Birth of a Spartan
The short showcases the SPARTAN-IIIs, members of a project to create economical and expendable super soldiers and successors of the SPARTAN-IIs. It depicts the transformation of Carter-A259 from a teen trainee to a superhuman Spartan supersoldier.
The muted colors and the lighting in the short were intentional design choices, to make the world feel realistic despite the sci-fi setting. The shot of the surface of Onyx was shot at a coal mine, although the truck driving through the scene was filmed in a different location and added to the shot digitally, as the filming team could not get the truck into the coal mine. The cliff and the monolithic UNSC base were both added digitally, and the base's design was inspired by architecture in Prague. The Pelican dropship, as well as the model of the UNSC Hopeful, were re-textured higher-resolution models of Halo: Reach in-game assets. The planet Onyx seen from the windows is a matte painting.
The operating room featured real, working Mitsubishi robot arms with moving drills. It was noted that the team spent some time rehearsing the use of the robotic arms, and that the needle that is shown going into Carter's arm was retractable. The camera that follows Carter during the augmentations, as well as the view screens in the operating room, were digitally inserted. The shots of the augmentation liquid going through tubes in Carter’s skin and the resulting vein effect were achieved digitally, with the interior of the vein being a matte painting. The needle was actually a live action element that was punctured through "some fleshy material". The final overhead shot of Carter waking up also involved matte painting work of the environment beyond the bed.