Case Study – Nutritional Related Animations

May.31.2010 · Posted By - Rex

ISO_Shot2 (0-00-20-09) 

Production Company: Alvey Media Group

Client: Abbot

Role: Modeling, Texturing, Effects, Lighting, Compositing, Animation


A few months ago we had the pleasure of working on a couple of nutritional animations that demonstrate the effects of lactose intolerance – at a cellular level, on infants’ digestive systems.

As we have in the past, we worked with Alvey Media Group, a production company (and one of our first clients), to conceptualize and develop the animation, to be incorporated in to two distinct videos.  This article is about how lactose intolerance triggers allergens at the cellular level.

First off, we had to do research on several cellular abstracts – host cells, IGE’s, lactose cells, and histamine.  We had some video reference produced by other companies, a lot of illustrations from old text books to start with.

We set out using ZBrush to quickly prototype the host cell, the IGE antibodies, and the Lactose molecules.  We were going for a stylized, electron microscope video sort of look with both videos.

Since there needed to be potentially thousands of IGE entities in the shot, we needed a very low polygon model that used displacement to show almost endless detail.  The low resolution model featured 80 polygons, and was used with Maya particle dynamics to simulate the attraction and collision with the host cell, as well as attachment to the surface.  The tesselated (baked to polygons) version of the IGE molecule, was some 120,000 faces – We could not afford 120 million polygons in our scene.

We proposed a variety of simulation tests and renders for approval from the client.LactoseLactase_v2

Here is a shot breakdown for one of the shots (showing additional elements grafted in)


And here are a couple of highlight clilps of the 1:10 of animation produced for the project:


Any comments, questions, or advice greatly appreciated.

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