Previous Work

DNA mutagenesis for Stanford University

Biology, Illustration

An illustration for Stanford University, showing their novel CRISPR technique, called CRISPR-X.
The goal is to introduce a scattering of random point mutations in a particular region of the DNA, not to directly edit the DNA directly as most CRISPR techniques do. They do this with a hyperavtive deaminase AID (which mutates DNA), and use the CRISPR complex to bring the AID close to the target region, ensuring that it only affects the desired DNA regions.

DNA mutagenesis

Read more about the CRISPR-X technique here.

Space Debris illustration

Illustration, Space

A detailed illustration of space debris around the Earth, which is visualising real orbital data of some 14,000 tracked objects, including satellites, rocket bodies, and small bits of junk.

Bacteria illustrations for Harvard University

Biology, Illustration, In the press

We created a series of illustrations for Harvard University to accompany journal articles on their bacterial research.
These images show:
(left) A pile up of bacteria in different stages of growth and division.
(right) The growth of bacteria over time, as well as the straightening-out of an induced curvature in the young cells.

bacteriabacteria

 

 

 

 

 

More info on their research at the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

CRISPR Cas-9 Illustration

Biology, Illustration

We created a piece of art for Science Photo Library, showing the molecular structure of the CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing complex. The CRISPR-Cas9 protein is used in genome engineering to cut DNA. It uses a guide RNA sequence to cut DNA at a very specific matching site. The Cas9 protein is shown in blue-white. The guide RNA is red, and the double-strand of the DNA is white-grey.
We used actual structural data obtained through x-ray crystallography to build accurate structures.

CRISPR-CAS 9

InflateSail animation for Surrey Space Centre

Animation, Engineering, Space

We created this animation for Surrey Space Centre, who built the InflateSail cubesat which demonstrated an inflatable dragsail for quick de-orbiting of small spacecraft. The sail had an area of 10m2, and the cubesat successfully deorbited 72 days after launch.


More detail on the mission here.

Transistor Illustration for Hitachi Cambridge Laboratory

Engineering, Illustration

We created a piece of art for Hitachi Cambridge Laboratory who do very clever things with semiconductor physics, amongst other interests. We produced this “glamorous” illustration of a solid-state single electron transistor, showing the probably location of the electron cloud as a glowing region.
We used reference electron micrographs and drawings to build an accurate replica, rendering the final image to a high visual quality.

SSEI

Update to RemoveDEBRIS animation for Surrey Space Centre

Animation, Engineering, Space

We updated the animation for Surrey Space Centre to show the launch and deployment sections, featuring a SpaceX Falcon9/Dragon capsule, and deployment from the International Space Station, via the Japanese module. The satellite is currently built and awaiting launch.
It puts into context the issue of space junk, and shows how Surrey Space Centre, in collaboration with others in the space sector, are building missions to test and refine methods for removing and reducing space debris.

The official spiel: “Since the beginning of the space age, over 7,000 tonnes of space junk has been generated – mostly empty rocket casings and dead satellites. Most of the objects launched into space are still orbiting the Earth, threatening collisions with active satellites. Our exhibit invites you to explore our flagship RemoveDEBRIS mission, which aims to be the first to test capture technologies that drag space junk back into the Earth’s atmosphere to burn up.”

T-Cell Illustration for Pint of Science

Biology, Chemistry, Illustration

We created a piece of art for Pint of Science which is an international organisation which brings together detailed science talks on a wide range of cutting-edge research, in an informal pub setting, with plenty of beer.
We used data from the Protein Data Bank to build an illustration showing the battle between a tumour and the immune system.  The tumour has expressed proteins to suppress T-cell activity, but a synthetic drug (yellow) acts to block the receptors on the T-cells, meaning that the T-cells are not suppressed and are able to attack the tumour.  This was created for Pint of Science, to accompany a talk in Cambridge.

t-cell and antibodies

Alsat Nano launch for Surrey Space Centre

Animation, Engineering, Space

We created this animation for Surrey Space Centre, who built the Alsat nano cubesat which was successfully launched on 26th September 2016. It is a testbed for some novel technologies, which are highlighted in the animation.


More detail on the mission here.

BBC Earth – Origins of Life videos on DNA, RNA and ATP

Animation, Biology, Chemistry

We were hired by BBC Earth to produce a series of three animations to accompany a longform article on the Origins of Life. As this was quite a technical article, the videos were to provide some visual relief, explaining some of the complex concepts more clearly. These focused on:

  • DNA, and how it assembles and replicates, allowing the storage and duplication of all the information needed to build an organism;
  • RNA, and how it codes for proteins, which are essential for life.  In the primordial soup, it may have been the first carrier of genetic information, as it is able to store information, replicated and catalyse reactions;
  • ATP, which is used to power every cell.  Proton pumps create a concentration gradient, which forces protons through the ATP synthase motor, which turns ADP into ATP, storing energy inside them that can be transported around the cell and used where needed.

We focused on a high visual quality, while still using real molecular structures throughout.  You can read the article online here:

http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20161026-the-secret-of-how-life-on-earth-began

DNA animation:

 

RNA animation:

 

ATP animation:

Nanosat Launch vehicle for British Interplanetary Society

Engineering, Illustration, Space

We produced this illustration of a small two-stage rocket, a Nanosat Launch Vehicle (NLV) for the British Interplanetary Society (BIS). It’s aim is to deliver small payloads to orbit, and has an approximate height of 9m, and is fuelled by liquid oxygen (LOX) and Refined Petroleum 1 (RP-1), a type of kerosene. It is based on the Reaction Engines (of Skylon fame) Blue Boomerang rocket design, which in turn is based on the British Black Arrow rocket, which is still the only successful orbital launch by the UK, launching the Prospero satellite in 1971.

Space Junk Clean-up at the Royal Society

Animation, Engineering, In the press, Space

We created this animation for Surrey Space Centre, who are one of 22 projects at the Royal Society’s Summer Exhibition, which features exhibits, talks and activites for all ages.
It puts into context the issue of space junk, and shows how Surrey Space Centre, in collaboration with others in the space sector, are building missions to test and refine methods for removing and reducing space debris.

The official spiel: “Since the beginning of the space age, over 7,000 tonnes of space junk has been generated – mostly empty rocket casings and dead satellites. Most of the objects launched into space are still orbiting the Earth, threatening collisions with active satellites. Our exhibit invites you to explore our flagship RemoveDEBRIS mission, which aims to be the first to test capture technologies that drag space junk back into the Earth’s atmosphere to burn up.”

Cleaning up Space Junk on the Royal Society website.

Nuclear fusion educational animations – for Science Photo Library

Animation, Chemistry, Physics

We were recently hired to produce a series of animation clips for Science Photo Library, showing some of the complex nuclear fusion reactions that occur in the Sun, including the CNO cycle at the end. Here is a selection of our favourites!

Science Photo Library provides licensing of striking specialist science imagery, with more than 350,000 images and 20,000 clips.

Please contact us for more information.

