A TEACHING AID FOR HEAD AND NECK ANATOMY

BRIEF: To create a life-size wax sculpture and produce a 3D interactive model of it for use as a teaching aid for head and neck anatomy
AUDIENCE: Public, medical and anatomy students
SERVICES USED: 3D Illustration, Multimedia, Interactive Content, Layout Design
MEDIA: Plastic anatomically-correct human skull, acrylic eyes, modelling wax, sculpting tools, oil paint, Canon EOS 550D DSLR camera, Agisoft PhotoScan, ZBrush, Sketchfab
FINAL OUTCOME: Physical wax sculpture, teaching poster and interactive 3D model

The project brief was to create a life-size wax sculpture that demonstrated anatomy of the head and neck. A plastic anatomically-correct human skull and acrylic eyes were provided as a foundation for the sculpture and white modelling wax was given as the main medium. For the sculpture, the aim was to manipulate, sculpt and build the wax onto the skull to create additional anatomy of the head and neck. For the 3D interactive model, either photogrammetry or 3D scanning could be used to capture the sculpture. The 3D model can be integrated digitally into teaching modules, or downloaded and 3D printed.


WHY THE ANATOMY OF RAGE?

The facial expression of rage was chosen as it is distinctive, emotive and powerful. It offers a range of anatomical structures for demonstration, involves a number of contracted facial muscles and shows strong expression lines. As well as a teaching aid for muscles used in facial expression, the viewers’ reaction to the sculpture could potentially be studied, seeing whether it evokes emotion, discomfort or feelings in the viewer and to what degree.

Rage is defined as intense or violent anger and is one of the most primal emotions. It can be seen in humans and many other species, and is an innate emotional system passed down through evolution that helps contribute to survival.

At its core, rage provides two main roles:

  1. As an emotion to prepare the subject for attack (e.g. exposing teeth avoids hurting the lips in the process of biting)
  2. As a signal to warn, intimidate and threaten other animals that they have invaded the subject’s territory or have challenged the subject’s rank.

 
 

THE FINAL POSTER


EXPLORE THE INTERACTIVE 3D MODEL


IMAGES OF THE FINAL SCULPTURE


PROCESS

 
RESEARCH
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PKD (polycystic kidney disease) is a genetic disorder that causes multiple fluid-filled cysts to grow in the kidneys. If too many cysts grow, or they get too big, they can greatly enlarge and damage the kidneys. The cysts can eventually replace much of the kidneys, reducing kidney function and eventually leading to kidney failure.

It was decided that the animation would include a healthy kidney along with the polycystic kidney, to better illustrate the effects of polycystic kidney disease on the kidney. In some cases, polycystic kidneys can grow as large as an American football!

MODELLING THE HEALTHY KIDNEY
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Multiple credible reference sources were used to sculpt the healthy and polycystic kidneys.

The healthy kidney was sculpted in ZBrush using the Inflate brush, Move brush, Magnify brush and Crease brush. The healthy ureter was modelled using ZSpheres, which were later replaced by an adaptive skin. Polypaint and Spotlight were then used to add texture, colour and vasculature to the kidney and ureter.

 
 
MODELLING THE POLYCYSTIC KIDNEY
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For the polycystic kidney, the healthy ureter was distorted and ‘dehydrated’ using a mixture of brushes and the deformation tab. The healthy kidney shape was then duplicated and enlarged to form a cyst layer and a kidney surface layer. For the cysts layer, a variety of brushes were used to create multiple, different sized cysts. For the surface layer, brushes were used to give rise to fat and small blood vessels. Once the sculpting was finished, the cysts layer and surface layer were coloured and textured with Polypaint, using a variety of polycystic kidney photographs as reference.

RENDERING AND ANIMATING
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Both the 3D models were exported to Keyshot for further texturing and animation. A metallic paint texture was added to make the kidneys look moist and realistic, and then a number of animation stills were rendered, including a revolving animation of both kidneys together and the polycystic kidney alone, as well as a variety of fades and transitions. The rendered image sequences were then imported into Adobe Premiere Pro, where self-written content was included and final edits made.

 

PHOTOGRAMMETRY