3D Animation Process

1. 3D software viewport 2. 3D modeling Wireframe 3. Final Composite render

Medical Animation process

Many of the tools used for medical animation are the same tools used in the visual effects industry.  Storyboards provide the voice-over narration synced to a previsualized drawing or render. They set the key players and concepts and organize the storyline.  Once the storyboard is finalized, the artists begins modeling the scenes. Each object in the scene needs to be built in a virtual fashion as you would with a real-world structure.Each model required it's surface and physical attributes described with color, material, and texture. The scientific storytelling requires hours of research to cinematically tell the story accurately. Lights, Camera, Action! Lighting illuminates the scene to define the form and mood. A virtual camera   captures the 3D environment, in some cases, the camera is kept still so as not to confuse any storytelling or compete with animation of objects on the screen. Most often the camera will need to be animated as a cinematographer would tell the story. At this stage, it is important to have the final narration in place for the animators to sync the animation. Fundamental animation includes rotating, translating and scaling objects in space. With characters that means rotating each bone for each pose. Rigging is the term for the drivers of bone animation where underlying forms deform the shapes viewed on screen.  Once the modeling, textures, camera work, lighting, rigging, and animation are complete the computers and servers can begin rendering the frames. For many cases, this is 30 frames per second. A 3-minute animation will need 5,400 frames to be rendered. In most cases, each frame is a composite of multiple renderings. Which if tripled comes to 16,200 frames. Once complete it''s time for post-production includes sound design, effects and editing. Each one of these elements must be timed with keyframes to match the sequence. Text, leader lines, and other descriptive overlays are also layered on at this time. These frames are then composited in specific software and once again a computer is set to render all of those frames with the new post elements.  A sample delivery schedule demonstrated the stages of production and client review.

Software views: 3D programs, video editing software, compositing software, audio mixing/editing

Medical Animation and Medical Illustration software

A sample delivery schedule demonstrating the stages of production for client review.

Medical Animation Production schedule and client review


  • Kickoff meeting
  • Gathering Requirements
  • Research & Development. Scientific literature
  • Stylistic Look and Feel. Mood Boards
  • Level of detail influencers of production cost
  • Character Sheet
  • Data clean up /CAD File conversion


  • Modeling
  • Lighting
  • Surface design
  • Animating
  • Rigging
  • Camera cinematography
  • Rendering


  • Compositing
  • Video Editing
  • Motion Graphics
  • Final Effects
  • Sound design
  • Syncing voice-over
  • Encoding

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