Epic zoom – atom to galaxy

Animation, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Space

Animation of a zoom out from the inside of a single atom to the entire galaxy.

The first scene shows a single quark, one of three making up a proton (red) in the nucleus of an atom. The nucleus is surrounded by electron shells (blue). The atom is one making up one of the bases (green) in a DNA molecule, which itself makes up a chromosome (X shape) inside the nucleus (white) of a human cell (red). The cell is part of the heart, and the view pulls back from the person’s body showing the streets and buildings of Manhattan, New York City, USA. The pull back continues to show the Earth in its orbit around the Sun, with the orbits of the other planets shown. The Sun is just one of some 500 billion stars in our galaxy, the Milky Way. The Milky Way is thought to be some 120,000 light years in diameter (about 1.14 zettametres, or 1.14×101 metres). The proton has a charge radius of between 0.84-0.88 femtometres, or 8.4×1016 metres.

Please contact us for more information.

XeBRA Satcom product video

Animation, Engineering

We’ve produced another satcom video for Airbus, this one is a product video for a smaller, man-portable satcom terminal, featuring a mock scenario to show how it could be used in action. With lots of lovely motion graphics to link it all together.

SPL’s clip of the week (Uranium decay chain)

Animation, Chemistry, Physics

Our visualisation of the complex decay chain of a uranium atom has just been chosen as Science Photo Library‘s clip of the week.
U-238 is a radioactive element with 92 protons (red), indicated to the lower left of its chemical symbol, and 146 neutrons (yellow), giving it a total atomic mass of 238 (upper left of symbol). It is unstable and decays by emission of an alpha particle, which consists of two protons and two neutrons.


SPL’s Clip of the Week
Our stock images at SPL
Our stock animations at SPL – part 1
Our stock animations at SPL – part 2

How things work – educational animation clips – for Science Photo Library

Animation, Chemistry, Engineering, Physics

We were recently hired to produce a series of animation clips for Science Photo Library, showing how various things work. Here are our favourite eight!

Clip 1 ) Catalytic converter. It consists of a honeycomb structure, which provides a large surface area. The inside surface is lined with the catalyst, which is a combination of rhodium (Rh) and platinum (Pt) metals. On the rhodium, nitrogen oxides (nitric oxide, NO, shown here) are reduced to nitrogen and oxygen. On the platinum, carbon monoxide (CO) reacts with oxygen to form carbon dioxide;
Clip 2 ) Fuel cell. Hydrogen is introduced at the anode side, and oxygen at the cathode. A catalyst splits the hydrogen into two protons and electrons. The membrane allows the protons through to the cathode, but forces the electrons down a wire. The flow of electrons through the wire can perform electrical work. On the cathode side, the protons and electrons react with an oxygen atom, forming water;
Clip 3 ) Photocopier. Inside the machine is a rotating drum covered in a photoconductive material. The drum is charged by a corona wire (also covered in +). A bright light is used to illuminate the paper to be copied. The light is reflected via a system of mirrors to the charged drum. The photoconductive coating becomes conductive when exposed to light, so the bright, reflective regions of the paper cause the drum surface to discharge in the same pattern. A toner (negatively charged) is then applied to the drum, and is attracted to the positively charged regions, forming a toner pattern identical to the original. A blank sheet of paper is then charged and is passed under the drum, transferring the toner to the paper, reproducing the initial image;
Clip 4 ) Electron Microscope. An electron gun at the top of the column produces a beam of fast-moving electrons. These are focused by magnetic lenses , which deflect the negatively-charged electrons. A sample is introduced into the beam, absorbing and interacting with some electrons, and the remainder are focused onto a screen at the bottom;
Clip 5 ) PET scanner. The patient ingests the fluorodeoxyglucose, a radioactive tracer, and it spreads throughout the body like normal glucose, being absorbed by more active tissues, including tumours. However, the chemical has been designed to contain a radioactive 18-F fluorine atom in place of one of the normal hydroxide groups. When it decays, it emits a positron (red), which quickly collides with an electron (blue), leading to the annihilation of both, and the emission of two gamma rays (yellow) in opposite directions. The PET scanner detects these gamma rays, and uses them to locate tissues with a high glucose uptake, as seen on the screen;
Clip 6 ) Nuclear reactor. This is a pressurised water reactor, the most common type in operation. At the heat of the reactor is the core, which contains the nuclear fuel, uranium. When a neutron (yellow) hits a U-235 nucleus, it undergoes fission (left inset), releasing three more neutrons. Initially these neutrons are very fast, reducing the chances that they’ll fission another U-235 atom. However, the reactor core contains water under high pressure. Water acts as a neutron moderator (central inset), slowing it down and increasing its chances of fissioning another U-235 (right inset). This process continues in a chain reaction, producing a large amount of heat. To help control the rate of the reaction, control rods can be raised or lowered into the core. These contain boron-10 (inset), which has a high neutron absorption capability, reducing the number of neutrons available for fission. Outside the core, the hot water from the reactor (orange) is passed into a secondary water system in heat-exchanging pipes. This converts the cool water (blue) into steam (red), which drives a conventional electricity generating turbine, which sends power out to the grid;
Clip 7 ) Loudspeaker. Inside the loudspeaker is a magnet, with the south pole surrounded by a coil of wire attached to a paper cone. When the wire carries a current, I, it induces a magnetic field around the wire. This interacts with the field of the magnet, producing a force that moves the coil. The direction of the movement can be predicted using a left-hand rule, demonstrated at bottom left. This moves the coil and its attached cone, which generates sound waves. Controlling the varying current flowing in the wire therefore controls the vibration of the cone, and hence the sound it produces;
Clip 8 ) CD player. Animation showing how the tracks of microscopic bumps on a CD’s surface are used to encode digital data. If you compare a reference beam and the data beam, you can see that a change in the surface causes constructive or destructive interference with the outgoing beam, and so the changes in topology can be detected. A change in the surface topology is registered as a 1 and no change is registered as a 0.
Science Photo Library provides licensing of striking specialist science imagery, with more than 350,000 images and 20,000 clips.
Please contact us for more information.

Physics educational animation clips – batch #2 – for Science Photo Library

Animation, Physics

We were recently hired to produce a series of animation clips for Science Photo Library, as part of their educational animation licensing arm (www.sciencephoto.com). Here are our favourite five stock clips!

