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

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Posted by Janet on August 27, 2010

Oh, it’s been so long since I posted something here. Well, I graduated. That’s the big news. Now I work full time at Denoyer-Geppert, the medical model company where I interned a year and half ago. Eventually I do hope to go deeper into anaplastology and ocularistry.

While working towards graduation, it became increasingly difficult to focus on anything other than the research project. Even now that it’s over, I still find it difficult to start writing again. Hence, this will be the last entry on this blog.

Even during my long absence, I received occasional e-mails from readers with questions about medical illustration. I thoroughly enjoyed answering these questions. Please keep them coming and I will answer them as best as I can.

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Print Your Own Lamp!

Posted by Janet on September 12, 2009

I will be blogging less frequently for the next few months. I’m trying to graduate by December so project research needs to come first, and time is running out…

That said, I’ve been teaching myself Blender over the past couple of weeks and just came across this 3D printing contest for Blender artists. The contest is sponsored by i.materialise, a 3D printing business. The rules for entering are simple:
1) Register with forum
2) Design your own lampshade using Blender, following the guidelines here (click “Download Plugins” on the left hand column, then download the pdf followed by the appropriate files)
3) Post 3 screenshots via Reply here

The rules are explained in detail in the above link too. The top three winning designs will be printed and delivered to the winners for free.

The deadline for the submission is Wednesday Sept. 19. Not a lot of time, I know. I wish I had found this sooner too but I’m going to give it a shot anyway. How many other chances do you have to have your own lamp design 3D printed for free?

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The Rest of My Trip In A Nutshell

Posted by Janet on July 8, 2009

Since my last entry, my computer died and I was traveling quite a bit so I lived without the internet for a while. It revived itself a week and half later like nothing happened. No one ever figured out what went wrong, but I spent a week backing everything up “just in case” it dies permanently.

During this period, I traveled for one more week in California visiting various people and attending events, went back to Chicago to pack, and drove to Virginia to settle for my internship at the Smithsonian for the next four months. After meeting lots of artists and scientists and traveling across the country, it’s time to settle down once again to focus on getting my degree.

Today began the first day of my internship, but first, descriptions and images from the time my computer died, and the week before that:

6/1: Aesthetic Prosthetics
Visited “Aesthetic Prosthetics,” an anaplastology clinic located in Pasadena. Spoke to Stefan Knauss, co-owner of the clinic and alumni from the same program I went through at UIC, about materials, techniques, and challenges of opening a business in the field of anaplastology. Mr. Knauss showed me a few prosthetic arms which were quite impressive:

6/5: DreamWorks
Visited the DreamWorks studio in Glendale, CA. It took a while for the visitor’s pass to get approved, but my contact Shannon T. (whom I met through this blog) and his coworkers eventually got me in. I had a nice chat with Shannon before he took me on a tour around the studio to see the flow of the production process.

6/7-6/8: visiting Ed Ross and Sandy Ross
I flew to San Francisco and took a ferry to Marin County before meeting up with entomologist Ed Ross and his wife Sandy Ross. Dr. Ross is now 94 years old and still actively publishing. Sandy made goose eggs for breakfast. Notice the size of this yolk!

6/10: Stanford Lab and phone interview with Anatomical Travelogue
On this date I visited Dr. Paul Brown’s at Stanford University, who took me on a special tour of the medical campus and gave me an in-depth look at the medical visualization works taking place at Stanford. Special thanks to Sarah H., one of Dr. Brown’s interns and my former classmate, for giving me a detailed look at the current works.

This morning I also had a phone interview with Anatomical Travelogue, a medical 3D visualization company based in New York. Unfortunately there was a major schedule conflict due to my prior commitment to the Smithsonian, so in the end it didn’t work out :-/

6/12: California Academy of Sciences and de Young Museum
On this gloomy San Francisco day, I went with a friend to check out the relatively new Cal Academy building and the nearby de Young Museum. Here I am, standing on top of the “living roof” of the Cal Academy of Sciences.

6/16: Molecular Graphics Lab
Drove two and half hours from Pasadena to La Jolla to visit the Molecular Graphics Lab. I found out about this lab through the 2008 AMI conference when lab director Dr. Arthur Olson and graduate student/medical illustrator Graham Johnson lectured on the benefits of using physical molecular models as research or educational tools. Dr. Olson, Graham Johnson, and other professors and students I met in the lab showed me different processes involved in making both digital and physical molecular models.
MGL1Above: Rapid prototyping machine printing an array of molecules.
Below: The finished molecules.

MGL2MGL3Above: A display case filled with molecular models.
Below: Comparing relative sizes of molecules.


6/19: Huntington Library, corpse flower blooming
When news of the blooming corpse flower reached us, we decided to visit and smell the odor. A day too late, the flower already wilted and the smell had reduced from the powerful “rotten meat” to a weak “rotten vegetable” smell.

6/20-6/21: IMATS (International Make-Up Artist Trade Show)
First thing at the show, I give prosthetic make-up a try.
Below: applying spirit gum to skin

IMATS1Below: Bullet hole on skin with fake blood. Move one more foot away and you won’t see the edges anymore.IMATS2Below: Airbrush demoIMATS3Below: Museum area showing masks and props from movies.IMATS4Below: Student competition (second day, fantasy make-up)IMATS5

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Congrats, Graduates!

Posted by Janet on May 5, 2009

It’s almost at the end of that final push. Some people probably haven’t slept in days. But…graduation is near…or is it??

Congratulations to medical illustrators who are graduating this semester. Must be a relief to finally graduate!

To those who have found a job already–Congratulations to you too. Just don’t forget to graduate.

First year students–welcome to the second year. It’s time to really make the most out of your skills.

Good luck to those who are finishing up research projects. Suck it up and give it that final push. You can do it!

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Magritte with Rose

Posted by Janet on February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine’s Day from “Revealed”


Art by Rene Magritte
(rose added 2/14/09)

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AMI Stuff Posted

Posted by Janet on July 29, 2008

I have most of the AMI stuff posted, but I rearranged them back to the dates of the actual conference. Go here or scroll down if you would like to read it.

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AMI Day 5

Posted by Janet on July 20, 2008

By this day the majority of the people have left. There were a few morning lectures but overall things have died down. Most people left last night after the Versalius Trust live auction. I stayed, but ended up sleeping in and missed all the morning lectures.

Next year’s conference will take place in Richmond, Virginia. It’s a great opportunity to meet people, especially those whose names you’ve heard but haven’t met. If I go next year, I’ll definitely attend some workshops, and maybe stay for 3-4 days only.

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AMI Days 3

Posted by Janet on July 18, 2008

Session 1
Arthur Olson and Graham Johnson spoke about the history of molecular visualization and what they do at the Molecular Graphics Lab at Scripps College. The lab produced physical models of molecules using rapid prototyping, then used these models for educational and research purposes. Some models have magnets embedded in certain areas to simulate molecular interactions. Sensors attached to molecules or used by itself could be augmented with computer graphics to represent different side chains of a molecule (see below). Different side chains can be substituted digitally, and the molecules could be held in place on screen for researchers to observe the physical fit between two molecules.

Above: Dr. Olson demonstrated computer augmentation in real time.

Below: A physical model of the beta sheet structure. Magnets allow flexible parts of the model to snap into their most stable form.

Session 2
In this lecture, Charles Falco presented many evidence showing that artists dating back to the 1430s used optics to help construct realistic details in their paintings. Evidence of optics were discovered during a collaboration between Charles Falco and David Hockney, and this discovery is now termed “The Hockney-Falco Thesis.” Visit to see clips from the documentary “David Hockney’s Secret Knowledge,” read an article, or buy the book.

Techniques Showcase and Versalius Trust Silent Auction
In the afternoon, a series of small group presentations take place simultaneously in a large room. It’s like a mini-classroom where you can sit down with experts to learn techniques in traditional medial, digital media, and to get a closer look at visualization methods presented in some of the earlier lectures. You have the option to walk between station, or sit through an entire session. A silent auction takes place in an adjacent room to raise funds for the Versalius Trust. Anyone can bring items to donate. Some items at the auction include medical books, surgical instruments, watercolor palettes, anatomy models, original artworks, and anatomy-inspired jewelries.

Above: Graham Johnson talking about molecular models at the Techniques Showcase.

Below: Tim Phelps demonstrating pen and ink technique.

Below: Underside of a pair of shoes at the silent auction.

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