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9
Jun

3D Medical Animation Studio, Ghost Productions, “Inspires Hope” for the Future of Cardiovascular Medicine

Watch on Youtube

CLIENT: Dassault Systems / Simulia

In the business of 3D medical animation, we can always count on the engineering geniuses at Dassault Systems to not only amaze us with new technologies that ride the very cusp of possible and science fiction, but also to challenge us to find ways to explain and market these technologies. Their software products are nothing short of revolutionary. SolidWorks, just one of their many titles, completely revolutionized computer aided design and manufacturing so much so that 90% of our medical device clients now provide us CAD models from SolidWorks. As little as a few years ago, the vast majority used ProE.  Simulia, their division dedicated to the developing new standards in finite element analysis and frighteningly accurate simulations for engineering, brought in a new challenge for us with this particular project.

We’d worked with Simulia in the past when they needed us to create an animation that helped explain the features and benefits of their Abaqus Knee Simulator, a software solution that allows engineers to test their designs virtually, radically speeding the development of new joint implants. This time we were challenged to explain the potentials of using similar software to provide cardiologists with significantly better diagnostics by allowing them to run extremely precise simulations on their patient’s hearts. Because the simulation is run using a 3D model generated from each patient who needs treatment, doctors may soon be able to dramatically improve patient outcomes. They’ll know exactly where to place pacemaker leads and potentially other treatment options for the best result for each patient.

The goal for this project is to inspire thought leadership and help the world realize how valuable individualized 3D models and accurate simulations could be in treating life-threatneing conditions. This software gives doctors the ability to explore various treatment possibilities with each patient’s specific condition and physiology and this is likely to cause a dramatic improvement in how doctors diagnose and treat their patients. Ghost Productions knew that this project is extremely important and they needed to deliver a presentation that properly conveyed this importance.

Nic, who is responsible for directing our medical animtion projects to insure medical accuracy began brainstorming with our Creative Director, Josh. Together they came up with a few possible scenarios that may be useful to explain Simulia’s vision. They pitched their concepts to Executive Producer, Stephan, who immediately latched on to a concept that Josh had pitched because the concept both adequately explained the concept and because many of the assets needed for production had largely been completed. Several years earlier Stephan submitted a script to Medtronic that was written as a sequel to Heal, except this animation was to feature cardiovascular technologies instead of orthopedic and trauma devices, and starred Mario, the somewhat overweight character that accidentally caused the events leading up to Leo falling from the ladder. The animation also featured a little girl who was to be Mario’s granddaughter as the protagonist to help inspire empathy from the audience. Though Medtronic ended up passing on the script and the animation, Ghost had already begun building assets, including Mario and the little girl. Because Simulia’s deadline was critically short, it was necessary to choose a story that was both possible and successful.

Stephan then wrote a script to tell the story of a young girl with a life-threatening cardiovascular condition receiving care from her physician who had the full benefits of Simulia’s heart modeling and simulation technologies. We got the production rolling at breakneck speed and didn’t take a breath until we were finished. With only 43 net-production days from script approval final draft, we delivered the animation in time for our client’s marketing campaign and technology showcase event.

PUBLIC RELEASE: 6/9/14

BUDGET: Undisclosed at client’s request

11
Feb

Ghost Productions Medical Director’s Twin Cities Restaurant Picks | Nix Pix

I’m not just the Medical Content Director at Ghost I’m also a guy that likes to experience new tastes and share that happiness with my friends at Ghost. A few months back I started a list of some of my favorite places to eat and what I liked about them for some new peeps at Ghost. Here’s that list of places to go around the Twin Cities: I’ve got more to add but it’s a start:

Bradstreet crafthouse: http://www.bradstreetcraftshouse.com/

 HUGE cocktail menu. The Elvis pork belly sandwich is really great.

The 112 Eatery: http://www.112eatery.com/

This is one of my all time favorite places. I’ve also got a superstition that I’ll like any restaurant that uses a number in the name. So far it’s worked great LOL. I absolutely love their pan-seared brussel-sprouts in a balsamic reduction. It’s not on their winter menu though. I’d have this: tagliatelle w/ foie gras meatballs

Strip club: http://domeats.com/

Great casual place. Really great food and cocktails. Just watch that movie on the link; Deconstructed apple pie – Foie gras apple pie! I mean OMG!! I can’t wait to try that! AND It’s just fun to say you’re taking your date to the Strip Club.