Clip 1 ) Rutherford scattering (gold foil experiment). Animation depicting the actual outcome of Rutherford’s 1909 experiment to probe the structure of an atom. At left, a source of alpha radiation is firing alpha particles (helium nuclei) at a thin sheet of gold foil (down centre). Most of the alpha particles pass straight through the foil, as was expected, but some deviate by large angles, even bouncing back at the source. The inset shows a close-up of a gold atom, revealing that its positive charge (red) is tightly concentrated in a small, dense nucleus, with the negative electrons (blue) a relatively long way from it. This demonstration led to the downfall of the prevailing “plum pudding” model of the atom, which postulated that the electrons were studded randomly in a diffuse cloud of positive charge.;
Clip 2 ) Magnetic and electric fields.  A clip showing how electricity and magnetism are connected (via the right-hand rule).  Animation showing the magnetic fields generated around a conducting wire and a coil of wire (solenoid). When the wire is coiled into a spiral tube, it is called a solenoid, and has a field similar to that of a bar magnet. A right-hand rule still applies: when the fingers are coiled in the direction of the current, the thumb points to the north pole of the solenoid.;
Clip 3 ) Animation of the electric field lines between two point charges. By convention field lines are shown with arrows indicating the direction of movement of a point positive charge placed in the field. Around a negative charge this is symmetrically towards it, and away from a positive charge. When identical point charges are placed near each other, their fields repel and do not touch. When opposite charges are next to each other, their field lines join and they attract each other.;
Clip 4 ) Charged particles in a magnetic field, and a cyclotron.  Alpha, beta and gamma radiation in a magnetic field, showing the paths taken through the field.  A cyclotron is a type of particle accelerator. A charged particle, here a hydrogen nucleus (proton), is injected at the centre of two semicircular electrodes called dees. A magnetic field (arrows) is established perpendicular to the plane of the dees. This causes the particle to move in a circular path. The voltage across the dees is reversed each time the particle is in one of the dees, constantly accelerating it towards the other. As its time in each dee is constant, the larger its path the faster it moves, and the particle spirals outwards. When it reaches the desired speed, it exits the cyclotron, and at this high energy level it is able to convert 18O to the useful radioactive tracer 18F.;
Clip 5 ) Reflection, refraction and diffraction of light.  Animation of the principle of reflection, showing a beam of light reflecting from a mirror. In reflection, the angle of incidence (red) is equal to the angle of reflection (green), whatever the angle.  In refraction, the change in direction of a wave due to a change of the medium through which it is travelling. When a beam of light passes into another medium at an angle, it deflects by an amount proportional to the difference in the speed of light between the materials, a figure called its refractive index. If it hits the surface at 90 degrees, there is no deflection but it still slows down. Snell’s law states that the sine of the angle of incidence (red) multiplied by the refractive index of the first material in equal to the sine of the angle of refraction (green) times the refractive index of the second material. The equivalent occurs when the beam leaves the material, exiting on a parallel path to the one on which it entered. The double-slit experiment demonstrates the wave behaviour of light, showing the interference pattern produced. When light passes through a double slit, it diffracts and spreads out, and interferes with the light from the adjacent slit. This leads to alternating regions where the interfering waves either cancel each other out or amplify each other, leading to a pattern of dark and light bands. For a given separation of the slits, the width of the bands depends on the wavelength of the light: longer wavelengths produce wider bands, and they are seen to narrow when the colour changes from long wavelength red to short wavelength violet.;
Science Photo Library provides licensing of striking specialist science imagery, with more than 350,000 images and 20,000 clips.
Please contact us for more information.

Shortlisted in the "Vizzies"

Chemistry, Illustration, In the press, Uncategorized

Other than it having an awful name, we’re super excited to have an illustration shortlisted in the Vizzies, which is run by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and Popular Science magazine (which I buy to look at the pretty pictures).
Do please cast your vote, and if you happen to like ours best (hint hint), that would be really cool as we’ll get printed in Popular Science.

VOTE HERE:

http://review.wizehive.com/voting/view/nsfvizziesgallery/27426/3266395/0
More about the illustration:
An illustration created for the O’Reilly Research Group at the Unviersity of Nottingham, to illustrate the concept of using Darwinian selection to find better proteins, by making many small tweaks to their structure and selecting ones that are most effective at each stage.  The image mimics the famous monkey-to-man depiction of evolution, but using secondary protein structures that evolve and form functional structures.


More about their research

Genetics animation clips

Animation, Biology, Chemistry

A series of genetics animations we produced for Science Photo Library, showing:

(1) The transcription of DNA to mRNA,
(2) Translation of mRNA to protein chains,
(3) The mechanism of how smoking can alter DNA and prevent normal DNA function,
(4) UV radiation damaging DNA structure,
(5) Nuclear radiation causing a DNA mutation,
(6) Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), where an individual strand of DNA is multiplied many times by cycling the temperature.

Music by Jelsonic

Gaviscon Mode of Action animation

Animation, Biology

We created this animation for Gavison to show how Gaviscon can work in a complementary way to medication such as PPIs (proton pump inhibitors). Reflux events are caused by the Lower Oesophageal Sphincter (LES) failing to close fully, which allows stomach acid to enter the oesophagus. This causes burning in the oesophagus, and the vapours can condense at the back of the throat giving an acidic taste. PPIs reduce stomach acidity, but some symptoms can persist because the LES is still weak, and patients can experience irritation in the oesophagus (particularly if it’s already damaged from previous reflux events). Gaviscon works to soothe the damaged oesophagus, and the Gaviscon raft physically blocks the acid reflux, removing the associated symptoms.
The animation was used at a medical conference, NeuroGASTRO 2015, to raise awareness of how Gaviscon can benefit PPI patients.

Illustration for Nottingham University; Darwinian selection of proteins

Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, Illustration

An illustration created for the O’Reilly Research Group at the Unviersity of Nottingham, to illustrate the concept of using Darwinian selection to find better proteins, by making many small tweaks to their structure and selecting ones that are most effective at each stage.  The image mimics the famous monkey-to-man depiction of evolution, but using secondary protein structures that evolve and form functional structures.


More about their research

Microsoft’s DNA Strand Displacement tool (DSD)

Animation, Biology, Engineering

We created this animation to explain some of the background and concept behind Microsoft Research‘s DNA Strand Displacement tool (DSD),
It was created for Microsoft Research to use at Techfest, to explain the mechanics of DNA strand displacement, and show how their tool enables the design and simulation of programmable DNA circuits for biological computation.
More information, including the current beta version of the software here:
http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/projects/dna/

Illustration of Neuron for Pint of Science, Cambridge

Biology, Illustration

We created a piece of art for Pint of Science which is an international organisation which brings together detailed science talks on a wide range of cutting-edge research, in an informal pub setting, with plenty of beer.
We used 3D public domain data from Eyewire (a citizen science game that maps real neurons as players progress).  This was created for Pint of Science, to accompany a talk in Cambridge.

Illustrations for Microsoft Research

Biology, Chemistry, Engineering

We created two high resolution illustrations to explain some of the concepts behind two of Microsoft Research‘s analytical tools.
This illustration on DNA Strand Displacement (DSD) accompanies four short animations showing how DSD can be used to perform logic operations, which in turn can form part of a biological equivalent to an electronic circuit, and eventually be used for biological computing.  Microsoft Research‘s tool enables the design and simulation of such biological computations.

