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Cellular Visions: The Inner Life of a Cell

What can character animators learn from those who render microscopic worlds in 3D? Plenty.

By Beth Marchant

July 20, 2006    Source: Web Original

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The Inner Life of a Cell, an eight-minute animation created in NewTek LightWave 3D and Adobe After Effects for Harvard biology students, won’t draw the kind of box office crowds that more ferocious˜and furrier˜digital creations did last Christmas. But it will share a place along side them in SIGGRAPH's Electronic Theatre show, which will run for three days during the 33rd annual exhibition and conference in Boston next month. Created by XVIVO, a scientific animation company near Hartford, CT, the animation illustrates unseen molecular mechanisms and the ones they trigger, specifically how white blood cells sense and respond to their surroundings and external stimuli.


XVIVO, a scientific animation company near Harford, CT, created this molecular animation using NewTek LightWave and SOFTIMAGE XSI

XVIVO, a scientific animation company near Harford, CT, created this molecular animation using NewTek LightWave and SOFTIMAGE XSI

XVIVO also relied heavily on PDB (Protein Data Bank) Reader, another LightWave plug-in well known in the scientific animation community that brings in both the point cloud data and XYZ coordinates for all the atoms in a protein

XVIVO also relied heavily on PDB (Protein Data Bank) Reader, another LightWave plug-in well known in the scientific animation community that brings in both the point cloud data and XYZ coordinates for all the atoms in a protein

XVIVO lead animator John Liebler discovered Happy Digital’s HD Instance, what he now refers to as a “magic plug-in for instancing,” for global motions through displacements. XVIVO lead animator John Liebler discovered Happy Digital’s HD Instance, what he now refers to as a “magic plug-in for instancing,” for global motions through displacements

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