Anatomy and Art

a blog by Sara Egner

Archive for the ‘my art’ tag

The Moon’s Formation

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Today I finally got the go ahead to share one of the astronomy animations of late.  It looks like we may change something about the sun on the first one, but this one is staying as is.  This was definitely the crazier of the two to work on so far.  I don’t really ever get requests to crash things when I’m making bio animations.  So I did a few tests in advance of taking this one on, where I discovered the Voroni Fracture, which is super fun, especially when combined with the push-apart and random effectors.  Unfortunately, by the time we got the textures fully set and introduced a molten core, every scene that used Voroni fractures wound up taking forever to render.  There are spots where I would have liked to do it a few more times to finesse some of that stray space debris and get it just so.  But overall, I learned a lot working on this, and it was fun to try something different.

It’s been a while since I’ve been able to post anything fun from work on YouTube.  For a while there, most of my animation work was either going into larger interactives and needed that context to make sense, or was really small, and again best within the context it was being made for.

I’m looking forward to doing more of these.  And when we get things settled with that first one I’d like to show it off too.  It’s less smash and more elegant.  I think it’ll give viewers a good aha moment, and well, that’s my favorite part of working on things like this.  Well, that and the part where the details of my job involve all kinds of cool scientific knowledge.  Really, prior to making this, I don’t believe I’d ever heard this explanation for how our moon formed.

Oh, and I can’t forget to mention this awesome find for textures.  I only used them a little in this animation, but I’ve gotten good use out of the textures that are freely available from Solar System Scope.  It’s a lot like taking them directly from NASA, only these folks have already done the work of taking NASA’s telescope images and stitching them together to make a perfect texture for application to a sphere in whatever 3D program you might be using.  It’s really made working on these kinds of images nice.  So big thanks to them, and obviously to NASA.

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July 13th, 2018 at 9:09 pm

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With

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I finally finished this piece I’ve been working on for a while now.  I’m calling this one With.

 

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May 20th, 2018 at 1:25 pm

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Nephron Anatomy

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I recently had an assignment to create a nephron illustration.  I’ve illustrated nephrons before, and I even thought I’d be able to re-use some of my old work.  But it turns out, all of my previous work with nephrons was at a more introductory level.  I have to say, I was downright disappointed.  Because science gets complicated, and anatomy in particular, there are a lot of times when models are simplified for clarity, but it really bothers me when I feel like students are actively mislead.

The first time I ever illustrated a nephron was in grad school.  I did it for my pen and ink assignment, and was really happy with how it turned out.


Then not long after I started with Sapling Learning, I wound up illustrating a nephron in Photoshop.


We even used arrows with this one at one point to show flow.  And I looked at a lot of images throughout making both of these images.  But not until a more advanced illustration request came up, did I ever realize that the distal tube of the nephron always passes by the opening of the capsule between the efferent and afferent arterioles.  There’s actually an important feedback process that happens there where the contents of the tubule affect dilation and therefore the rate of filtration happening.

If you look up the juxtaglomerular apparatus you can find a lot of references at this level.  That one detail of form is an important part of how nephrons work.  So it bothers me that it’s so widely agreed not to feature it in more introductory images.  They do that for clarity, but I think it’s too important and really I’m not sure that it actually adds all that much more complexity.  So this is my most recent nephron artwork.  It’s not my prettiest version, but it does tell more of the story.  If we’d had more time, we probably would have done more with the form of the podocytes.  They really weren’t the point of the illustration though, so we settled for at least giving them a nod.  This was more about showing the layout of the cells between where the distal tubule passes between those in and outgoing arterioles to allow for the signal exchange about how much filtration is needed and for flow to be appropriately affected via dilation.


So now I’m hoping that moving forward, I can always use that simple design change in representing nephrons so that when students get to this part, it’s not so jarring.  Maybe a lot of students don’t get stuck on details like that, but I know that I always have, and I know that I’m not the only one.

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March 21st, 2018 at 2:16 pm

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Head and Neck with Jasmine

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I recently got a chance to put a friend’s face in some anatomy work.  Sometime back the lovely Jasmine Harris let me photograph her face at Macmillan and I recently had the opportunity to pull it up for an AP illustration.  I used the Zygote model for much of the internal anatomy and made some adjustments to both fit Jasmine’s head and neck more appropriately and also to improve the accuracy for the cutplane view.

image - head and neck anatomy

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February 12th, 2018 at 10:14 pm

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Prints Again

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Picked up test strips of art prints today.  I’ve been enjoying playing with changes in scale on prints, and I think I may try blowing another of my smaller pieces up.

