Here’s a pretty little visualization by Hybrid Medical Animation: a demo reel of clips portraying various physiological processes and medical devices in action, in various styles of animation:
One of my frustrations with medical animations is that they’re a Disneyfied look at the body. Real biology is dirty, sticky, unpredictable, and a little dangerous – kind of like Times Square used to be. But in medical animations the body is always a minimalist, sterile Kubrickian utopia, usually in Pottery Barn colors, where pretty little molecules do unerring dances to soothing electronica. Boo.
Right at 1:00 there’s a nice clip which, to me, rings much truer to the way molecules really move – that is, like spastic, Brownian stop-motion claymation. It’s interesting that there’s only one brief clip in that style. The rest is very smooth and pretty. And I suppose it has to be this way: no one wants to witness the insertion of a stent (see video ~1:45) through in a jerky churn of thick, cell-crowded blood; if an artist did portray it that way, just on biological principle, you couldn’t see a darn thing, which would completely defeat the purpose! Hybrid is good at what they do, this video successfully gets some complex ideas across, and it doesn’t need to be overcomplicated with unnecessary biological detail. So I try to remind myself that conceptual animations like this should be idealized and simple – even though they’d be so much more awesome steampunked. (I mean, come on. That beating heart. . . with rivets and stuff? Mmmmmmm.)