Elevate your content by emulating Hollywood…and a few other tidbits you need to know right now about Medical Animation.
‘Blink and you’ll miss it’ pretty much sums up how fast things move in our industry. Medical animation is constantly adapting to new technologies, employing more powerful storytelling techniques, and meeting the requirements of an ever-expanding client profile.
We thought it was a good time to take stock and give our take on what matters most right now – from the point of view of both clients and creators.
1) Medical animation is going Hollywood (and that’s definitely a good thing)
Our studio’s tagline ‘Where Science Meets Cinema’ is front and center of everything we do. We emphasize this “cinematic” aspect of our work which has resulted in many successful projects (and happy clients).
Why do we think the cinematic approach is important?
Because we know that, from advertising to feature films, there is a mind boggling array of dynamic content now competing for viewers’ attention on every screen they own. Although our clients might not have considered this fully, we know they have to match or beat this crowded field.
This is one reason we do our best to push the visuals into the cinematic realm This is one reason why we do our best to push the visuals into the cinematic realm. We aim for photorealistic lighting and textures, exciting camera moves, and fascinating organic animation – while, of course, ensuring that the science is always accurate.
But it isn’t just about the visuals: every great science story needs a good script. We do all we can to make sure the narrative is not simply reciting key messages, but also telling a compelling story. Our medical writers take an innovative approach, ensuring we have a killer story from opening shot to fade out. And in cases where an agency already has a writer producing the content, we can collaborate with them to ensure the story and the visuals work together to deliver the message.
The basic premise: if your audience is engaged, then they’re also getting educated, which is the purpose of your content.
2) Your MOA is just the tip of the iceberg
Repurposing content reveals the hidden benefits beneath the surface.
Imagine you’ve commissioned a medical animation from MadMicrobe, as a simple MOA video for a brand’s website. Only then do you realize its potential as a modified asset that your sales team could use when meeting face to face with HCPs. You ask us to go ahead and tweak the content, and now your MOA finds new life as an interactive AR app loaded onto 200 sales reps’ iPads, ready to be deployed into the field. Finally, you realize this animation would also make an incredible immersive VR experience at an upcoming live KOL keynote presentation. You set us to work again…
When requesting these additional assets, you are ahead of the curve because you have already commissioned the initial animation and all the assets therein. Repurposing can be incredibly effective, from a timing AND cost perspective, because we can always adapt your initial commission with a minimum of fuss.
Many of our clients are beginning to understand this potential return on their investment, and as a result we are having more conversations about the multitude of ways we can repurpose their content.
3) Medical animation is getting more immersive (AKA This Sh** is about to get real)
We keep a very close eye on developments in real time game engine technology, which is already having an impact on movie-making. Last year, Epic announced the launch of Unreal Engine 5 with Nanite Virtualized Geometry. This technology could make it quicker and easier to create as much geometric detail in animation as the eye can see. Another big game changer is Unreal Engine’s new MetaHuman Creator which now allows artists to design and create high-fidelity photoreal animated digital humans in minutes.
To sum up, medical storytelling has gotten so much more immersive and the lines between what is real and what is digital are beginning to blur. We are embracing each advance and taking our audiences to places even we could hardly have imagined a few years back. But we’re still hungry for what’s coming next in terms of technologies – and it definitely iscoming. So watch this space…
4) Medical accuracy is CRUCIAL
We’ve talked a lot about new platforms, new tech, and cinematic approaches, but it’s worth emphasizing that all of this is no more than pretty pictures without a credible medical approach. In other words, in 2021, medical accuracy still takes up the major part of our discussions together.
Our certified medical illustrators, some with advanced degrees in cellular biology and biochemistry, dive deep into the material and undertake whatever research is necessary to ensure accuracy; they then brief our animation team on the cellular and molecular processes to be visualized in a script.
Think of it (again) using the iceberg metaphor. Clients and consumers get to see the 10% above the surface – the incredible, eye-catching animations. Meanwhile, beneath the surface lies the 90%: the medical research, experience, and painstaking application of medical models to create accurate visualizations.
5) Virtual, augmented, and mixed reality are the future
Since even before the film The Lawnmower Man arrived in movie theaters, virtual reality had been billed as The Next Big Thing. Then it didn’t happen. And it still didn’t happen, etc.
That’s all changed. In a medical center near you, virtual, augmented, and mixed reality are widespread among doctors and medical students. They’re helping them conduct simulated surgical procedures, interact with therapies, and explore mechanisms of action and related disease states.
We predict that, now that it’s finally gotten going, this technology is going to spread its wings and really fly. And guess which animation company already has the assets and experience to create the virtual medical environments of the future?