Journey of Medical Animation (Part-1)

Animation is an exceptional form of art that offers  significant information about the appearance of an object as well as its movement and interaction with its surroundings. It facilitates the artist to employ his complete imagination to generate remarkable impact. Earlier the source of inspiration for animation was nature. Animators observed the movement of living organisms and then built animations for industries other than Media & Entertainment.

Journey of Medical Animation
Journey of Medical Animation

With the  advancement in computer applications,  came in the new automated systems. A range of sensors (mechanical, optical or magnetic) have been used to record the movements of organisms, which convert it in to animated characters. This course of action is generally known as ‘motion capture’. Animation has provided new horizons in the field of medical studies, clinical diagnostics, surgical trainings, drug delivery and immunology. Medical animation is the simplest and best way for professionals and the general public to understand higher level of information related to intricate medical concepts, complex procedures and mode of action of any medicine or device.

Did You Know?

Max Brodel is known as the Father of Modern Medical Illustrations. In the late 1890’s, at a very young age, Brodel started working in Leipzig, Germany. He moved to John Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore in 1894 and was engaged to create illustrations for Harvey Cushing and other renowned clinicians.

William Fetter developed medical illustrations in 1960

Pauline Lariviere’s colorful chart showing intersecting anatomy

Brodel is credited with the invention of new techniques like ‘carbon dust’ for creating marvelous illustrations. It was specifically developed for his subject matters, along with the then present printing technologies. Soon after, carbon dust and cadavers  was  replaced by 3D renders and endoscopic cameras. Some other renowned contributors to the field of medical illustration included: William Fetter (1960s) who worked on a computer generated, orthographic view of the human form and coined the term ‘computer graphics’; Ivan Sutherland (1960s) who demonstrated the concept of graphical computing;  and Pauline Lariviere (1940s) whose unique style of representing the human anatomy and its parts in healthy, vibrant colours continues to be used in medical illustrations today.

Watch this space for our second part on how 2D & 3D Animation made medical animation a sought-after career opportunity.


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