Artist Challenge – Day 3

3D, Anatomy, Graphical Works, Molecular

For day 3 I wanted to go back and look at some of my scientific 3D work.  Sometimes the stuff you didn’t think so much about in the moment, looks better when you go back to it.

<a href="”>AmbientUlcer

HIV Reverse Transcriptase with RNA/DNA

HIV Reverse Transcriptase with RNA/DNA
pdb model 2hmi



I was nominated by the talented Briana Hertzog to post 3 images a day for 5 days.

Today I nominate my VCU  and UIC partner in crime Jennifer Rogers !! I also nominate another BVIS alumi who has magical work and was amazing support for our two years in grad school, Natalie Doolittle. ♡

Artist Challenge – Day 1

Graphical Works, Inspiration



Yesterday I was nominated by the talented Briana Hertzog to post 3 images a day for 5 days. Briana and I met when studying at Virginia Commonwealth University in their Communication Arts program. I always enjoy seeing the imaginative work she creates and look forward to those that come. Along with my post I will nominate another person for the challenge.  I would like to thank Briana for this this is a great opportunity. I think it is a great time for reflection as I try to make decisions about how to direct my work towards a collective body of images.

Today my images show 3 different types of work I greatly enjoy creating:



DSC_0077 (2)photography

DSC_0077and collage.

Now I nominate an individual that if it were not for him I would not have met Briana because he introduce me to the idea of illustration and VCU’s Communication Art program. . . Mr Whitney Misch.

Robotic Surgery – Cholecystectomy

Graphical Works, Surgical

DaVinci Robotic Surgery Da Vinci



For this last assignment I observed removal of the gallbladder. This was a robotic surgery performed with the DaVinci machine. Before going to surgery I was excited to view robotic surgery because this meant I would see more of the procedure ( since it is projected to a screen ). But when I was in the OR I was very intrigued with the machine, so much I almost forgot to watch the surgery.

While each of the three illustrations can seem separate I wanted to collage them together. I thought it was important to show the connection between the viewport, the surgeon and the robotic surgery machine.

The Eye’s Have It

Graphical Works, Surgical, Traditional Work

Recently returning from AMI Annual meeting, I immediately began the intense work load which the final Summer 2012 week has brought forth (or I saved for myself, tomato/tomato). I hope to show my piece from the workshop and discuss the AMI experience, but for now I want to display some work from this semester.

A recurring theme seemed to be The Eye

The first illustration displays a transverse cut through the eye. You are looking inferior half of the globe of the eye, with detail of structures within the eye. Adobe Illustrator was really helpful for this project. It helped keep lines clean and clear, facilitating depiction of the different layers making up the eye structure.


Cataract Surgery – Replacement of the Posterior Intraocular Lens

The steps I set out to depict are (a) cutting of the cornea, (b) capsulorhexis – circular cut to the lens envelop to gain access to the lens nucleus (pulp of the lens), (c) Phasoemulsification, (d) placement of the posterior chamber intraocular lens (IOL)  into the lens envelope.

I really enjoyed rendering the phacoemulsification step of the procedure. I was excited about the texture of the lens pulp! I feel more comfortable rendering in Photoshop, now I just need to get that feeling when digitally painting too ( i.e. using color ).

Followed by some surgical instruments


Comments and critiques always welcome.

Or perhaps you have some surgical stories to share?!

The Polycystic Kidney

3D, Graphical Works, Just Learning, Retopology

Polycystic Kidney Disease is an inherited disease. Most of the time this disease is an autosomal dominant genetic trait. This results in the disease affecting at least 1 out of 1,000 Americans, sometimes even more , given that not everyone shows symptoms. The size of the affected kidney is overwhelming. This disease must be terribly painful given amount of space it intrudes on within the person’s body.

Editorial for PKD – mock ad for the PKD foundation.

To start the construction of this model, we extracted a model from DICOM data provided by the instructor. The model was exported from Mimix as an STL, improted into 3DS Max, then exported as an FBX so it could be imported into Mudbox. Once in Mudbox, I created then molded a sphere to flow with the over all shape of the kidney. A displacement map created from the high-poly kidney model and then applied to the re-shaped Mudbox sphere. This is the same process I used to create a model of my face.

Like I mentioned previously, Mudbox is AMAZING! The ease of sculpting, painting and creating detail on the model is extremely intuitive.

Screenshot of Kidney from Mudbox

The over all look and feel of the kidney changed throughout the process of building the model.  Going from Mudbox to Max to Photoshop can really take a toll on the final product.  You just have to stay calm, pay attention and keep modifying settings to get what you want.   When I was in Mudbox I spent a lot of time painting different layers, adjusting the hue and saturation of the layers, and sometimes even the opacity.  Then when you save out each file type ( the 3d geometry and the texture files) they are not always applied as you want them to be in 3Ds Max. And what I mean by that is, you have to do a lot of adjusting, the process is not as manual as you might hope. I found it easier to save the kidney from Mudbox using “Save scene to 3DS”. Then I saved each of my paint layers from Mudbox using “Save channel as Photoshop document”. This can be done  by right clicking on one of the paint layers ( you can’t right click over “Diffuse” you have to right click over one of the layers… but don’t worry it exports the entire channel ; )  ). In 3Ds max I changed the Bitmaps to link to the .psd documents. If you follow this process you have to open up the .psd in Photoshop, and turn off the red grid.

The hardest thing to get to show as I wanted was the bump layer. Turns out, you can apply it over “100”. I also had to jack up the reflection, glossiness and specular layer more than I anticipated. The grand lesson from any 3D project: no matter how quick you think you might get through to rendering, there are always more properties you can tweak. No wonder all the good projects have teams of masters working together creating this type of work.

The the final frustration -once you render out the overall image and the different channels- keeping the overall feel in Photoshop. The feel changed some after I added the specular channel and did a screen layer of the lighting channel. I started loosing the orange in some of the bubbles. However I was okay with how it changed because I am REALLY pleased with how I got some of the bubbles to show up.  I really wanted the iridescence of the cysts to come through and I think I achieved that (especially with the large bottom right cyst above the PKD logo ).

An work in progress detail I tweeted while painting the polycystic kidney

To learn more visit PDK Fountation Website.

Playing with the Type

Graphical Works

I came across this fun little website (thanks to WebTuts). It lets you try and make type similar to the actual existing type-face. I guess it is testing your ability to recognize how the type should look?

Test your professional eye” is how WebTuts put it.

Here are my results:

I purposefully tried to make type look . . . unconventional. . .

The vector points you can pull are limited, so my wackiness was contained some.

Needless to say, my score was not that good:

Enjoi! I recommend playing around with the site!

Volumetric Rendering in WebGL

Creative Coding, Graphical Works, Inspiration, Uncategorized

I have been peeking into the world of WebGL again, in hopes of finding some research topics.  I found some links that have to do with volumetric rendering that I wanted to share.

The first image is a link to a website which provides proof of concept.

This second example allows you to interact with the data and change coloring according to ‘density’.

There is definitely a lot of potential with this technology. I just need to come up with some sort of content. . .

And for your reading pleasure a paper on the history of Biomedical imaging.