Many of the medical animation studios are located here in the United States. That’s because demand for medical animation is higher here than anywhere else in the world. We can thank the big pharmaceutical companies and their deep pockets for that.
But today Street Anatomy goes across the pond to the UK to interview the owner and founder of the lead medical animation studio, Medi-Mation. I first heard of Medi-Mation after reading that they were chosen for the monumental task of re-doing Dorling Kindersley’s famous Human Body Book using 3D illustration. The book is gorgeous, well designed and gives a fantastic overview of the structure, function and disorders of the human body. Read about the process of creating the 900+ illustrations and animations here at Digital Arts.
In this interview Rajeev answers my questions about his business, how it came to be, the state of the medical animation industry, and gives tips to those interested in becoming medical animators.
Medi-Mation essential info
Owner: Rajeev Doshi
Specialties: Medical animation and illustration
Location: London, UK
Can you give a brief synopsis of your background prior to Medi-Mation?
I completed a PhD in Cancer Gene Therapy before I realized that I would only ever be a mediocre scientist. A friend of mine had just opened an animation school in New York (www.3Dmirage.com) so he agreed to train me if I gave him a hand with the running of the business. Thus ensued an intensive 3 months whilst I filled my brain with all things 3D it was almost like a 3 month cramming session!
Anyway, I returned to the UK and eventually found a position to set up the 3D animation department for a medical agency. I subsequently ran that for 6 years before getting itchy feet, leaving to set-up Medi-Mation in April 2006.
You can read a potted history of the early days at Science Magazine Careers
How long have you had your business?
Just over 1 year
How many employees do you have?
3 including myself
What type of computer programs and equipment does your company use?
All powerful PCs (Dual core, 500Mb graphics cards, 22 monitors!)
Software wise we use 3D Studio Max, Brazil for rendering, Combustion and After Effects for compositing.
Do you incorporate real human data sets (e.g. MRI and CT scans) when building 3D models?
Our core anatomy model sets are based on those from Zygote (www.3Dscience.com) and which we’ve upgraded in-house. They developed some of the original models using real human data sets I believe. However one very interesting technology is a plugin for Lightwave called Volumedic it allows proper 3D manipulation of real human data sets and which we have played with, the possibilities are huge for this!