The Bachelor Farmer: http://thebachelorfarmer.com/

 The dude in charge of the cocktails is frakin brilliant. I had the best, most balanced gin martini here I’ve ever had. Perfect. The have “Toast” dishes. Their a play on the local nordic roots of bland food on toast but super tasty and full of flavor. Strangely, really delicious swedish food. LOL!

Sea Change: http://seachangempls.com/

The “Fish & Chips” really creative. I had skate here too but I don’t see it on the menu anymore. Really solid food all around, a beautiful view of the river. Not inexpensive.

Hazel’s: http://www.hazelsnortheast.com/

Here’s a plug for my neighborhood place. Casual eating. Good food too. The swedish meatballs are awesome. You can order deep fried pickles here too. MMmmmm. They also have the local brews on tap like “612”.

Icehouse: http://www.icehousempls.com/

Really hip place. I had the rabbit and it was frakin awesome. Creative gin drinks. That’s always cool. Live music too. They’ve got a nice outdoor deck thing along side a small park with large metal and stone sculptures if you don’t want to compete with the music. I’m guessing the life span on the outdoor thing is short these days though. BUT in the spring…

Bar la Grassa: http://www.barlagrassa.com/

Owned by the same folks as the 112. Really creative gin drink selection. The skate here was really great too! Sea scallops with trumpet mushrooms. Gnocchi with cauliflower and orange. I really want to try that one next.

The Butcher and Boar:http://butcherandtheboar.com/

Order something that will include the Turkey Braunschweiger. Sounds weird but frakin’ amazing!!! Great drink menu.

Barrio: http://barriotequila.com/

Solid bar with really really great mexican cuisine. The skirt steak tacos are Great! Especially with a Michelada or an Old Cuban. MMMMM. OH the Ahi Tuna tacos are really great too. I can be a bit loud. Try to get seated in the upper loft if you go to the MPLS location.

Borough/Parlour: http://www.boroughmpls.com/

Dude. Simply great food. Great atmosphere. One of the best braised octopus dishes I’ve ever had. When I went here I asked for a “Corn-n-Oil’ while waiting for our table. The drinksmith at the restaurant bar said he didn’t know it but he’d find out. Here’s the deal, I’ve been trying to get this drink right, personally, for months. It’s always turning out sort of discordant. This guy comes back with a drink he’d never made and it was really awesome. I told him about how I’ve tried to make it, He said, Yeah, I looked at the recipe and figured it needed some balancing. WOW he got it right.

Heartland: http://www.heartlandrestaurant.com/

Right by the st. paul farmers market. Really beautiful place with a blend of finished and unfinished warehouse architecture. Awesome food but the cheese is second to none. I probably spent $50 on cheese. LOL! There is a deli connected to the restaurant and its also pretty awesome. The point is they grow/raise their own food or locally source most of the menu. The server will go through it when you order. Really pretty interesting place.

La Belle Vie: https://www.labellevie.us/

A bit expensive but you get a server that serves ONLY you. This person literally doesn’t serve anybody else while you are there. Bitchin’ The food is exemplary. The cocktail bar is run by Johnny Michaels and the menu is SUPER creative: Order the “Handsome Devil” or “the Most Interesting Man In the World”. WOW.

Chino Latino: http://www.chinolatino.com/

You probably already know this one but here goes: Pretty much a fun and creative menu. At the end of the meal, even if you’re eating Cuban Fried Pork Tacos or whatever, you get a fortune. The fortune I got the night I found out my kid’s birthmom was pregnant with a my little girl. EIGHT months pregnant, My fortune at this place said this: “Damage control is no longer an option”. LOL!!! HOLY BALLS!! That’s just plain frakin accurate.