More about the DSD method
This illustration on the Genetic Engineering of Living Cells (GEC) shows an electrical engineering analogy of the network of interactions inside an engineered bacterium.  Organisms can be engineered to perform functions, such as sysnthesising useful chemicals (fuel, pharaceuticals, etc) or changing behaviour triggered by input stimuli.  Microsoft Research‘s tool creates a programming language for characterising such systems, to enable their design at an abstracted level.


More about the GEC tool

Microsoft’s Bio Model Analyzer (BMA)

Animation, Biology, Engineering

We created this animation to explain some of the background and concept behind Microsoft Research‘s Bio Model Analyzer project, which is a piece of software for simulating the behaviour of protein networks within cellular systems.  It is to be used to compare hypothesised models of protein networks with reality, and even to predict the effects of knocking out key proteins (by targeted drugs, for example) and to spot inconsistencies in the models, helping to point towards better models of protein interactions.
The software is available to use online (you can load sample models from the Help page):

Medical Illustration / GNSI Source Books

Biology, Engineering, Illustration, In the press

We just signed up to advertise in the Medical Illustration Source Book, after years of deliberation. It helped that they did a deal with advertising in the Natural Science Source Book too!  Fingers crossed that people love our pretty pictures….

Equinox advert in the Medical Illustration Source Book

Browse the Medical Source Book online (we’re on page 157)
Oh, and here’s us in the GNSI Natural Science source book too (2 pages!):

Equinox advert in GNSI source book
Equinox advert in GNSI source book

Browse the Natural Science Source Book online (we’re on pages 16-17):

CABI – glucoCEST MRI technique

Animation, Biology, Chemistry

CABI (part of UCL) have developed an MRI technique that utilises tumours’ aggressive uptake of sugar to identify themselves. The patient drinks a sugary drink, and then enters the MRI scanner, where they take advantage of the interchange of protons between water and sugar. Because the sugar is more strongly absorbed by the tumour, the size and location of the tumour can be accurately determined. This is a non-invasive, non-radioactive diagnostic technique.
We produced the animation below, detailing how the technique works.


More info here

SPL’s clip of the week (chrysalis)

Animation, Biology, In the press

Our visualisation of x-ray data of a chrysalis has just been chosen as Science Photo Library‘s clip of the week.
The animation shows a butterfly metamorphosis inside its chrysalis. This sequence was produced from reconstructed computed tomography (CT) scan data, showing the internal detail of a caterpillar’s transformation into a butterfly. Initially the caterpillar’s internal organs are seen, mainly its digestive tract and the network of breathing tubes along its length. As the metamorphosis progresses, the internal structures become increasingly complex, and the eyes (far left) and wings of the butterfly become prominent.


See more of our chrysalis animations in this blog post.
SPL’s Clip of the Week
Our stock images at SPL
Our stock animations at SPL – part 1
Our stock animations at SPL – part 2

SPL’s clip of the week (space debris)

Animation, In the press, Space

Our visualisation of space debris has just been chosen as Science Photo Library‘s clip of the week.
Satellites are shown in red, everything else in blue (ranging from flecks of paint to entire discarded rocket stages). The space between geostationary orbit and the near-Earth orbits is relatively empty, but in the close-up at the end the number of pieces of debris and junk around the Earth is seen to be vast. This animation is created from data of 13,977 actual objects tracked by NORAD and is shown correct for 30th May 2013.

SPL’s Clip of the Week
Our stock images at SPL
Our stock animations at SPL – part 1
Our stock animations at SPL – part 2

Europa Penetrator animation

Animation, Engineering, In the press, Space

We’ve just finished this HD animation showing Astrium‘s design for a Europa Penetrator mission. The penetrator will be released from an altitude of around 200km, and after a de-orbit burn to cancel the orbital velocity, it goes into freefall, spins up for stability, and impacts into Europa at around 300mph. Once under the surface, the suite of on board instruments begin work (having survived the 25,000g of impact), including a drill to take samples, a microscope and mass spectrometer to analyse samples, as well as seismometers and radiation detectors.


Read more about the mission on Jonathan Amos’ blog at the BBC.

Synaesthesia illustration for Ionic Magazine

Biology, Illustration, In the press

Synaesthesia
Ionic Magazine is an online publication, which aims to bridge the gap between science and art, by pairing up science writers and illustrators to create an engaging publication full of creativity and imagination.
We produced an illustration for Issue 4, to accompany an article on synaesthesia, which is a neurological condition in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway. For example, sounds may be perceived as inherently coloured. In this representation, headphones show sound visually in purple. Other types of synaesthesia include attaching shapes and colours to different tastes and the personification of numbers, days, months and letters.

Synaesthesia
Read Issue 4
See our illustration on Flickr

Illustrations of synthetic biology for Synberc

Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, Illustration

We produced a series of illustrations based around three key papers on synthetic biology for Synberc.  These are designed to communicate some of the key aspects of synthetic biology:


1-Illustration showing the concept of yeast cells as a chemical factory, which highlights one of the main uses of synthetic biology – harnessing cellular mechanics to our own purposes.

 


2-Illustration showing an anlogy of “survival of the fittest” with respect to genetic engineering. Multiple genes can be tweaked with each bacterium taking different combination – the most successful at each stage are selected and the process repeated. This guided randomness tests many mutations at once, and allows selection of desired traits e.g. increased production of a desired product within the bacterium.

 


3-Illustration showing the concept of how synthetic biology can be used to create analogies to electronic circuits, whereby the presence or otherwise of chemical inputs can drive a logic circuit, resulting in an action within the cell (e.g. colour change, production of a chemical marker, etc). Simple AND, NOT, and OR gates can be made and combined to produce useful results.

Easter Eggs Live – data visualisation

Animation, Biology, In the press

A series of visualisations we produced for Windfall Films’ show “Easter Eggs Live”, which aired on Channel 4 this Easter weekend.
We were given MRI and CT scans of various species’ eggs, and asked to visualise and animate these data to produce informative and clear visualisations to be used in the live tv programme.
We’ve shown four of the final shots below, along with a description of the data handling and visualisations we created.

SHOT 1) We took MRI scans of a chick inside its egg, traced out the chick and recreated it in 3D.  We then animated the chick to show its first break where it breaks through a membrane into the air pocked inside the egg to take its first breath.  It then starts pecking at the shell using a strong muscle on the back of its neck and its egg tooth.  By pecking and shuffling, it can break around the circumference of the egg, and then push its way out.
SHOT 2) We were given CT data of praying mantis eggs, from which we were able to segment the regions and produce this volume render, which fades and reveals the egg structure inside.
SHOT 3/4) We produced these two sequences using surface data (OBJs up to 3GB in size), and you can see the caterpillar, which has a digestive tract and network of breathing tubes along its length.  As the transformation progresses, you can see increasing internal complexity as the butterfly’s internal organs and external structures form.

STRaND-1 nano-satellite

Animation, Engineering, Space

Our latest animation for Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd, showing their STRaND-1 “nano-satellite” (34x10x10 cm).  It is powered by a HTC Nexus One smartphone, and this type of satellite is a low-cost technology test-bed for trialling new space hardware. It’s small enough to piggy-back on other satellites for launch.


