PORTFOLIO / 3D & ANIMATION / Actin filament assembly

  • Title
  • Tools
  • Audience
  • Format
  • Supervisors
  • Purpose
Actin filament assembly
Autodesk Maya 2011, Adobe After Effects CS5, Molecular Maya & Protein Data Bank, GarageBand
Students, faculty, general public
3D animation (540p), 8 sec
Prof. M. Dryer1, E. Xuan1,2
This eight-second interstitial is intended to promote the Biomedical Communications program at the University of Toronto. It aims to capture the interest of the audience through visuals and sound. My approach was to create a "moving illustration" with minimal camera movement and an emphasis on composition. Through the creation of this animation, I developed a 3D animation workflow, which includes researching the topic, storyboarding, modeling and animating, lighting and texturing, compositing, and audio editing. I also gained experience in using structural data from the Protein Data Bank to create accurate portrayals of proteins.
1Biomedical Communications, University of Toronto 2AXS Studio

Pre-production: Storyboard

I initially had a lot of ideas about rapid camera movements, but decided on gentle, drifting motion as if the viewer were underwater. (PaintTool SAI 1.01)

Production: 3D animatic

Since this was such a short animation, I ended up skipping the 2D animatic and doing a lot of the planning directly in the 3D animatic. The 3D model for actin was derived from the Protein Data Bank. Since this quick animation was meant more for entertainment than for educational purposes, I felt it was not necessary to incorporate the subtle conformational changes during binding, and only depicted the uncomplexed structure.

Alberts, B., A. Johnson, J. Lewis, M. Raff, K. Roberts, and P. Walter. 2002. Cell Biology. New York: Garland Science, pp. 912-913.
Sharp, J., C.J. Lumsden, and N. Woolridge. 2008. In Silico: 3D Animation and Simulation of Cell Biology with Maya and MEL. New York: Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, pp. 384-409.