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February 10th, 2018 at 12:54 am

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Upcoming Art Show in Austin

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It sounds like I’m going to be doing an art show this spring with Austin’s friendly neighborhood sex shop, Forbidden Fruit.  I’m going to be bringing out a few of my older pieces for this one, especially if they let me display prints.  I’ve been hoping to pull off something new too, though honestly it’s been a while since I’ve been in love or even lust for that matter with anyone and I’m not sure what to make.  I’ve been a bit stuck in the making of new paintings lately, and one thing that’s nice about doing a show is that it gives you a concrete reason to push through a slump like that, or even if it doesn’t, it usually leaves you with new thoughts and feelings about your work afterwards that can often be channeled into new ideas.  Either way, it’ll be good to get my work up again.

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February 3rd, 2018 at 3:15 pm

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Flipside

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I am just returned from Flipside.  And a good time was had.  The theme this year was Unicorns vs. Rainbows: The Reckoning.  As is always the case in battle, the reckoning won.

photo of Flipside ticket
My string rainbow art project never actually made it up, but the high horse (a plastic horse on top of a ladder, upon which one may say anything) went quite well.  I’m realizing though, that I used to be so much more involved in photographing the event, and I think that’s something that I need to get back to.  Escalating privacy concerns over the years, have left photographers in an awkward space out there.  All in all, there was a lot of really fun artwork out there, and a lot of good people to enjoy it with.  Next stop, my return to Burning Man!  And then I think maybe next year, I might get up to some different kinds of adventures.

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May 31st, 2017 at 9:08 pm

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She Wades In

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I can’t believe I didn’t update here, but I did wind up finishing the new painting.  I’m calling it, “She Wades In” and I’ve been really happy with the response I’ve been getting for her.  The canvas has already been sold and shipped off to Oregon, and I am in the process of selling prints now.

painting

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March 11th, 2017 at 8:09 pm

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Work of Late

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Well it was nearly finished when I posted a draft before to test the new web hosting.  But I finally settled on a final copy of that facial nerve illustration with my friend Ernest, so I thought I’d share that here.

facial nerve

I’ve been doing a lot of work with the skull again at work lately too.  That’s all been based on the Zygote model mostly, defining which parts of the skull go with which individual skull bones and the like.  That and chemistry, which is less relevant to this blog, but it’s been interesting to me just the same.

And at home, I’ve been working a lot on a painting lately.  It’s funny, she started off so green, but I’ve been morphing the color palette over time.

work-in-progress 1

work-in-progress 2

 

work in progress 3

 

work in progress 4

 

This one is getting really close now and I hope to post the finished work soon.  🙂

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February 1st, 2017 at 7:08 pm

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Homunculus

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I confess, I’ve been fairly consumed with politics lately.  I may write more about some of that here at some point.  But for now, I thought I’d share something fun that I got to work on recently at Macmillan.  Some of you are familiar with the concept of the somatosensory homunculus.  There’s basically this part of the brain where the sensory and motor information signals come and go.  And it’s neat because things always go in a particular order, and there are a lot more neurons for things like the face, and hands than there are for things like your shin.  To help people remember the arrangement, it’s common to draw out a distorted human along that area of the brain.  And I recently got a request to create one of these for just the motor part (sorry, no giant genitalia for those of you who are familiar with the sensory side.)

 

homonculus illustration

I feel like I could have exaggerated the prominent features even more, especially the hands, but the idea is still clear.  We dedicate a lot of our neurons to the tongue and lips and overall face, and to each finger, and our wrists.  Comparatively we dedicate a lot less to our toes, our abdominal muscles, our upper arms….

When I was in grad school, a friend of mine once reached out about maybe getting a tattoo done of the homunculus on his head to line up with the part of the brain.  He thought since I was in medical art school, I might have some good ideas for that.  Alas, it was the first I’d heard of it and I was a little too swamped with grad school at the time to oblige him.  But now I got to make one at work.  And maybe someday, if that friend still wants it after all these years, I’ll help him out yet.

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January 15th, 2017 at 8:05 pm

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