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29
Jun

Hydrocephalus Animation Case Study: Aesculap proGAV

Project: Hydrocephalus Animation for Aesculap, Inc.

MISSION: Build a dynamic and visually compelling animation that incorporates 3d visualization of product placements blended with well rendered stills to explain the use and programming of the proGAV hydrocephalus pressure management system.

SOLUTION: We were approached by the Aesculap neurology team to build an instructional video to support the proGAV training efforts. Together, we developed a plan to use well rendered 2d assets and make some simple animations using After Effects IK tools. The goal was to build a functional training tool that would also be visually stimulating to retain the audience.

proGAV_hydrocephalus_valve hydrocephalus_valve_adjustment

Our solution worked out very well with a really pretty finished hydrocephalus treatment training video. The challenges with learning a new process with the AE IK tools was worth the effort. We’ve since been able to use these skills with a few other projects. We also developed some new shading and lighting techniques to reduce overall render processing times.

A fringe benefit of working on this project was contributing to the efforts by Aesculap to treat hydrocephalus. We’re lucky to be able to be involved in visualization in medicine like this. A critical driving force for the continued development here at ghOst is the satisfaction we get in this type of contribution. Special thanks to Amy Burkey and Angela Olivier in the concept development that made this animation even better.

COMPLETED: September, 2014

BUDGET: ