Tech Showcase

Shortcuts, Plugins, and Workflow Tips: A mash up of tips, techniques and plugins to improve an animation pipeline.

Shortcuts, Plugins, and Workflow Tips: A mash up of tips, techniques and plugins to improve an animation pipeline.

Eric Small

The Internet has an infinite number of tutorials and forums about how to create any kind of effect imaginable.  But between the steps of those tutorial videos and forum entries are little nuggets of workflow gold: offhanded references to techniques and obscure resources that make production better, faster, or easier.

In this showcase, I’ll show my favorite tips, techniques, and several obscure plugins that I’ve discovered, learned, or created over the years to help improve 3d workflow.  All will be shown in Cinema 4D and After Effects, however, the concepts will carry over to other production software as well.  Techniques to be presented: Custom Shortcuts, Custom Layouts, Pop-up Menus, Application Update/Preference Migration Methods, Network Utilization for plugin syncing, Python Scripts such as Point Autorig, Splinewrap Autorig, Plugins such as UV Deformer, FX Console, and more.

Eric is a graduate of the Biomedical Visualization program at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  He is currently the technical director at Nucleus Medical Media in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Medical Sculpture

Medical Sculpture

Amanda Y. Behr, MA, CCA, CMI, FAMI

Do you miss getting your hands dirty? Do you have a digital sculpture you want to make a reality?  Join Amanda Behr for hands-on demonstration of materials for medical sculpture and prosthetics.  Don’t miss this opportunity to learn materials and techniques for impressions, sculpting, mold-making, color matching and casting a final product

Amanda Behr received her master’s degree from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine program in Biological and Medical Illustration. She completed internships in anaplastology with Juan Garcia at the Johns Hopkins Facial Prosthetics Clinic and with Gillian Duncan for Prosthetics at Graphica Medica in Rochester, MN. She is a certified medical illustrator and a certified clinical anaplastologist.

Amanda in the Interim Chair and Program Director of Augusta University’s Department of Medical Illustration. Additionally, Amanda is Clinical Director and Anaplastologist for Augusta University’s Clinic for Prosthetic Restoration, serving patients in need of facial and somatic prosthetics.

She served the board of the International Anaplastology Association as Secretary and President.  Amanda’s research interests include the affordable integration of 3D printing and 3D scanning technologies in medicine. She is particularly interested in the use of DICOM data and 3D printing to create custom surgical implants and custom medical models for surgical planning and education.

KeyShot Rendering: Photorealistic Renders in Minutes

KeyShot Rendering: Photorealistic Renders in Minutes

Leah Lebowicz, MS, CMI

This demonstration will introduce KeyShot’s rendering techniques and essentials. Learn how to add materials, labels, lights and more to render realistic 3D models all in KeyShot. Import 3D models with or without paint maps and achieve photorealistic renders in a matter of minutes. Explore how to incorporate KeyShot into your workflow in future work.

Leah Lebowicz MS, CMI is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Biomedical Visualization graduate program (BVIS) at the University of Illinois at Chicago. As part of the BVIS faculty, Leah teaches the 3D modeling courses in the program, which include software such as Autodesk 3D Studio Max and Mudbox, Adobe Photoshop, Materialise Mimics, KeyShot and Pixologic ZBrush. She also co-teaches the Visual Learning and Visual Thinking I and II courses. She is interested in improving medical education with the use of 3D interactive programs, specifically in the field of embryology. Leah holds a master’s degree in Biomedical Visualization from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Molecular Maya (mMaya)

Molecular Maya (mMaya)

Gaël McGill, Ph.D.

This Tech Showcase will give participants an overview of the existing Molecular Maya (mMaya) toolkit for molecular modeling and animation and, in particular, feature the most recently released dsDNA, Cytoskeleton, Molecular Modeling and Molecular Environment kits.  The presentation will combine case studies with live software demos and showcase a range of advanced production examples created with the software.  The goal of mMaya is to enable the rapid and intuitive creation of structurally accurate and simulation-­‐ready macromolecular models and should therefore be of relevance and interest to anyone creating static or animated molecular imagery.  Participants will also be introduced to the new training resources available on Clarafi to support their exploration and use of mMaya.

Draftsmanship: Sketching and Drawing in Photoshop

Draftsmanship: Sketching and Drawing in Photoshop

Emily Ling, MA

Emily will be demonstrating her approaches to sketching and developing an illustration concept in Photoshop that will cover considerations such as composition, color, and style. While this showcase will be using the digital program Adobe Photoshop, the methods demonstrated can also translate to traditional approaches on paper.

Emily Ling is a Medical Illustrator at the Journal of the American Medical Association and 2016 graduate of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Department of Art as Applied to Medicine.

Create Dynamic Physics Simulations with RealFlow

Create Dynamic Physics Simulations with RealFlow

Joe Samson, Aryabrata Basu

RealFlow is a fluid and dynamic software that can create unique particle based simulations using real world physics. Within a scientific visualization workflow, RealFlow holds exciting possibilities for producing 3D visualizations, animations, as well as AR and VR applications. Some examples include blood flow simulations within a beating heart model, laminar blood flow and vasomotion within arterioles and capillaries, enzyme secretion and movement, and molecular interactions. RealFlow is compatible with many 3D programs and is free for educational use.

This techniques showcase will focus on introducing the basic concepts of RealFlow and how it can be used to visualize a scientific concept. Examples of work done in RealFlow will be presented as well as a guided tour through the software’s interface. A straightforward workflow will be outlined so that participants will learn how to bring RealFlow simulations into their preferred 3D software or game engine environment.

Joe Samson is a medical illustrator and animator at the University of Georgia’s College of Veterinary Medicine and is a graduate of the Johns Hopkins Art As Applied to Medicine program.

Aryabrata Basu is a Visual Information Specialist at Emory University’s Center for Digital Scholarship and is completing his PhD in the Virtual Experiences Lab at the University of Georgia’s College of Engineering.

Redshift Rendering for Biomedical Animation

Redshift Rendering for Biomedical Animation

Eddy Xuan, Stuart Jantzen

We will demonstrate the use of Redshift rendering software for biomedical illustration and animation. Redshift brings unparalleled speed which lets creators iterate faster and bring their visuals closer to their vision. We will discuss some useful shading networks, using displacement maps, HDR lights, depth of field, and more. We will share a few case studies for how AXS studio has taken advantage of the speed and features Redshift brings in biomedical animations. Redshift is available for Cinema4D, Houdini, 3DS Max, Softimage, and Maya, and all of these users are welcome and may find the showcase of interest, however we will only be demonstrating its use in a Maya environment.

A final note that Stuart will be giving a full-day workshop on Redshift in Maya and is meant as a hands-on learning experience. The tech showcase will be primarily an overview of the available features and what the user experience is like.

Eddy Xuan is the creative director and one of the principles at AXS studio. He taught medical animation course at MScBMC at University of Toronto for 7 years, and was invited to give Autodesk MasterClass at Siggraph in 2007 on the topic of biomedical animation. He chose Redshift for AXS animation production since the beginning of 2016, and will be happy to share the experiences from the production and business operation perspectives.

Stuart Jantzen is a 3D biomedical technical artist at AXS studio. After graduating from the MScBMC program at the University of Toronto, he worked as a Research Associate investigating how molecular visualization can be used to promote (and hinder) learning. Stuart has taught two master’s level courses in Maya and has given several workshops and presentations on molecular visualization. Stuart started using Redshift in February 2016 and hasn’t looked back. He has used Redshift for freelance illustrations & animations, molecular visualization research, and animations at AXS studio.

Molecular Visualization with ePMV and Cinema4D

Graham Johnson, Fabian de Kok-Mercado, Veronica Falconieri

Dive into molecular visualization with ePMV and Cinema4D with this panel of power users! Starting at 1:30, Graham Johnson, creator of ePMV, will kick off the showcase by creating an accurate microtubule model with an animated motor protein using C4D’s character animation tools and advanced scripting in <1 hour. At 2:30, learn how to morph molecules with Fabian de Kok-Mercado, and see the inner workings of his recent projects using ePMV, UCSF Chimera, and Cinema4D. From 3:30 to 4:30, dig deeper into the use of cryo-electron microscopy data through ePMV’s data player and review basic Xpresso rigging through a project file breakdown of a DNA rig with Veronica Falconieri. After 4:30, introductory ePMV techniques will be presented and the panel will be open for audience requested demos and questions.

Graham Johnson, MA, PhD, CMI: Graham is a Certified Medical Illustrator with 20 years of professional experience ( He serves as the Scientific Director of Vessel Studios and has been using Cinema 4D since 1998. Graham’s part-time lab at UCSF ( and his Animated Cell team at the Allen Institute for Cell Science ( unite biologists, programmers and artists to interoperate the computational tools of science and art. For examples of software and models developed in continued collaboration between Ludovic Autin of Art Olson’s Molecular Graphics Lab and Johnson’s Mesoscope Lab, please visit and



Fabian de Kok-Mercado, MA, CMI:  Fabian is a Certified Medical Illustrator who received his master’s degree in medical and biological illustration from the Department of Art as Applied to Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He is currently the Art Director for HHMI’s Department of Science Education. Prior to joining HHMI, he was the Medical Illustrator and Lead Designer for the NIH National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Integrated Research Facility. He co-founded ProAtlantal Studio with his wife and colleague Lydia Gregg in 2008. As a member of the AMI, he has chaired the Salon, taught numerous workshops and techniques showcases, and is a member of the Board of Certification of Medical Illustrators.

