Nat Geo's series The Great Human Race is part reality, part infotainment, showing mankind's development through the millennia as demonstrated by two survivalists, dropped on-location throughout the world. They begin as Homo Habilis, and each episode comprises a week spent surviving, using only technology known to be possessed by that specific ancestor. As the series progresses, the pair gradually gain tools, weapons and means of transportation.
Various scenes and characters were illustrated, which were then animated by the team at NTMG. The animated sections served as cut-aways during the live footage, explaining many of the details and techniques of primitive living and our ancient ancestors.
Production drawings for animated 'Demos', interspersed throughout the show, which was live action. The demos would help explain different survival techniques and aspects of pre-historical life.
The project was a massive undertaking: 10 episodes, totaling approximately 180 to 200 separate illustrations for the season. One of the greatest challenges was maintaining historical accuracy. Each drawing was checked and re-checked by National Geographic's producers and scientific consultants.