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Originals

Osmosis Originals: The Rise of Humans

A short animation based on the ideas of author Yuval Noah Harari

Best-selling author and anthropologist Yuval Noah Harari gave a TED Talk on the unique attributes of human beings that led us to becoming the dominant species on the planet. We were inspired by his ideas and saw an opportunity to create a short animation to bring the evocative concepts to life visually.

“Seventy thousand years ago, our ancestors were insignificant animals... how did we come from there to here?"

Our ancestors, 70,000 years ago, as paper cut-outs

Creative approach

Creative director James Lawler and Senior Motion Graphics Designer Sarah Cortese worked together to develop the look and feel of the piece, imagining a progression from simplistic black and white paper cut-out animation to a palette increasingly dominated by color and light and dynamic networks, representing the key factor responsible for the dominance of homo sapiens: our ability to collaborate flexibly and in very large numbers.

Other creatures use their intelligence and communication systems to describe an objective reality.


Nation states: one of the many types of fictional stories that has enabled the success of our species.

Watch the video:

One of the exciting features of video is the range of possibilities. Using only the audio from Harari's talk, we were able to create a piece that is moving, informative, and inspiring. We often begin projects with very little starting material - an audio file, a few images, or just an idea. Often, those are the projects that excite us the most!