A blog about scientific and medical visualization and all that’s involved.

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“Bones” Portrayal of Medical Illustrators

Posted by Janet on October 1, 2008

Any medical illustrator who watches Bones may have noticed that they haven’t exactly portrayed Angela’s character correctly as a medical illustrator who works at the Jeffersonian. Quite frankly, I thought the portrayal of her job was extremely one-dimensional. In past seasons, they’ll show a body lying in lab space, and a few seconds later Angela would walk out of her work space with a complete drawing of the victim’s face. How does she do that when the skull was lying in lab the whole time? There were also times when she would walk in, see the body, and mentally reconstruct the face in her mind from this half-decayed body, without making any measurements whatsoever. It’s really amazing. I wish I had skills like that.

Well, I’m pleased to say that this season there’s been improvements on that front. One of the earlier episodes this season actually showed her using a software to superimpose a photo of the victim over a photo of the dead body, and she actually said that she was using anatomical landmarks to figure things out. In today’s episode, she sketches from a clay model with pieces of skull fragments on it and talked about the difficulty of reconstructing the face with missing skull fragments. Realism. I wouldn’t mind seeing a little more of that.

Now that the show is working to show a more realistic side of Angela’s work, maybe they’ll start giving her a better understanding of science. After all, she’s not “just” an artist, like she often says in the show. She’s a medical artist 😉

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