Read more about STRaND-1

UKube-1 cubesat payload animation

Animation, Engineering, Space

UKube-1 is a UK designed and built cubesat (30x10x10 cm), funded by UKSA and built by Clyde Space.  The on-board payloads are a variety of technology testbeds from collaborators in industry and academia to demonstrate their feasibility in space in a cost-efficient manner.  It’s small enough to piggy-back on other satellites for launch.
The animation highlights the modular nature of the cubesat platform, and shows the variety of science and technology that can be achieved in such a small package.


Music: “Taikonaut” by futuresoup

Ionic Magazine – Issue 2

Biology, Illustration, In the press

Visualizing scientific breakthroughs
Ionic Magazine is an online publication, which aims to bridge the gap between science and art, by pairing up science writers and illustrators to create an engaging publication full of creativity and imagination.
We produced an illustration for Issue 2, to accompany an article on vascular disrupting agents.  These drugs are used disrupt the production of blood vessels around tumours – blood vessels which the tumour cells drive the growth of, to feed their insatiable demand for nutrients.


Read Issue 2
See our illustration on Flickr

Satcom product video

Animation, Engineering, Space

Our latest video for Satcom Systems and Solutions to promotes their range of satcom terminals.  We crafted an operational scenario to highlight how they can help to link everyone together for better communication and awareness.  Currently on display at the Global MilSatCom exhibition in London.

Sentinel 1 and 2 animations

Animation, Engineering, Space

We’ve just reworked these animations in full HD for Astrium, featuring clips of Sentinels 1 and 2, which are a series of Earth observation satellites due for launch between 2013 and 2015.

Saturn animations

Animation, Space

We’ve just finished a series of animations showing Saturn, its glorious rings, and two of its moons (Titan and Enceladus), utilising high quality textures and a cinematic quality to the camera moves and final polish.
The full, unedited versions of these clips are available for license from Science Photo Library.


Music is (of course) Saturn by Holst, courtesy of Freeplaymusic.

Airborne Satcoms product video

Animation, Engineering, Space

We’ve produced another satcom video, this one is a product video for an airborne terminal and satcom system, featuring a mock scenario to show how it could be used in action. With lots of lovely motion graphics to link it all together.

Jupiter animations

Animation, Space

We’ve just finished a series of animations showing Jupiter and its moons (Callisto, Ganymede, Europa and Io), utilising high quality textures, animated surfaces (including an epic animation of Jupiter’s red spot) and a cinematic quality to the camera moves and final polish.
The full, unedited versions of these clips are available for license from Science Photo Library.


Music is (of course) Jupiter by Holst, performed by the very kind U.S. Air Force Heritage of America Band.

Clinical Dementia Testing

Animation, Biology, In the press

Cambridge Cognition asked us to help them communicate the results from their clinical dementia tests in a clear, visual way.
We produced a series of animations and overlays, whereby a line-up of mannequins represents the subject’s peers (by age, sex) and the highlighted one represents the subject themselves.  Crucially, before the test begins, the subject is asked to estimate where on this line-up they think they will score, and after the clinical tests they are shown both their original estimate, and their actual score.  This gives the subject a clear indication of how they have performed relative to their own expectations, and relative to their peers.  The clean, simple visuals engage and inform the subject, with no need for numbers, graphs, etc.
BBC News have run a feature on the 10-minute dementia test online here.

 

ESA’s Solar Orbiter, Evolved

Animation, Engineering, Physics, Space

An update of our animation of ESA’s Solar Orbiter mission, to reflect the new configuration as it is officially contracted to satellite builders Astrium.  We’ve also taken the opportunity to improve the quality of our animation, using tools and techniques developed since our previous release.
Supplied with an updated CAD file and a list of changes to materials and instrument configurations, we were able to re-make the animation in record time for less than 20% of the original cost.


View more about the Solar Orbiter mission.
BBC news report about Solar Orbiter.

Naval Satcoms product video

Animation, Engineering, Space

We’ve produced another satcom video, this one is more of a product features video for a naval terminal.  We’ve tried to avoid the cheesy corporate style (don’t blame us for the music), and it features an animated naval scenario with full simulated ocean and lots of pretty motion graphics to link it all together.

Synthetic Biology Documentary – Creating Life (50 minutes)

Animation, Biology, Chemistry, Engineering

Here’s the synthetic biology documentary we had the pleasure of working on.  The documentary titled “Creating Life – The Ultimate Engineering Challenge,” by Kelly Neaves and Dominic Rees-Roberts, follows the Imperial College IGEM team (International Genetically Engineered Machine), as they discover how to engineer bacteria to perform specific tasks, and consider the implications of their work.  Our graphics help to illustrate some of the more abstract concepts, in what is a fairly technical documentary.

Quantum Computing Illustrations

Engineering, Illustration, In the press, Physics

Illustrating quantum computing is always a challenge.  Information theory, optic benches and quantum weirdness don’t lend themselves easily to beautiful illustrations.  But that was the task given to us by the “Institut für Quantenoptik und Quanteninformation” at the University of Vienna, for their paper which has been accepted into Science.
Their paper describes a method of “Blind Quantum Computing”.  In a world where Quantum Computers are large, expensive, and are used to process sensitive data (e.g. financial transactions, secure communications), the authors anticipate that it will be necessary to perform these computations remotely, on a third party’s computer.  Blind computing involves encoding your data in such a way that they can be encrypted, sent, processed while encrypted, the result sent back and then the result decrypted.  At all stages on the remote computer the data are hidden and secure.  The paper describes and demonstrates a method for performing such a series of operations using quantum-entangled clusters of qubits.

The Arxiv pre-print paper:
http://arxiv.org/abs/1110.1381

Patrol/helicopter animation – Secure Satcom Systems

Animation, Engineering

The second animated sequence we produced for Secure Satcom Systems (part of the Astrium group). This sequence shows that having secure, continuous connectivity allows decisions to be made with all the relevant information to hand. They establish a secure, stable satellite broadband connection from a moving helicopter, and also get around the major issue of whirling pieces of metal scattering the signal, by pulsing the signal to pass through the gaps (similar to old-school propeller planes, where machine guns were timed to fire between the props).
We created this story to show how having all of your assets linked-up in realtime allows decisions to be made better and faster, with all the information to hand.


(no baddies were harmed in the making of this production)
Secure Satcom Systems

UAV helicopter animation – Secure Satcom Systems

Animation, Engineering, Space

We produced a short animated sequence highlighting some innovations from Secure Satcom Systems (part of the Astrium group). Not only can they establish a secure, stable satellite broadband connection from a moving helicopter, but they also get around the major issue of whirling pieces of metal scattering the signal, by pulsing the signal to pass through the gaps (similar to old-school propeller planes, where machine guns were timed to fire between the props).
We created this story to show how having all of your assets linked-up in realtime allows decisions to be made better and faster, with all the information to hand.


