The top digital-effects house created over a million frames of CG and dipped into technologies normally saved for medicine for a gripping Discovery Channel series on the human body and its breaking points.

The human body is remarkable, adaptable and robust – but not unbreakable. What happens to the body when pushed to the extremes is the subject of the new Discovery series Human Body: Ultimate Machine, which features over 400 high-definition VFX shots by Soho-based digital-effects house Rushes.

The series comprises four one-hour episodes, which were shot and broadcast initially in high definition. The show details what happens to the human body in physical circumstances ranging from being tackled in American football to falling of a cliff, with storytelling momentum provided by a series of real-life stories that have been recreated.

Produced by Dangerous Films, the series features real-world and model special effects created by The Model Unit, and VFX, digital matte paintings and compositing created by Rushes.

At the show’s core is immensely detailed CG, showing how bones, muscles and the central nervous system react, bend and break under different circumstances.