots that illustrated the different attacks associated with the disease Hereditary Angiodema (HAE). Each attack is comprised of variable symptoms and these were the key visual messages that were communicated in each shot. The forms of hands creeping underneath the skin visually represented the ‘Edema’ that is produced during these attacks.


This was a complete production run by Taylor James from the very start. We received layout sketches from the client of each of the three shots and went from there. The benefits of having TJ run complete productions are manifold as it enables us to streamline all areas of production with a focus on giving our clients the highest quality assets with maximum flexibility in the least amount of time.


No two ways about it, this was a very difficult brief. Not only was it a challenge to create realistic CGI skin that matched that of the 'talent', it was even more of a challenge to convey the appropriate visual message of each attack while maintaining readability.

The 'Neck' shot is a perfect example of this balancing act as the 'attacking hands' are coming from under the skin but are simultaneously supposed to be conveying a squeezing or choking action as if on top of the skin. Getting this dynamic just right necessitated working very closely with our clients. This is where our streamlined production pipeline that we call Real World Rendering™ really shines. This five-step process greatly facilitates collaboration between all parties involved by bringing a simple clarity to the otherwise complex discipline of CGI. We break down the project into five easy to understand “Milestones” enabling everyone involved to know exactly where the project is at, where it’s going, and what input or feedback is specifically required at that time. By allowing our clients to play such an active role throughout the project we minimize creative setbacks and gain the benefit of their insights at the correct times, so that we keep the project moving forward.

Following this process we began by conducting a studio photo-shoot that took place in London. With an eye for how the photography would ultimately relate to the finished pieces, we were able to accurately direct the shoot so that all necessary photos were captured on the day. From there, we began by sketching out the shapes of the sub-dermal “hands” in order to get the agencies feedback on the initial placement of the attacks. Once this was established, a 3D sculptor was employed to digitally “sculpt” the hands using a piece of software called ZBrush. We were then able to take these sculpted assets and quickly composite them with the photography to give the client a very detailed visual representation of what the final images would look like.

Once the agency was happy with the all the various details in the sculptures and how they interacted with the “talent”, we then went about giving the sculptures a skin texture that matched that of the “talent.” Again, we were able to accomplish this because of the fact that we made sure to collect all the necessary data on the day of the shoot. This included doing a separate lighting setup for each model so that we could properly capture the skin over various parts of their bodies for the purpose of being used as a texture in 3D.

It is this type of creative management from concept to completion that ensures the success of a project such as this.


Taylor James was able to produce three dramatic shots that accurately portrayed the symptoms of HAE by utilizing photography, 3D sculpting and 2D compositing. It is our ability to efficiently blend multiple disciplines in a streamlined manner that enables us to produce the highest quality images that budgets and time will allow.
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