Watch out for an extended version coming up (once it’s finished processing at HD!)
(no baddies were harmed in the making of this production)
Secure Satcom Systems

Epigenetics animations

Animation, Biology, Chemistry

Our Epigenetics animations are now online in Begin Before Birth‘s series of Youtube Videos.
The animations help explain the concept of Epigenetics, whereby chemical markers on DNA can switch genes on and off – and these markers can be inherited.  Environmental pressures on a parent can lead to adaptation in the child.

Links:
Begin Before Birth’s Epigenetics for Schools

On the Cover of Science Magazine

Biology, Engineering, Illustration, In the press

This week, Science magazine have a special edition on Synthetic Biology, in which they: “explore the breadth of this field and how the construction of new biological systems might be harnessed to serve humanity”.
And they feature our illustration on the cover!  This is where art, science and Lego combine….  Synthetic biology is a field close to our heart, and we’ve previously worked on a range of illustrations and animations.

Equinox Graphics on the cover of Science

Synthetic Biology special issue:
http://www.sciencemag.org/content/333/6047.toc
About the cover:
http://www.sciencemag.org/content/333/6047.cover-expansion
Our previous animations on Synthetic Biology:
http://www.e-nox.net/blog/?p=174

Physics educational animation clips – for Science Photo Library

Animation, Physics, Uncategorized

We were recently hired to produce a series of animation clips for Science Photo Library, as part of their educational animation licensing arm (www.sciencephoto.com). We produced 37 clips in total, here are our favourite 8 stock clips!


Clip 1 ) Waves of light, showing the associated electrical field and magnetic field components, which are orthogonal to each other. Amplitude and wavelength are also shown;
Clip 2 ) Convection currents are shown in this heat transfer clip. A bunsen heats a beaker of liquid from below, and as the hot liquid rises, cool liquid flows downwards, creating convection currents (fluid flow is simulated);
Clip 3 ) The emissivity of a blackbody as a function of its temperature is shown here. As the temperature increases, the intensity of the emission increases and the wavelengths emitted shift to shorter wavelengths (which is observed as a shift through red, white and blue);
Clip 4 ) The absorbance of electromagnetic radiation by the Earth’s atmosphere is shown, which varies with frequency/wavelength due to the composition of the atmosphere. There is, a “window” of transmissible frequencies in the visible and microwave/radio bands;
Clip 5 ) The propagation of sound through different states of matter is shown, with gas at the top, liquid in the middle, and solid at the bottom. Sound travels as vibrational waves, and the speed of propagation is faster in a more densely packed medium;
Clip 6 ) Stimulated emission is shown (as occurs in lasers), where an incoming photon raises an electron to a higher energy level. The drop back down to its base energy level is triggered by a second incoming photon, and the two photons leave synchronised in phase;
Clip 7 ) Representations of the emission of alpha, beta and gamma radiation from nuclei. Alpha particles are composed of two protons and two neutrons (the same as a helium nucleus), and are emitted by certain unstable nuclei. Beta particles are electrons, emitted when a neutron spontaneously decays into a proton and an electron. Gamma radiation is shown here, where the unstable atom first emits an alpha particle, but this leaves the nucleus still unstable until excess energy is discharged as a burst of electromagnetic radiation.
Clip 8 ) Penetration of emitted radiation. This shows the “stopping distances” of the three kinds of radiation. Alpha particles will eventually stop in air (as they strip electrons from atoms they encounter, turning to helium). They as also stopped by a thin sheet of paper. Beta radiation is stopped by a few mm of aluminium, but gamma radiation requires lead to be affected, and even then it is only attenuated (based on the thickness of the lead shielding).
Science Photo Library provides licensing of striking specialist science imagery, with more than 350,000 images and 20,000 clips.
Please contact us for more information.

Epigenetics animations for Windfall Films

Animation, Biology, Chemistry

Windfall Films is one of the leading producers of science & technology programmes, and their science documentaries consistently breathe life into potentially dry subjects.
They hired us to produce  a series of animations to help explain the concept of Epigenetics, whereby chemical markers on DNA can switch genes on and off – and these markers can be inherited.  Environmental pressures on a parent can lead to adaptation in the child.  So it’s not just about which genes a child inherits – their traits can be dictated by which of those genes are activated or suppressed.
Enough science, bring on the pretty stuff…

More info:
Clip 1) Clip showing genes in a DNA section switching on an off;
Clip 2) The concept of the Epigenome – chemical markers on the backbone of the DNA which control the expression/suppression of genes;
Clip 3) This sequence shows DNA coiling around support structures called histones, which then further coil into a compact superstructure (eventually the DNA will be would up still further into chromosomes). The structure is “scanned” which represents the reading of the DNA. “Histone deacetylation” causes the structure to compact tighter, making some of the DNA inaccessible, and leading to read failures (i.e. non-expression of that gene).
Clip 4) Methylation is shown here, whereby a carbon with three hydrogens (methyl group) attaches to specific points on the DNA backbone, and this chemical marker prevents that section of the DNA being read.
Clip 5) Another scanning analogy, showing the methylation of the histone/DNA structure, and the subsequent read failures.

NSF/Science Sci-Vis contest

Biology, Illustration, In the press

This month, Science magazine publishes its annual feature on science and engineering visualisation, which is a fiercely competitive and prestigious arena for the world’s science communicators.
Scientists, illustrators, computer game companies, TV companies and new media producers compete to showcase their work and raise the bar for communication of science and engineering concepts for the purposes of public engagement and education.
We are delighted to announce that we have been selected for an honourable mention in the illustration category, for our illustration of a Bacteriophage doing what it does best: attacking a bacterium!

Bacteriophage Virus

The image was produced in around a week, including some modelling, texturing, lighting, rigging, composition, and retouching work, producing the above image at 7500 x 4500 pixels.
Our reference material (of real bacteriophages – we’re not making this stuff up!)

A1 poster-sized reproductions are available on request, priced at £70 including VAT and delivery – please contact enquiries@e-nox.net
Our image (and animations) can be licensed from our collection held at Science Photo Library, or we are happy to take commissions for new visualisations.
The imaginatively titled “International Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge”, in association with the NSF, forms part of the February 2011 issue of Science, which is available now. As they say, “To illustrate is to enlighten.”
Science minisite: www.sciencemag.org/site/special/vis2010/
NSF site: www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/scivis/winners_2010.jsp
Direct link to PDF of the illustration category:
www.sciencemag.org/content/331/6019/848.full.pdf

2010 Nobel prize (Chemistry)

Animation, Chemistry

Sadly we didn’t win a Nobel Prize this year (fingers crossed for next year), but Heck, Negishi and Suzuki did, for “palladium-catalysed cross-couplings in organic synthesis”.  And we got to make animations showing off the Heck and Suzuki reactions for TV.  Which was some consolation to our bruised egos.

Heck Reaction:

Suzuki Reaction:

Both reactions use a palladium catalyst and halogen ligands to fuse together specific organic structures.  More info from NobelPrize.org.

