What is Medical Animation?

Medical animation is a scientifically accurate, often 3D, visualization of an aspect of science or medicine. 

Medical animation is a field that relies on both scientific and artistic disciplines to create visualizations that are scientifically accurate and visually compelling. 

Medical animation takes scientific information gathered through research, such as protein structures, surgical techniques, signaling pathways, and microscopy images, and makes it easier to understand while remaining true to the science.  

What is Medical Animation used for?

Medical animation helps to make the complex, simple. Medical animations are ideal for topics that are hard to convey through words or still images alone. It often allows the audience to understand the inner workings of the body, device, or scientific processes, and clearly explain the important factors at play.

Often, medical animation is used to visualize and contextualize the molecular world, a scale that is hard to appreciate otherwise. In other cases, medical animation can walk the viewer, step-by-step, through a medical procedure by carefully visualizing the crucial details, which are often difficult to learn with only photographs or footage. 

The dynamic nature of medical animation means that viewers better understand how parts of a system interact with each other, or how they can change due to different factors. 

Who uses Medical Animation and why?

Medical animations are used by various clients, from academic researchers, to surgeons, large pharmaceutical companies, biotech startups, medical device companies, nonprofits, federal agencies, and hospitals. Their core need is to better connect their audience with their science, and they achieve that with medical animation. Audiences range from patients to healthcare providers to investors and researchers. Because the audience for a medical animation can be varied, the script and visuals are tailored to the specific needs of the audience for each animation. 

The possibilities of what one can do with a medical animation are almost endless. To name a few, medical animations can be deployed in presentations, training materials, conference booths, on websites, and virtual reality experiences. Not to mention that still images can be captured from the rendered medical animation for use in printed and digital assets, to present a cohesive visual theme throughout multiple media. 

How much does Medical Animation cost? 

The short answer is: it depends.

The slightly longer answer is: it depends on several things, with the biggest factors being the total running time of the animation and the level of detail used in the final animation. 

If you have a particular budget for your medical animation project, we can craft a video to meet your price range, by adjusting the length of the animation and the amount of 3D animation. We recommend a minimum running time of one minute for a medical animation. Typically, a 2- to 3-minute medical animation is ideal, allowing enough time to tell a coherent and complete story.  

Where can I learn Medical Animation?

There are many avenues to getting started in medical animation. Certain universities offer programs directly studying medical illustration.  Each journey is often different fusing science and art in unique ways

The best source to learn more about studying medical animation is through the Association of Medical Illustrators at www.ami.org 

Our team comes from backgrounds as diverse as computer science, film studies, medical illustration, art history, biomedical engineering, and photography. What brings everyone together at XVIVO is a passion for mixing their loves of art and science into the beautiful alchemy of medical animation. 

How do you make a Medical Animation?

With dedication! 

The process of making a medical animation begins long before any 3D models are built. The first step is researching the topic that will be animated, whether it is a particular disease, a treatment, a surgical procedure, or a signaling pathway. The next step is the voice over script – the foundation of our creation. Once the words and messages are set, our medical illustrators begin creating the vision for the medical animation, with sketches of key scenes and ‘characters.’ which are assembled into storyboards.

The initial phase of work is then put into motion when the 3D models for the medical animation are built. The first stage of animation is the animatic, which gives an early idea of the motion, depiction, and pacing for the animation; followed by the rough animation, which includes a rendered animation with colors and lighting effects; all of which is perfected in the final medical animation incorporating cinematic lighting and effects, rendered in full HD resolution. See our process come to life here. https://xvivo.com/scientific-animation-process/ 

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