There are so many more I’ve been to. I’ll have to continue to build this list… In the meantime, for those that try these places out which do you like best? Post a comment

12
Jan

Now Hiring – Sales Assistant

Ghost Productions is seeking a motivated and positive individual to support our Sales Lead to develop and maintain new and returning accounts for Medical Animation and Interactive Production. This person will work closely with our Medical Content Director with the goal to expand experience in our unique field and advance as Medical Animation/Interactive Sales Representative.

 

Duties:

Team with Sales Lead to facilitate new and returning client project needs.

Support planning sales strategies for clients and projects and assist implementation.

Maintain and support our CRM database (Daylite).

Coordinate inquiries and organize sales meeting schedules.

 

Skills:

Strong organizational, communication, and time management skills.

Experience with CRM software (Daylite or similar).

Basic understanding of medicine or medical experience is not required but helpful.

Ability to manage multiple tasks at a time simultaneously.

If you are interested in this position or would like to learn more, please send a cover letter and resume or your questions to nic@ghostproductions(dot)com.

2
Jan

Now Hiring – CG Supervisor

Ghost Productions is looking to hire a CG Supervisor. The CG Supervisor will work closely with the 3d production team to identify potential strategies, assess technical options and evaluate production schedules. The chosen candidate will participate as a leader and hands-on contributor through all stages of Pre and Post Production.

 

Duties and Responsibilities:

Work with the 3d Team Leads and Heads of Departments to define the creative and technical approach for animation production

Identify areas of R&D required for the show

Work with Production to manage the day to day running of the 3d production team

Work with Production to evaluate artist schedules ensuring they are realistic and achievable

Coordinate with Production Manager to adjust schedules accordingly

Coordinate rounds with all members of the 3d production and post-production team on a regular basis

Attend dailies sessions with the production team to give feedback/approvals

Meet 3d team on a regular basis to identify inefficiencies or technical problems with the toolset and pipeline, and put in place a plan of action to resolve such issues

 

 

Requirements:

A minimum of 4 years of CG leadership experience using Maya and 3d animation productions

Strong working knowledge of 3D software packages and pipelines

Excellent problem solving skills

An experienced and honed creative eye

Knowledge of the entire production process, including stage shooting is preferred

Ability to successfully delegate, mentor and manage people and projects

Ability to understand client approval process

Must have a sense of strong team dynamics and a positive morale generating style

 

 

To apply for this position, please send a cover letter and resume to laura(at)ghostproductions.com

13
Nov

Ghost Productions is hiring! – Junior 3D Compositor

Hello everyone! Ghost Productions is looking once again for a creative and professional compositor experienced with AE 3D cameras and 3D compositing. We’re looking for someone with a strong aesthetic and drive to produce dynamically beautiful finished content. You will be coordinating with the post-production team and 3D department to improve the quality of our finished animations. Knowledge of basic lighting and rendering in Maya is a huge plus.
Join the company that created “Heal,” the character animation that proved that story-based medical animations are not only possible but extremely powerful.
Skills
  3D compositing
  Understand layers that are rendered out of 3D
  Render passes
  3D cameras
  Motion graphics and branding
  Sound effects
  Narration editing
Traits
  Self sufficient
  Self motivated
  Mid-level experience
  Problem solving skills
  Fun, enthusiastic, and positive
Programs
  After Effects
  MAYA
  Photoshop
  The following programs are a plus:
  NUKE
  ZBrush
  DVD Studio Pro
  Encore
  DVD Authoring
  Cinema 4D
The job comes with an accrual-based 3 weeks of paid-time off that grow with each year worked up to 20 days of vacation and 5 PTO. We offer medical and dental benefits and a competitive 401k retirement plan. We have super-flexible core hours that allow you to work when you are at your most productive, free, highly-caffeinated beverages, opportunities for travel for continuing education, free parking, Herman Miller Chairs, ergonomic desks, a scary-powerful render farm, freedom to work on your own ideas after-hours, LAN Gaming at 4:44PM, and absolutely NO CUBICLES!!!
About Ghost Productions and Employees:
Ghost is an exceptionally creative environment that is more likely to reward those who think outside of the box than those who prefer convention. And speaking of reward, Ghost pays out 15% of profits to employees in bonuses to their best, brightest, and hardest workers. Ghost also offers one of the most stable opportunities for employment in the field. It is a challenging job and only the most skilled, talented, and dedicated are going to enjoy a career with us. Those who lack imagination, enjoy complaining more than animating, or would prefer to produce footage that is less than the very best, may be better suited to working for less imaginative employers.
If you are interested in this position, please send your portfolio, cover letter, and resume to alex@ghostproductions(dot)com
4
Nov

