Sunday, June 27, 2010


The entire world seems to be busting into 3D everything these days (can't wait for NFL 3D, by the way), and I am no different. Well, mine's not really 3D. It's 3D in 2D images. It's complicated...D.

But how does one begin making a medical/science 3D thingamabob? Let us see!

First, I opened up a hemoglobin protein model from the handy dandy protein databank.
And it absolutely nothing. Super. But don't quit! This is just the un-pretty, data-type stuff. We're getting there.

Looks more protein-y. Wait for it...color!
This is the "ribbon model" of the protein, but it isn't very exciting. To me, it looks like something that I curled with scissors for a birthday present topper. So I added some fancy pants lighting, atmosphere, speckles, and depth of field, movie style blurring to get this:
Looks a little more Discovery channel now, right? We're following a de-oxygenated hemoglobin in a red blood cell! Now if I could only animate...but 3D studio max is not so easy. Case in point:
This is what the screen looks like when I modeled a neuron from the brain. This is the screen where I continually claw at my computer, wanting to reach in and just grab the model and move it with my hands. Tony Stark, please get on that. From this strange wirey screen, I rendered out this:
Eh, not so exciting. Put some of that fancy pants lighting and atmosphere in there and you get something much cooler:
See those neurons zapping away, trying to figure out whether I should go to Subway or Chipotle for dinner tonight. Ok Subway, you win this time.

After my first few weeks of 3D class, I can see the merits of making a 3D illustration or animation. However, it is definitely not without its challenges. For example, you can't tell by looking at my finished pieces how many times I cursed at the computer and swore off art and grad school all together. Hint: the number is large. But somehow I end up remembering every Discovery channel doodad or Pixar movie that has me drooling and saying "I want to do exactly that," so I come back. I feel I need years upon years upon years of practice to even hold a tiny candle to the the entertainment industry regarding 3D. But God help me, I love the entertainment industry. And the entertainment industry loves 3D. So if a=b=c, then...

1 comment:

Betty Westhelle said...


Waiting for another post. It is September now. Any surgery posts?

Keep in,