Anatomy and Art

a blog by Sara Egner

AMI’s 66th Annual Conference in Baltimore

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So I started to write a bit about the conference a few days back, while I was still in Baltimore.  Now that I’m home, I wanted to say a little more about the experience.  First of all, the event was held in a beautiful hotel, the Grand Tremont in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.  This is a quick shot I snapped with my laptop during one of the lectures.

And we saw most of the big lectures from that room.  That is where Linda Wilson-Pauwels gave her presidential address, encouraging participation and volunteerism within the AMI.  And directly after followed Juan Velasco from National Geographic.  I knew that National Geographic had a well deserved reputation for it’s imagery, but I really had no idea the level of work they were putting into keeping up that reputation.  Their process was fascinating to hear about.  In particular, I was surprised to learn that so many of their images start with the creation of a physical 3D form.  I just don’t know of anyone else doing that as part of their process toward their 2D images.

We also got a talk from animator Drew Berry that day.  His work is really some of the best out there  in the world of biomedical animation.  I’m just going to put up this piece of his work on malaria that’s up on YouTube here, in case you’re interested…



He’s also done some fantastic work with DNA, which looks like it is getting more widespread recognition and will be making it’s way into an experimental music video. One can’t help but wonder what getting these sorts of images into public consciousness does for mass understanding of how our bodies work. It seems like at least on some small level, even if unstudied, it would lend to some innate level of understanding.

We then broke into the business lunch, and further workshops for the day. The business lunch focused a lot on re-branding of the AMI as an organization. As a student member, I’m only allowed to listen in, and not vote on any of that, but it will be interesting to see where these efforts take us.

Over the course of the conference, I couldn’t help but be inspired by the talks that people were giving and think about things I might like to try when I got home. I definitely intend to do a little work with Zbrush and Mudbox while I still have student access to the tutorials. And I absolutely need to download the Molecular Maya plug in and start working with that. The creator, Gaël McGill was one of the speakers at the conference as well, and I very much enjoyed meeting him. I also found myself wondering if I wouldn’t perhaps be in a good position to give a talk about working with physical 3D forms and digital 3D forms and how knowledge in each area can benefit the other. And I found myself inspired to create a web forum for anaplastology patients and anaplastologists to share information and anecdotes with each other while listening to a talk about community building and branding by Katherine Jones of Milkshake Media which was behind the Livestrong campaign for the Lance Armstrong foundation. And it is most definitely time to re-cut my 3D Graphics and Animation Demo Reel to include both the blood vessel fly through animation and my now award winning animation on the BSSO and Osseous Genioplasty. I also need to add that award to my resume and well, I checked with my adviser and there isn’t anything I need to wait for before listing myself as a graduate of UIC’s program rather than a student seeking said degree, so that’s a fairly big change in the resume to make.

Yup, so plenty to do, and for starters, I finally got around to polishing up a still frame from my blood vessel animation to show as just an illustration. Here that is…

It’s been a great trip, and now it’s good to be home.

Written by Sara

July 28th, 2011 at 1:18 pm

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