Now Hiring – 3D Modeler/Generalist at Ghost Productions

Ghost Productions is looking to hire a creative and hard-working 3D Modeler/Generalist with exceptional Maya skills and an eye for detail and quality to join our production team. As a 3D Modeler/Generalist, your primary goal will be to create and model/texture assets and animate content when needed for clients to utilize for training, education, entertainment, and marketing.

 

Essential Functions & Responsibilities

– Create and animate visually engaging content from pre-production assets.
– Effectively communicate client ideas through a visual medium.
– Support 3D production staff with general modeling/texturing tasks and scripting in Maya.
– Meet production deadlines.
– Display a strong sense of teamwork.
– Update project management software on a daily basis utilizing SOP (Standard Operation Procedures) to coordinate projects with other team members.
– Incorporate client feedback into projects.
– Discover new techniques for the 3D production process that makes for a more visually stunning product and a stronger, more efficient production pipeline.
– Fulfill objectives and directives of directors and managers.
– Above all, have fun!

 

Job Requirements & Qualifications

Education:

– Minimum Associate Degree, or proven artistic talent.

Knowledge Requirements (licenses, programs, or certifications):

– Autodesk Maya, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe After Effects, Zbrush or comparable Software.

Experience:

– Knowledge and competency with 3D software, modeling, animation, and rendering.

Physical Requirements:

-The ability to operate computer equipment.

 

If you are interested in this position, please send a resume, cover letter and online portfolio to alex@ghostproductions.com

 

Ghost Productions, Inc.

Roseville, Minnesota

http://ghostproductions.com

4
Nov

Now Hiring – Junior Front End Developer with Ghost Productions

Ghost Productions is looking to hire a creative and hard-working Junior Front End Developer with exceptional HTML/CSS abilities and an eye for detail and quality to join our Interactive Team. As a Junior Front End Developer, you will assist with all of our internal and client interactive projects by helping create templates, perform site maintenance, and perform/assist with the web design process.

 

Our ideal candidate will have the following skills, knowledge, and experience:

 

1+ years of professional or verifiable freelance Front End Developer experience

Ability to write semantic and reusable HTML for templates, plugins and widgets.

Ability to write reusable CSS for web sites, web applications and mobile that degrade gracefully. Responsive Web Design experience a big plus.

Ability to write modular Javascript and accommodate older browsers.

Experience with javascript template and framework – mustache.js or handlebars.js or underscore.js is a plus

Experience using a canvas drawing framework (Create.js, Impact.js, Phaser.io) is a plus

1 year experience in front-end javascript framework preferred(ember.js/angular, etc) is a plus

Willingness to experiment

Understanding of trends in web design

Able to keep several projects moving ahead simultaneously

Some experience designing or developing templates for Drupal/Wordpress/Joomla frameworks

Some experience developing web applications a plus

Experience with Unity is a plus

Experience with Bootstrap 3 is a plus

OO Javascript preferred

OOCSS style preferred

Some Actionscript 3.0 knowledge helpful but not required.

 

What is your go-to site for web inspiration?

What languages/software do you want to learn in the next year?

 

If you are interested in this position, please send a resume, cover letter and/or online portfolio to alex@ghostproductions.com

 

Ghost Productions, Inc.

Roseville, Minnesota

http://ghostproductions.com

9
Sep

Now Hiring – 3D Compositor

Ghost Productions is once again looking for a creative and professional compositor experienced with AE 3D cameras and 3D compositing. We’re looking for someone with a strong aesthetic and drive to produce dynamically beautiful finished content. You will be coordinating with the post-production team and 3D department to improve the quality of our finished animations. Experience with Maya is not required but is appreciated.

Join the company that created “Heal,” the character animation that proved that story-based medical animations are not only possible but extremely powerful.

