The Growth of Medical Animation in Toronto

By Medical Animation

Medical animators used to once create diagrams in textbooks but now in the 21st century, the movement has shifted. They are breaking barriers by creating training videos, interactive apps, 3D animations, educational online games and various medical technologies used by patients, medical professionals and students.

According to a North American survey, Toronto is the base and has more medical animators than any other city on the continent although Montreal and Chicago come close. The chair of the University of Toronto’s biomedical communications program explained that this rise is a result of the prominence of human resources and the training available in Toronto. Additionally, Toronto is the lone place in Canada to study medical illustration at the graduate level, where the University of Toronto is one of the four universities in North America to teach it.

Medical illustration is favoured as it is visually appealing and is a wonderful combination of graphic design and healthcare. It is an interesting way for people to understand medicine in a simple and interactive way. Moreover, as technology continues to develop further, medical illustrators are using new and advanced technology; for example, flash programming, layout applications and animation software. Therefore, it is easier and faster to create high quality healthcare animation.

                                    Image Source: https://technobleak.com/medical-animation-market-size-growth-rate-by-product-forecast-2026/

As opposed to before, the demand of medical illustrators has increased where jobs are available in all work sectors and is distributed geographically. This ranges from multimedia organizations, virtual companies, healthcare marketing, scientific research and medical institutions. One important project created by a team of medical illustrators helped surgeons have a better visualization of the complexities of one patient’s body prior to giving birth to twins. It helped them plan the surgery in advance without any fatalities or mistakes on how to separate conjoined twins. Much to people’s surprise, they also work nine-to-five working days with approximately 40 –hour weeks and sometimes with benefit packages. Salaries for medical animators range from $62,000 up to $100, 000 per year and the perk of having this career is that you can control your hours; either working full or part-time, being a freelancer or even starting your own company. This allows for a flexible schedule where you control the hours of your work day, especially now when people have various commitments and busier daily lives. It is a great career option for people that have a talent in art but an interest in science.

Medical animation has become prevalent throughout science and even e-learning has also become much more in demand. Further, it is a huge area for growth where it is no longer exclusively just for medical processionals to utilize for patient information but the general public as well for e-learning. It has reinvented scientific illustration from the traditional tools of pen and paper to a mouse, computer and software programming.

 

 

Virtual Reality Technology Making Medical Training Videos Possible

By Medical Animation

One of the issues faced by medical students is not having enough practical training and feeling confident to start working on real patients. Even during a medical student’s practicals or a first surgery after becoming a surgeon, it creates fear for the patient that they are in uncertain hands and especially for the doctor that a mistake could lead to death. As a result of the advancement in technology, it has helped to alleviate this issue through virtual reality in medical training videos. Therefore, allowing doctors to make mistakes and practice without any consequences.

This medical training video entails a virtual reality headset and a computer-generated patient. This allows for interaction between the medical student and a virtual patient, as well as an effective learning resource. Moreover, virtual reality medical training videos provide professionals and student with skills and further techniques to enhance medical care.

Medical institutes have invested millions of dollars into this technology such as the J and K Virtual Reality Centre at Western University of Health Sciences in California and at the University of Nebraska. The centre at Western University stated that the virtual reality medical training videos resulted in increased scores on exams, better understanding of human anatomy and a higher interest in learning and engagement with the students. This technology allows for students to see structures inside by moving through layers of tissue, organs and wounds that can be enlarged for a detailed view. Rather than being concerned about preserving a cadaver and waiting on receiving a number of bodies for medical training dissections, the virtual reality tables avoid these issues.

Extending the use of technology, Dr. Shafi Ahmed used Google Glass technology to perform surgical training for 14,000 surgeons over 100 countries virtually. He displayed the removal of a cancerous tumor through 360 degree virtual reality. Dr. Ahmed combined healthcare and technology to expand learning globally, by using a virtual reality training video via video conferencing. Combining the two has increased accessibility to learning and sharing knowledge through an online platform.

Moreover, medical training videos can be used for a greater good. Dr. Ahmed collaborated with medical schools to share even more knowledge through video conferencing to doctors in remote areas. From a financial perspective, using virtual reality technology allows to reduce the cost of purchasing real cadavers in these areas that do not have abundant resources. Another benefit is that it reduces the time of travel for the trainees and the doctor providing the training. VC Daily established that video conferencing would let a doctor in training visit approximately ten hospitals in one day.

The advancement of technology using medical training videos creates a number of benefits. It won’t be long before virtual reality and video conferencing becomes a frequent method of learning and training.

