Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Unit 6- Medical Animation Documentaries or Videos

I decided to research also the type of Animation we are asked to produce. Although my target audience, is based around undergraduate students where I'm aiming to create dynamic environments but keeping the sophistication for a better understanding of the subject, I researched medical animation in different audience types, from primary or even earlier ages to a more mature audience.

I'll start the research by age type, and in the end I'll choose what type of animations I'm moving towards to produce.

I started the research by looking at a old cartoon that I used to watch when I was a child.

Once Upon a Time... Life

This series were really appealing for me as a child, maybe because I liked the subject or maybe because the whole process is explained in such a simple way, with friendly characters, that tell the story but also appeal to us.
It is a kind of a cartoon inside the human body, where the happenings are told in a interesting way for children.
These series not only had this time subject, Human organism, but also dealt with types of civilization of the Earth, from Dinosaurs to the humans of today, or a more recent subject related to the Oceans.
I can say this series helped to understand as a child many of the things parents sometimes dare t explain to their kids, like the fertilization of an egg, etc.

If I went this way with my project, having an audience of primary school students, character design would be essential to explain the whole process as it would appeal them much more and they would associate with them.

The Magic School Bus

Later in my childhood, I was presented to other type of educative cartoon, The Magic School Bus. Once again it belonged to the same age type audience, where a group of students would embark in different episodes to most unexpected landscapes, from inside a human body to the water process.
It also was an appealing cartoon, although we didnt have characters acting the story, we had a group of schools kids embarking in them, and their teacher explaining the processes in a simple way.

Moving towards older ages, such as GCSE or A Levels, the graphics to start to be more realistic, but yet appealing to this certain age, where the cartoony look leaves and gives place to rather more science-fiction types. Also the use of film opposing to cartoon animation can be perceived, where is a narrative, behind the occurring actions.
For this purpose, I looked at 3 examples related to the subject of exploration of the human body.

Look Who's Talking and Look's Who's Talking Too

It is a comedy film, the second being the sequel, where the exploration of the human reproduction system is visible in the 1st minutes of the film. As you can see from, the following clips the use of non related sound effects, such as background music, or the voices gives this comedic effect to the process which can be particular appealing to audiences of this age.
Where this audience show more interested to the film itself that the actually process evolving it

Fantastic Voyage

It is a film related also with the inside of the human body, where a crew of scientists embarks on a mission to destroy injury that a fellow scientist has. This film is delightful in terms of visuals, because it applies the abstractedness of the human body to create appealing environments to the audience.


Although, Aliens is not related directly with this subject, its concept art is a role model for the creation of really abstract yet communicative environments. Still inside the cinema field, the use of science fiction is a really good and interesting way of persuading audiences to enjoy the animation.

These pictures show what I mention, the connection with my project, the creation of organic environments beautiful crafted showing the abstractedness of landscapes never seen by men.


This film also is a good example of appealing environments, not only they are vast they also have the appealing factor add to it, this is possible by a extensive research into the human psychic and finding what we actual associate more to our likeness and what we don't.
As an example in this films, the use of fluorescent lights when the environment turns dark, it's one of these factors, the persuasion of our eye by the colour is just so effective that we associate them to what is magnificent and greatly beautiful. In this film, we also see this concept added to the characters, the Na'vi population, was produced after an exhaustive development from the first sketches to the final outcome, because it was influenced by what people associated to being friendly to us and what can be unwelcoming and uncanny. The colour used was also based on this concept, blue is an appealing colour and by make it lighter, it gives a sense of sophistication and association to what is cute.
This idea can be related with propaganda, where the visuals of the film is what really sells it and not the rather simple and many times told story of nature vs. man.

Now moving onto a more mature age, between A-Levels to undergraduate students, where the audience should have a better understanding of the subject presented, a level of sophistication is needed but not losing the dynamism used before, not only to persuade audiences to watch but also help them understand the processes more accurately. For this purpose, I researched rather more specific companies and their work in Documentaries and TV Series.

Hybrid Medical Animation Company

Hybrid is a company specialized in medical animation, where they use CG Animation to explore and demonstrate environments that are not possible to be shown. The idea in their animation is to keep the sophistication of the imagery and being able to send the process message across. Not only they produce really stunningly graphic animations with astonishing renders, but also they use the animation to communicate effectively.

Nucleus Medical Animation Company

Nucleus is another company related to the same type of work produced by Hybrid, the use of CG enables people to create the most abstract of the environments and actually animate them with a power of a click.

BBC Documentary- Science & Technology

BBC is also a good source to look at some really fascinating environments, they use medical CG Animation to create really interesting documentaries that can be watched by people of different ages, though the target audience is a more mature one, with a certain knowledge of the subject already.

stepping onto a more familiar field, is TV Shows or Music clips, this two examples can range from, GCSE Levels to undergraduates depeding on what each individual finds appealing.

Firstly is the opening sequence of a well known series of today's television.

House MD.

This shows a really distinct approach to the subject in which we are about watch, not only setting up the theme of the TV show, but also giving the sense of sophistication, almost saying "yes we know what we are doing". Once again the use of medical animation is visible to convey places only perceived by a microscope.

Also throughout the series is a infinite number of the same technology used, medical animation, though I could not find on Youtube.

Massive Attack- Teardrop

Most people know this musical group by listening to this song, though I mostly know them by using this video clip to accompany it, even though it doesn't have to relate necessarily, the use of really abstract environments to more familiar ones such as the reproduction of the human, are a different approach into the music field.

Finally for this project, I decided to go for a sophisticated and accurate approach to the subject, targeted to an undergraduate audience, though the creation of dynamism through environment and camera work is essential, not only to help understand the cycle, but actually persuade them to like the subject.

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