Skills

3D compositing
Understand layers that are rendered out of 3D
Render passes
3D cameras
Motion graphics and branding
Sound effects
Narration editing

Traits

Self sufficient
Self motivated
Mid-level experience
Problem solving skills
Fun, enthusiastic, and positive

Programs

After Effects
MAYA
Photoshop

The following programs are a plus:
NUKE
ZBrush
DVD Studio Pro
Encore
DVD Authoring
Cinema 4D

The job comes with an accrual-based 3 weeks of paid-time off that grow with each year worked up to 20 days of vacation and 5 PTO. We offer medical and dental benefits and a competitive 401k retirement plan. We have super-flexible core hours that allow you to work when you are at your most productive, free, highly-caffeinated beverages, opportunities for travel for continuing education, free parking, Herman Miller Chairs, ergonomic desks, a scary-powerful render farm, freedom to work on your own ideas after-hours, LAN Gaming at 4:44PM, and absolutely NO CUBICLES!!!

About Ghost Productions and Employees:
Ghost is an exceptionally creative environment that is more likely to reward those who think outside of the box than those who prefer convention. And speaking of reward, Ghost pays out 15% of profits to employees in bonuses to their best, brightest, and hardest workers. Ghost also offers one of the most stable opportunities for employment in the field. It is a challenging job and only the most skilled, talented, and dedicated are going to enjoy a career with us. Those who lack imagination, enjoy complaining more than animating, or would prefer to produce footage that is less than the very best, may be better suited to working for less imaginative employers.

If you are interested in this position, please send your portfolio and resume to alex@ghostproductions(dot)com

11
Aug

We’re Hiring! – 3D Compositor

Ghost Productions is looking for a creative and professional compositor experienced with AE 3D cameras and 3D compositing. We’re looking for someone with a strong aesthetic and drive to produce dynamically beautiful finished content. You will be coordinating with the post-production team and 3D department to improve the quality of our finished animations. Experience with Maya is not required but is appreciated.

Join the company that created “Heal,” the character animation that proved that story-based medical animations are not only possible but extremely powerful.

Skills

3D compositing
Understand layers that are rendered out of 3D
Render passes
3D cameras
Motion graphics and branding
Sound effects
Narration editing

Traits

Self sufficient
Self motivated
Mid-level experience
Problem solving skills
Fun, enthusiastic, and positive

Programs

After Effects
MAYA
Photoshop

The following programs are a plus:
NUKE
ZBrush
DVD Studio Pro
Encore
DVD Authoring
Cinema 4D

The job comes with an accrual-based 3 weeks of paid-time off that grow with each year worked up to 20 days of vacation and 5 PTO. We offer medical and dental benefits and a competitive 401k retirement plan. We have super-flexible core hours that allow you to work when you are at your most productive, free, highly-caffeinated beverages, opportunities for travel for continuing education, free parking, Herman Miller Chairs, ergonomic desks, a scary-powerful render farm, freedom to work on your own ideas after-hours, LAN Gaming at 4:44PM, and absolutely NO CUBICLES!!!

About Ghost Productions and Employees:
Ghost is an exceptionally creative environment that is more likely to reward those who think outside of the box than those who prefer convention. And speaking of reward, Ghost pays out 15% of profits to employees in bonuses to their best, brightest, and hardest workers. Ghost also offers one of the most stable opportunities for employment in the field. It is a challenging job and only the most skilled, talented, and dedicated are going to enjoy a career with us. Those who lack imagination, enjoy complaining more than animating, or would prefer to produce footage that is less than the very best, may be better suited to working for less imaginative employers.

If you are interested in this position, please send your portfolio and resume to alex@ghostproductions(dot)com

16
Jun

Medical Animation Case Study: Aesculap – S4 SRI

 

ClientAesculap Implant Systems

Mission: Medical animation studio, Ghost Productions, created this 3D medical animation for their client, Aesculap, to demonstrate the controlled and precise sponylolisthesis reduction obtained using the S4 SRI. After illustrating the features and benefits of the spinal implant, the animation shows a brief surgical procedure of the implantation of the device and pedicle screws.

Delivery: 1/21/14

Budget: $20,000 – $30,000