SPL’s Pick of 2010

Animation, Biology, In the press

Our animation of DNA unravelling with a mutation in a base pair, has made it into Science Photo Library’s pick of 2010. Pretty good, considering they added some 20,000 science clips in the past year!

Creating Life – the new field of Synthetic Biology

Animation, Biology, Engineering

We were commissioned to produce a series of animations to help explore the abstract world of synthetic biology, allowing the concepts of designing and programming bacteria to perform a particular task, in this case creating a colour change when exposed to a parasite – brilliant for testing water sources in remote locations, with a clear visual result.
For information on the documentary itself, please contact Kelly Neaves at kellyneaves@gmail.com

ESA’s Solar Orbiter, Reloaded

Animation, Engineering, Space

An update of the Solar Orbiter mission animation, to reflect the new configuration as it competes with other high profile ESA missions for the final commissioning decision.  Go go gadget orbiter!!!
Supplied with an updated CAD file and a list of changes to materials and instrument configurations, we were able to re-make the animation in record time for less than 20% of the original cost.  We even threw in some improvements to the graphics (including an extra ambient occlusion pass and extensive retexturing), and added some stock video clips to replace stills in the previous incarnation.  And recorded the new voiceover.  I guess that’s why our customers keep coming back….


View more about the Solar Orbiter mission.

One million views at one thousand mph!

Animation, Bloodhound SSC, Engineering

The original Bloodhound SSC vs Bullet film has today received its ONE MILLIONTH view on Youtube – not to count the people who copy and paste it on their own channel to boost their own self esteem.  Buy a Ferrari.  Or compensate some other way….

Royal Society Summer Exhibition

Animation, Biology, Chemistry, Engineering

We recently had two animations aired at the Royal Society’s Summer Exhibition. The Royal Society is the national academy of science of the UK, and this event allowed the general public to meet the minds behind some of the UK’s most exciting scientific advances.  We produced two videos for the University of Cambridge‘s Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, showcasing their development work on producing green electricity directly from algae.  One of only 31 teams selected to present their research. Very clever science!

Part 1: Electricity from Algae

Part 2: Scaling-up Electricity Generation from Algae

Links for more information on the science:
http://www.admin.cam.ac.uk/news/dp/2010062502
http://www.seefurtherfestival.org/exhibition/view/meet-algae-diversity-biology-and-energy

Teachers TV – Genes and Disease

Animation, Biology

We’ve just completed a project for Teachers TV on Genetics and Disease, featuring several of our animation sequences, related to genetics and disease, showing mutations, chromosome defects and genetic surveys.
Watch the full 15-minute video on YouTube:
Teachers TV – Genetics and Medicine: Genes and Disease
….or just skip to the pretty graphics (below)

Fractal science

Illustration, Just for fun

Ok, not so much of the science in this post – but still very pretty.  Apophysis is a fractal flame generator, which essentially takes the usual Julia, Mandlebrot, etc. fractals, and puts them through a series of geometric transforms to create some interesting patters (for those of you obsessed with 3D: YES YOU CAN RENDER THEM IN STEREO!)
So they’re based on science (maths), but Apophysis turns this into an artistic tool.  Bit hit and miss, as there will be very few people capable of understanding the maths to a high enough level to produce exactly the artistic image they have in mind.  For us cerebrally challenged mortals, there’s a randomiser, mutation selector and some tweaking.  Got patience?  Luck?  You’re in the right place.
Here’s a mixture of the more “scientifically interpretable” images, and some arty ones.

Lego building blocks (a.k.a. DNA)

Biology, Illustration, Just for fun

OK, well here’s something I’m sure you’ve all wanted to do – build cool sciencey stuff out of Lego…..
I’m sure this isn’t the way real Lego builders do it, but should be possible to get some really cool (and really precise effects). Imagine taking any 3D model, sculpture, CAD model, and recreating a scale model.
Here’s an example.  (1) Build a 3D model.  (2) Convert it to 3D Lego bricks using Rob Abbott’s excellent Legoizer Lscript. (3) Write some code to manipulate the data into a human usable form. (4-5) Export 155 image files, detailing each layer of the structure.  Hey presto, usable building instructions to recreate any shape out of Lego  🙂
The building instructions show the position of bricks in each layer, and faded depiction of the layer below for reference.  Right, got some Lego arriving in the post, let’s see how it looks for real….

DNA 3D model
(1) DNA 3D model
DNA Lego model
(2) DNA Lego model
code monkey
(3) Some custom Lscript…
Building instructions layer 15
(4) Building instructions layer 15

 

Building instructions layer 49
(5) Building instructions layer 49

Bloodhound SSC in stereoscopic 3D (via Youtube)

Animation, Bloodhound SSC, Engineering, Just for fun

Ok, so Youtube has a pretty nifty stereoscopic 3D encoding option, where you can upload left-eye and right-eye videos, and users can choose their viewing mode (e.g. red/cyan, amber/blue, etc.). We thought it would be fun to see how it coped with Bloodhound SSC in 3D. Pretty well as it turns out. It looks even more cool in 3D.
You’ll probably need to click on the video until a Youtube window pops up, as you can only get the 3D controls on the Youtube page (not the embedded applet). If you have any problems, go to Equinox Graphics’ Youtube channel and it should definately work from there. We recommend using red/cyan glasses with the Dubois optimised colour, at least until Youtube adds support for shutter glasses!

Hmm…. wonder if there might be some 3D Bloodhound in the pipeline then…..? 😉

IMechE animation – How Nuclear Works

Animation, Engineering, Physics

We’ve just completed a rush project for the IMechE to illustrate how a second generation nuclear reactor works.  It’s a pressurised water reactor (PWR). Not bad, considering the brief was “Show how a second generation nuclear reactor works, aimed at a Guardian reader”.


Read the IMechE’s guide to Nuclear Power here.

Equinox Graphics at the Space IGS launch

Animation, Engineering, Space

We produced a series of short animations illustrating the applicability of space and satellite technology to everyday life, showing the abundance of space-related industry and academia in the UK, and a method of control for trains to improve their service – by using variable stantions (i.e. the space between the trains is controlled, but can vary, rather than using fixed geographical sections of the track). Also improves fuel efficiency, as drivers tend to treat the accelerator like a digital device – on or off!


Check out Space IGS website and Nottingham Scientific, who are developing the asset tracking and control system.

New Bloodhound SSC viral!

Animation, Bloodhound SSC, Engineering

The Bloodhound SSC team came back to us for a bigger, more ambitious project to mark one-year in the public consciousness – a race between Bloodhound SSC and the donor of its jet engine, a Eurofighter Typhoon! Turnaround on this project was approximately 2 months from the drawing board to final delivery, with extensive consultation with the driver going into the cockpit design, and trying to convey the overall experience of driving through the sound barrier (Wing Commander Andy Green is the only person in the world qualified to testify on this).