Grease The Musical: Multiple Award Winning Animated Video

By Video Production

Grease Then & Now

There is never anything more exciting and brings back memories from the past like the return of the very popular musical from the 1970’s, Grease. Growing up with it and now having it return in the 21st century, allows fans that had seen the original reminisce about the past and let millennials see why this musical was so special.

In 1971, when Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey wrote the script for Grease, they never imagined how popular it would become and the amount of people that would be in admiration of it. The musical then went on to being adapted to film production in 2017 where thousands of ecstatic audiences came together to watch the performance. The music and dancing was iconic and has left such an ever-lasting impact on the audience, that it is being restored and presented right here in Toronto. It was shown at an important and historical landmark in Toronto at the Winter Garden Theatre.

Twisted Frame & Grease Collaboration

In the spring of 2017, Twisted Frame was invited to pitch a proposal to produce a promotional piece for Grease. As we have worked on many video production projects in Toronto and our expertise is in animation and motion graphics, we enthusiastically worked on a video that promoted the musical in a different style to attract the audience. Once the promotional video was approved and we were granted the project, the creative team worked diligently to design a video production that encompassed all the best aspects of Grease, while creating a feel of curiosity and excitement for the audience. Using video animation was important to us to include in this video to entice our Toronto audience. The animations were of high quality, colourful and brought back the atmosphere of theatre in the 20th century. It even included original sound effects that complimented the evening setting of dim lights and a pop of colour throughout the video.

The Making of the Grease Promo Video

Of course this animated promo would not be a proper representation of Grease if it did not include the classic 1950 red Ford car. Our designers at Twisted Frame worked on designing the 3D model of the car. It was important while executing this video production that the design created had vibrant colours, complimented the background music and the famous Grease car was the centre of attraction. After the design was completed and the storyboard was approved, it was animated. The production team at Twisted Frame’s main goal was to have the car driven in Downtown, Toronto to display the outstanding view of the city while enticing the audience with a theme of Grease coming to Toronto. Throughout the video production, you will recognize many renowned Toronto locations such as, the theatre, Lakeview Restaurant, the CN Tower and many skyscrapers that really makes one get a sense of the Downtown, Toronto vibe. Additionally, Grease is incorporated throughout the video not only with the 1950 Ford, but through a shadow in the road saying “Greased Lightnin,” billboards, a “Grease is the Word” sign at the side of a building and posters of the main cast. It even includes written lyrics of the two most popular songs from Grease, “You’re the One I Want” and “Summer Nights.”

The Importance of Animation & the Quality of Work by Twisted Frame

With technology advancing and animation currently more prominent, it makes video production more appealing to the audience with the use of bright colours, realistic animation and visually-appealing effects. Despite the limited budget, Twisted Frame did not want to sacrifice the quality and excellence of this project. On the contrary, they wanted to create a piece that would portray their enthusiasm and commitment behind it. As a result, our hard work was recognized and appreciated when we won awards for this video production from the Davey awards, Vega awards and Marcom awards. Our talented art team’s effort and creativity helped not only to make this design lively, but also displayed the beauty of Toronto from a different perspective that in turn, brought a unique presentation to musical promotions.

 

Here’s the link to the video:

 

Enjoy the class! 🙂

 

Artificial Intelligence- The Future of Animation

By Healthcare Animation

The recent phenomena that has sparked interest in everyone is artificial intelligence (AI), referring to a part of computer science where intelligent machines do the work rather than humans. AI is already used for learning, problem solving and speech recognition. This advanced technology mimics the human brain and can perform the same tasks on its own.

 

AI has become useful in many businesses as it cuts down tedious and long tasks that humans do. For instance, it is beneficial in the advertising industry, where machine learning abilities can filter through audience data and help create better campaign decisions based off of a reliable, mathematical formula. AI has also positively impacted animation and motion graphics, where it is further developing the heights to which animations can be created. Moreover, it makes the job of an animator or designer much easier now as opposed to before. They input instructions into an automated engine and the software interprets which variables are required to make the animation move.

 

Disney is known for using AI to generate storyboard animations just from scripts by using words such as “turn right” and having the animated character turn in that direction. However, it is important to note that this process is not as easy as described and requires a lot of work prior to it being able to work successfully. The Disney team explains that translating text to animation using AI is not as straightforward because certain sentences that are inputted and output animations, do not have a fixed structure. Therefore, the team had to build a neural network of different components such as a script-parsing modules that would automatically isolate relevant text from the scene and include it in the screenplay. It also included a universal language that processes complex sentences by using a set of linguistic rules that would extract information, put it into a simplified sentence and have it portrayed as an action.

