Most people have no idea what to think when they hear the term “scientific animation.” It’s easy to assume the only place where it might be useful would be in documentaries or e-textbooks, but there is an entire secret world of incredible artwork if you know where to look.
Investors, doctors, scientists, and students are the regular audience of medical 3D animations. While medical 3D animations are a valuable resource for investors, doctors, scientists, and students, there is an opportunity to increase their exposure to the wider public. This particular audience needs them from a purely practical sense, not appreciating the aesthetic. However, whenever these illustrations become popular outside the medical field, the scientific animation industry receives a well-deserved boost, essential to inspire the next generation of scientific animators to enter the field and help it to continue to evolve.
Cameron Slayden, CEO of Microverse Studios, is renowned as a leader in the scientific animation industry. Cameron and his team have developed Hollywood-quality animations for the medical industry’s most advanced and cutting-edge biotech and pharmaceutical companies. Cameron has a vision for the medical animation profession; he wants the public to recognize this art form and make people realize it is a separate genre of filmmaking.
The art of scientific animation demands a distinct set of skills that involves a harmonious blend of scientific understanding and artistic creativity. Microverse produces molecular and cellular animation for various clients, many of them highly confidential. Every time a biotech company develops a new technology, they have to explain how it works either to investors or to the users of the technology.
Pharmaceutical companies need to explain to doctors how their drugs function within the body. Every one of these stories inherently contains dizzying scientific complexity that must be carefully curated. It’s critical that the animators have a strong scientific background in order to produce accurate work.
For instance, most people don’t know that blood vessels in the liver look completely different than they do in other parts of the body (they’re full of holes through which the liver cells reach long tentacles to enhance their surface area). Most people don’t know that DNA only twists in one direction (bottom left to top right, like threads on a screw). They don’t know what siRNA is, how it works, or what it can be used for. To tell the kind of stories that are Microverse Studios’ specialty, the animators not only need to know these things already, but they need to be able to do the research to make sure that every tissue, every cell, every molecule, is accurate. Only then can they understand their clients’ novel scientific breakthroughs in context and portray them accurately and with the kind of cinematic flair that has won Microverse Studios so many awards.
Notwithstanding the lack of public awareness of scientific animation, Cameron Slayden, CEO of Microverse Studios, has proposed a promising solution. Specifically, he suggests the application of a narrative structure to medical animation as a means of rendering medical illustrations more accessible to lay audiences. In his own words, “The idea that commercial fiction story structure can be applied to scientific communication has been largely ignored in our industry, and that’s something I’ve targeted in my talks and articles.”
Cameron drives this transformation by leveraging his innovative approach, extensive 22-year experience, and passion for the scientific animation field. Under his leadership, the talented animators of Microverse Studios are harnessing the power of social media to give the wider public a taste of biotech 3D illustrations.
For instance, Microverse Studios has produced animations depicting free radicals reacting with DNA, genetically modified yeast cells releasing therapeutic molecules, and animation of progressive joint damage. However, this is just the tip of the iceberg of what Microverse Studios does.
Scientific animation possesses practical value while also representing a distinct category of fine art that warrants greater public recognition. The field possesses its own unique aesthetic that merits appreciation, encompassing a vast collection of museum-quality artwork within scientific communication that has yet to be widely observed.
“When it comes to communicating science, the most important thing is efficiency in the learning process,” says Slayden. He’s one of those people that prefers to stand and moves his hands a lot when he talks. “Detail in the visuals gives the audience context, which keeps them oriented and makes the story easier to absorb. A gorgeous aesthetic captivates the senses and creates an emotional experience for the audience, even if it’s a subtle one. Cognitive science has shown us that emotion plays a huge part in learning, so we take advantage of that when we’re putting together our imagery. Again, it’s all about efficiency. If we can get an audience to learn in two minutes what would have been a five-minute read or a ten-minute conversation, then that’s a win.”
Cameron strives to reshape the scientific animation industry by creating a moving experience for his audiences. He aims to attract the public’s attention and influence them to acknowledge the beauty, intricacy, and scope of this profession. “I want to inspire kids to grow up and be scientific artists,” says Cameron.
From mechanisms of action and disease to agricultural and medical device animation, Microverse Studios has produced impeccable art in all subfields of biosciences. Visit Microverse Studios to view the incredible exhibition of microcosmic wonders you never knew existed!