Read more about the project at Bloodhoundssc.com

Second Life development for Nature

Second Life

Over the past seven months, we have developed three in-world areas of Second Life for Nature – the world’s most highly cited scientific journal, published in the UK since 1869.
We developed a new Darwin-themed game sim (the game itself was built by Mad Pea Productions), a community area called the Skylabs, where people from all around the world came to develop educational and science-based projects in Second Life, and the Elucian Village, a larger, more permanent version of the Skylabs.  We have had commendations for our terraforming, architectural design and many hundreds of small details, such as a working monorail system, miniature planets, moons and comets, a tortoise which follows you around, a Beagle in a bottle, a lift, helicopter, guided boat tour, an interactive map of Darwin’s voyage, a volcano, rock falls, swing bridge, self-inflating life-jacket, and many others – why not explore and see what you can find!

Darwin game area
The Darwin-themed adventure sim
Skylabs development area
Skylabs development area
The Elucian Village community area
The Elucian Village community area
Workshop in Skylabs in Second Life
Workshop in Skylabs area
Workshop in Skylabs in Second Life
Workshop in Skylabs area

Nature use Second Life for hosting scientific conferences, viewing their weekly podcast followed by a discussion, fostering a development community of educationalists, scripters and science enthusiasts who use Second Life as a platform for educational outreach.  It’s also a lot of fun to explore!
Join Second Life here, and check out Nature’s Elucian Islands

Solar Orbiter epic animation – Astrium/ESA

Animation, Engineering, Space

Astrium were looking to present their new Solar Orbiter project to an audience with a general interest in space exploration, and needed a way of bridging the knowledge gap between their cutting-edge scientific project and the layman’s general understanding. They provided us with a rough storyboard and approximately ten minutes of narrative text. Following this, it was important for us to work closely with Astrium over the course of the next two months to produce a polished, slick product, while ensuring that the facts of the science were accurate and the visuals precise. The final product was six minutes of high definition animation, complete with voiceover.


View more about the Solar Orbiter mission.

Design Council – Design Bugs Out!

Animation, Biology, Engineering

The Design Council asked us to help them visualise their challenge for the NHS, Design Bugs Out, where the UK’s top designers and manufacturers were asked to design furniture and equipment which would be easier and quicker to thoroughly clean, in order to reduce the spread of infections from surfaces.
From three storyboards and some CAD files, we created three animations to outline how their new equipment was an improvement, plus some 360° views of the equipment.  Read more at Design Bugs Out.

Curtain Clip A curtain clip with wipe-clean handles provides a common touch-point for anyone opening and closing the curtain and can be cleaned on a regular basis. Standard curtains are handled regularly by staff, patients and visitors. But they are hard to clean, increasing the risk of cross-infection.

Intelligent Mattress with hydrochromic dye. This mattress aids in the detection of punctures in the waterproof plastic covering, which could allow bacteria such as C. difficile to contaminate the inner foam core.  A layer of hydrochromic ink in the mattress covering changes colour as soon as fluids seep through, highlighting staff to the risk of contamination.

Patient Bedside System. A mobile patient bedside system that can be configured to suit different clinical settings and patient needs, with a design that makes it easy to disassemble and clean on a regular basis.

360° views



Animations

Our Work

We create high-quality, cinematic animations to bring your project to life.  We will help you translate complex technical ideas into communicable visuals.

Whether you need:

  • Explainer videos of your technology.
  • Company overview / promotional video.
  • Sales tools to help communicate the benefits of your product or service.
  • Videos for conference stands – standalone and eye-catching to engage potential customers.
  • Visualising data – we use our background in data processing to visualise raw data in intelligent ways.
  • Visualising product designs – we can open all common CAD formats, and make a product that doesn’t yet exist look real.  We also do camera tracking in-house, and can integrate digital elements into moving camera footage.

We typically work at HD or 4K, 25 fps and can supply voice-over, music, sound effects and subtitles as required.

We find that our work is particularly useful in visualising things that can’t be seen because they are either too small (genetics, quantum devices, cellular processes), too far away (space missions, exoplanets), or don’t exist yet (product designs, novel technology).  And we can communicate complex science in a manageable way, or interpret the key elements of your novel technology in a more conceptual way, for journal covers, brochures or lobby artwork.

Biology

Our Work

We have a particular passion for visualising synthetic biology and cellular machinery, bringing our unique cinematic style to highlight the wonders of genetics and cell biology.  It really does make the best images, and we find it fascinating.  We have worked on complex genetic scenes (transcription/translation, DNA replication, DNA computation), molecular complexes such as CRISPR-CAS9, haemoglobin, antibody/T-cell binding, and more macro scenes such as visualising neurons, water-borne parasites and tumours.

We typically ask sensible questions about your research, and translate this in to a visual scene that communicates the novel aspects of your work, or interpret it in a conceptual or artistic way for use on journal covers, for example.  We can either set scenes up as high resolution still renders, or rig them for animation.  There is some saving in doing both, as much of the work is similar.

Typically we work at 6000×4500 pixels for illustration, which will print at A1 at 180 dpi.  We can go higher resolution if desired.  Animations tend to be HD or 4K, 25 fps and we can supply voice-over, music, sound effects and subtitles as required.

Space Tech

Our Work

Equinox have ten years experience working on space graphics and animations, and have worked for Airbus D&S, ESA, UK Space Agency, NASA, SSTL, Surrey Space Centre, and others.

Because of our experience and knowledge from previous projects, we get details correct (i.e. understanding of orbits, operation of instruments, manoeuvring, etc.)  This saves valuable time and money, ensuring we complete projects on time and on budget.

We aim for a balance between absolute accuracy and and artistic cinematic quality, which we find is appreciated by engineers and the public alike.  We don’t make silly mistakes, and those times when we need to simplify science or engineering, it is to aid with clarity of communication.

We serve to educate and to engage, while staying true to the science. We are experienced in tackling large complex projects, and are comfortable talking to engineers about their technical work, asking informed questions based on our knowledge and experience. We always strive to improve the quality of our work and achieve a truly cinematic result.

Typically we need CAD files (under NDA) of your satellite design.  If this is incomplete, or if you are focusing on a specific instrument, we can fill in the gaps and construct the complete satellite.  We have visualised complex orbital manoeuvres (docking, capture, walking safety ellipse), and are quite adept at telling the story of a space mission step-by-step, which making it look photorealistic.

We generally work at 6000×4500 pixels for illustration, which will print at A1 at 180 dpi.  We can go higher resolution if desired.  Animations tend to be HD or 4K, 25 fps and we can supply voice-over, music, sound effects and subtitles as required.

Concept Work

Our Work

Many concepts are nigh impossible to convey verbally, or even in illustrated form. This is where the power of animation comes in: it’s possible to visualise mechanisms or abstract concepts, from molecular scale interactions to space exploration. Allow the audience to appreciate the complexity and skill involved in your project, by viewing it first-hand.

Several of our clients have used our visualisations for the bidding stage on a project – bringing a slick animation to the table really helps you stand out as being committed and professional, and we’re pleased to claim a 100% success rate on bids using our work.