Biomedical Demoreel! 8D

This is my completed demoreel of work created throughout my time at the University of Illinois at Chicago in the Biomedical Visualization program! My work consists of creating medical and scientific animations. Key areas of interest include: dynamic animation techniques using the software 3DS Max, polygon and digital sculpting, CT data and image extraction of anatomical forms, as well as incorporating molecular models (.pdb files).


crusty eyes –

During my internship at the Journal of the Americal Medical Association in Chicago, I worked on a project to develop a patient education illustration accompanying an article on conjunctivitis aka “pink eye.”

The link to the page and free PDF of the article can be found here

The focus of the illustration was to show where the conjunctiva is located and what are a few features that accompany bacterial and viral infections. This project was fun because I got to draw my fiance’s eyeball :) plus making him look like he had a nasty case of the pink eye!

Below I’m showing a progress shot of me painting in the sketches in Photoshop and using my photo reference as a guide. To create the color palette for the illustration, I created swatches directly from the photo (using the indexed color options) and used them in my image. I also would like to add I was using Wacom’s Cintiq, which is so realistic to natural rendering. I loved it!

pinkeyeprogress  pinkeye

the nut theory

Over the past few semsters I was working with renowned paleontologist Paul Sereno to create my research project at UIC. Sereno has dug up many dinosaurs, but what intrigued me was the little dinosaur Psittacosaurus gobiensis. From Sereno’s discovery, he describes a new theory that would explain the unique wear pattern on its teeth and hypothesize its eating habits as a nut eating dinosaur. The product of this research is an animation describing this novel theory: clinolineal jaw mechanism. The intended audiences are paleontologists, researchers and students. In summary, the project was created as an educational animation exploring animation design principles for that specific purpose. The principles were investigated because research has shown there are few cases where an animation is effective as a teaching tool. My goals were overcome these limitations by creating a 3D fossil reconstruction visualizing the clinolineal jaw mechanism.

The article that served as the building block for this project came from Sereno’s research found here

Tools used for this project include: 3DS Max, Mudbox, Zbrush, Mimics, Paraview, 3D-Coat, After Effects, Photoshop

2 steppin

This animation project was the basis of my Animation 2 class in 3DS Max. Information on the content is explained in previous posts. The specifics of what would be visualized changed throughout content exploration. You can see the changes  throughout the animation found here and here. Overall the topic was simplified and focused on the generalized concept of one particle (delivery vector) housing another particle inside of it. These particles are the carriers of a cancer therapeutic used for RNA interference targeted toward cancerous tumors. Once the main carrier lands in the liver the smaller particles inside if it are released into the liver’s circulatory system where it eventually leads to the tumor site.

Further details about the topic can be found here : Cancer Res. 2010 May 1;70(9):3687-96. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-09-3931. The literature from this journal article provided the inspiration for this animation and served as a guideline for the specifics. The animation is tailored to patients, investors, and researchers to be viewed on the web.

Tools used for the project were 3DS Max, After Effects, Zbrush, 3D-Coat


-ouch: Trigeminal Neuralgia

This semester I have been fortunate enough to take part in a medical illustrator internship at the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA network). It has been the most amazing experience thus far. I enjoy seeing the production flow, researching non-stop, getting amazing feedback from other illustrators as well as getting the experience of feedback from authors, editors, etc.

This first project is an illustration that goes along with the journal’s patient page section focusing on Trigeminal neuralgia. Rendering was done in Photoshop. If you click the link you can go directly to the patient page to see it in full layout with the text to get a better understanding of the image and how they work together.

Patient Page



*by the way… these guys are awesome :)

anatomical love

This is an illustration I did for the” Anatomical Love” art show our Biomedical Visualization class put on. The show’s theme was hearts, for the spirit of Valentine’s day. It was a fun little photoshop project and I enjoyed exploring styles. It was awesome seeing everyone’s work too. Everyone who submitted is so creative!

This image shows how I feel when I feel love, inner warmth, radiating energy…



This is my final project from my molecular pharmacology class over the fall semester. Branching from the original assigned reading I finally settled on the delivery method of siRNA for cancer therapy. Specifically a multistage delivery method by mesoporous silicon particles. Once injected the dome-shaped (blue) silicon particle settle in the sinusoids of the liver. Housed within these silicon particles lives the second stage of the delivery, liposomes with the siRNA therapeutic inside. As the silicon particles settle the liposomes are released into the body for gene silencing in ovarian cancer.

I created a couple of storyboard images for a proposed animation (Sometime hopefully in the near future). For the final image I modeled and rendered a still from the last scene. Created in 3DS Max and brought in the render passes into Photoshop to put it all together. The most fun of this project was building all the models and creating textures for them. The hepatocytes are my favorite! :) Importantly!.. all the models within the scene are to scale according to the journal article specifications. Except for the liposomes emerging from the silicon particle, they are to size as the little yellow dots. The format of this image could be used on electronic display for medical professionals at a conference for a pharmaceutical client.


s1 s2 s3

Stroke Animation

Here I have my final project in my 1st year animation class. You can take a look back to where it has come, from storyboard to animatic to the now posted final.

Some basic concepts I worked on for the effects are described my animatic. Most all stayed the same except some things did get changed around due to time constraints. The brain texture was subsurface scattering, and did take more time to render than I expected. For the bursting aneurysm I opted for a PArray and PCloud instead of using the cloth modifier. I needed to go back and change my already built model to use the cloth, so this way was a quick way to get the effect without crashing my computer. Of course there are many things I would like to change but for being my first complete animation, I think I’ve come a long way for one semester. There are so many things to learn, all the tips and tricks.


This is my last project for my Surgical Illustration class. I’m depicting here a Robotic Assisted Laparoscopic Donor Nephrectomy of the left kidney. This kidney was being removed from a woman in her 30’s. The smaller image is the adrenal gland being dissected from the kidney with robotics. The larger image is one of the final steps, after it’s removed and is placed on a bed of ice. The kidney is then flushed with a saline solution mixture through the Renal artery to remove all the blood. During this time the color of the kidney transitions from a reddish blue to a tan color, signifying the blood leaving the organ.

I was truly moved by this procedure. Not only because it was my last time being in the OR for this class, but because medicine is amazing! I could feel the connection between everyone all helping each other, from the surgeon to the woman donating. All the times going in seeing people being saved, it finally hit me with this one. It literally brought tears to my eyes seeing everyone work so hard (yes I know, I’m too sappy). I’m just glad I can document this kind work through medical illustration.

I chose to illustrate this to accompany a journal article as a full-page image insert. The audience would be medical professionals. All rendering was done in Photoshop, with my original sketch kept in the illustration.