Veronica Falconieri, MA, CMI: Veronica illustrates and animates molecules for the Subramaniam High Resolution Electron Microscopy Lab at National Institutes of Health. She uses ePMV and Cinema4D to develop informative, clarifying visuals from cryo-electron microscopy maps and models. She received her MA in Medical and Biological Illustration from the Department of Art as Applied to Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and is the founder of Falconieri Visuals (

An Introduction to Virtual Reality: Planning, Developing and Communicating Core Concepts

Adriana Orland, Tiffany Raber

Planning a virtual reality application can seem daunting and unapproachable. In this demonstration, we break down the steps of designing and executing a thoughtful virtual reality experience. Learn how previous knowledge of visual thinking, storyboarding, and asset creation can be applied to this emerging technology. Explore how to efficiently and effectively plan for your VR project through model optimization and development of an intuitive user experience. At the end of this demonstration, you will walk away with the skills and confidence to create content for the VR/AR space.

Adriana Orland, MS, recently graduated from the Biomedical Visualization Graduate Program (BVIS) at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her experience in Dr. Stellan Ohlsson’s Deep Learning Lab, researching the optimal approach to reteach and override instilled thoughts, coupled with her recent Master of Science degree push her to investigate the most advantageous ways that virtual reality can inform a variety of audiences in the healthcare field. To find these advantageous solutions, Adriana focuses on user interface and user experience design, or studying the way users interact with her products and making the necessary enhancements to improve the ease of use and pleasure provided by them. Adriana strives to educate both patients and physicians through her knowledge and skills in the virtual and augmented reality space.

Tiffany Raber, MS, graduated in 2017 from the Biomedical Visualization Graduate Program (BVIS) at the University of Illinois at Chicago. As a student, Tiffany grew interested in interactive medical education/simulation techniques, with a specific focus in Unity development and 3D asset creation in the AR/VR space. She believes that the advancement of MedVR will directly impact the field, improving patient experience, surgical training, science education, and user health. Currently, Tiffany is a Visiting Research Assistant, working in modeling and simulation in VR, at The U.S. Army Research Laboratory West, located at USC’s Institute for Creative Technologies.

VMD/PDB: Molecular Illustration Made Simple(r?)

VMD/PDB: Molecular Illustration Made Simple(r?)

Kevin Brennan

Molecular Visualization can be a complicated and expensive endeavor, often utilizing 3d animation and rendering software with a steep learning curve. However; it is possible to create accurate and compelling molecular illustrations efficiently without 3d animation software. Using Visual Molecular Dynamics (and an investigation of the Header section of a PDB file) you can create a variety of representations by isolating different regions or structures of interest. In this presentation Kevin will demonstrate how to set up and create render passes for control of ambient occlusion, specular highlights, base diffuse color, as well as generate masks for compositing in Photoshop or After Effects.

Kevin Brennan is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Biomedical Visualization Program at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Prior to joining the UIC faculty he worked at Argosy Medical | Visible Body as a medical animator and as senior content developer for the award winning Visible Body App, MOA and physiology animations, and interactive surgical simulators. He earned his BA in Biology from Illinois Wesleyan University in 2003 and completed his MS in Biomedical Visualization from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2005. He currently teaches classes focusing on 3d animation, molecular visualization, Particle Flow, VRay, compositing in After Effects, and an introductory survey class for the field.


Tech Marketing Update - Medical Illustration & Animation Program -

Tech Marketing Update - Medical Illustration & Animation Program -

Elizabth Owen

Serbin Communications and members of the AMI’s Medical Illustration & Animation marketing program Editorial Board will present a technology update on the newly re-designed portfolio website. Get tips on the many new features that will help you stand out in the program and reach your target market. We’ll also show examples of how consistent, commercial branding across print, online and social media platforms delivers the highest ROI for your marketing dollars.

Stop by our table at the Tech Showcase for an extra chance to win a free marketing package in next year’s Medical Illustration & Animation No. 31 program ($1625 value, includes single page print ad + 50 images on