 

Other fields in which animation and AI are being used together, for the betterment of society, is to create smarter cancer treatments and self-driving technology. Researchers at the University of Toronto and the University of Massachusetts Amherst, use deep learning algorithms to obtain large amounts of data to translate it into artificial intelligence. They have even applied the algorithms to software to introduce it into the animation and gaming industry.


Image Source: https://www.itchronicles.com/automation/artificial-intelligence-future-hold/

Artificial intelligence definitely needs to be further developed but holds great potential for being the future of animation. Three ways that created an acceptance of artificial intelligence and has caused everyone to be so intrigued are:

  1.  Access to cheaper graphing processing units (GPU’s) – This has created a higher standard for better graphics in video games. As GPU’s were in demand, they became mass-produced and very common resulting in the prices decreasing, making it affordable. AI software requires a lot of processors running at the same time, which works perfectly to cluster GPU’s together to fill AI software since it is affordable and accessible.
  2. Big data- For AI to exist and continue to do so well, it needed a lot of memory space and education in which it could study a topic and perform the task it is being asked, much like the human brain, except at a much faster speed.
  3. Algorithms- For AI to react quickly, neuronets need to be stacked into layers. For example to recognize a face, neuronets first need to recognize facial features, then build many different layers before it could understand the face.

AI can improve our lives in more ways than one can imagine and as it continues breaking boundaries, especially in the field of animation and motion graphics, it foreshadows a lot of growth and long-term usage.

Important Healthcare Video Marketing Strategies to Connect with Consumers

By Healthcare Marketing Video

Promoting healthcare through video marketing has become prevalent now more than ever. More importantly, it serves a purpose of reminding and teaching the public how important medical visits, self-care and detecting symptoms early on, before it leads to severe health issues. Healthcare production companies, such as Twisted Frame, offers video production services to reach out to a target audience through interactive animations and high-quality editing and video services. A Forbes article, Seven Key HealthCare Marketing Tips to Impact and Alter Consumer Behaviors, identifies the importance of how healthcare marketing has to firstly appeal to the emotional side of the audience so they are able to relate and connect with the content to be able to engage better. The seven strategies that impact consumer behavior when responding to healthcare marketing are:

Helathcare video marketingImage Source: https://www.emagine.com/getting-started-with-healthcare-video-marketing/

  1. Forming an emotional connection- Healthcare marketing videos specifically, need to be empathetic and genuine to connect with an audience. They need to make sure they see a purpose and change arising from the content. For instance, Twisted Frame took upon a project with Trissa where they created a series of videos portraying the effectiveness of this weight loss program. However, unlike typical weight loss videos that show before and after images, this one included interviews from patients that was a part of Trissa’s procedure. Seeing video content as opposed to a picture created a human factor and emotional connection with the audience by showing results and inspiring others.
  2.  Engaging the community- By creating a community, helps the audience feel like they are not isolated and brings people forward to take action towards improving healthcare. Moreover, marketing that makes a community feel involved and is personal, sparks a conversation among them. Forbes relayed that social media was chosen as one of the top strategies used by healthcare leaders and production companies to communicate with their consumers.
  3.  Create trust and transparency- When a video production company is transparent and honest, the audience tends to relate more and be in support of the content. The audience is now smarter and will voice their opinion if they do not agree with content or if it does not seem authentic to them. Twisted Frame creates healthcare marketing videos that are true to the company and audience by displaying what the company stands for and using the best quality animation.
  4.  Invest in mobile technology- With technology so prominent and accessible, before going to a doctor, people Google their symptoms or read other people’s blogs to see if they are struggling with similar illnesses. Virtual care gives people the control and independence to take care of their own health which reassures them as well. By investing in mobile technology, allows people to talk about healthcare and receive help across borders without having to travel.
  5.  Accessibility and affordability- Often companies use huge budgets and do not allocate it to the right parts of the entire healthcare marketing process. For example, Twisted Frame worked on a promotional animated video to introduce the famous musical, Grease in Toronto. While there was a certain budget for this video, the production company managed to stay within the given budget without compromising the quality and effects in the video. It is important for healthcare marketing companies to be accessible and affordable for their clients and to stay competitive.
  6.  Involvement with Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)- A quick and promising way to make a connection with a consumer is through investing in a cause that creates a social impact either in the community or on the planet. Consumers feel better about buying into a brand when they know that the company is giving back as well. Incorporating the CSR into the companies’ marketing strategy brings attention to ways people can make a difference which attracts a larger audience.
  7.  Empower consumers- Now especially, consumers like to be independent and take control over their health. When combining social media, technology and people researching symptoms of their own health, it only makes sense for people to be drawn towards healthcare video marketing.