Maybe it’s the fact that we’re always working in the virtual world, but we’re always pleased and flattered when our work is recognized (it turns out that the submicroscopic forms of life that we tend to focus on aren’t so good at passing out compliments – go figure).
So yep, having Wired UK (basically, the techno-nerd’s bible) do an amazing 8-page centerspread that called XVIVO innovators in the field of scientific visualization was a real big deal for us. The article centered on some of the biologic processes that inspire our work, including cell development, how drugs move around the body and cause things to happen, and the delicate chemical harmony that operates in the background in all living things.
If you’ll allow us to brag just a bit – we like to think that our high resolution renders, insistence on accurate molecular depiction, and signature color schemes are some of the things that make our work immediately recognizable. We work hard to produce quality animations, (in the past, we’ve gotten noticed by the New York Times and StudioDaily), and you may find our work in classrooms inspiring students, in offices educating clinicians, or decorating the screen on your computer, tablet or smartphone with our beautiful wallpaper images.
XVIVO is based in the U.S., but we work with clients in Turkey, France, the UK, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, and New Zealand. The article in Wired UK is proof to us that what we are doing is attracting attention on the global stage, and we could not be more excited about that. Expanding into all these new markets helps us stretch our own horizons and (we hope) become even more creative.
Here at XVIVO, it is our belief that true innovation and progress exist where fields of study collide. We are constantly working to bring artistic sensibilities into science, or to infuse hard data into wild and colorful imagery. This isn’t just for eye-candy’s sake – studies have shown that computer animations can significantly enhance understanding of complex concepts.
We would just like to extend our thanks to Wired UK for taking the time to recognize us and hope that you all enjoy our work.
So get your hands on the May 2013 Edition of Wired UK and check out how we’ve caught the eye of the techie’s magazine of choice. In case you can’t get a physical copy (or the link stops working), here are some of the images that Wired showcased, as well as some quotes from the story.
The Connecticut-based animation studio XVIVO brings our biology to life through high quality visualizations, writes Madhumita Venkataramanan. “Scientists often have complex stories to tell, and we help them to simplify these through animation and images,” says Michael Astrachan, President and founder of XVIVO. “We just finished an animation for the US National Institutes of Health to clarify what ‘extracellular RNA’ is,” Astrachan says. This recently discovered family of molecules is similar to DNA but is found outside of the cell it was synthesized in, and is thought to play a role in communication between cells. “The NIH wanted to entice more researchers to apply for grants in the area and study it closely.”
XVIVO references various materials including medical illustrations, electron micrographs and photos to create its work. “Although we use real data, there is no visible color at the microscopic scales we look at,” says Astrachan. “So, to convey the beauty in science we get to make up the colors.” Astrachan, who trained as an artist, taught himself 3D animation in 1998, Three years later he cofounded XVIVO, which now has a staff of ten artists, producers, illustrators and designers who work on a dozen projects at a time. “For me, animation speaks the language of art, it is just a different canvas,” Astrachan says. “I want to use my knowledge to help move the vision of scientists forward.”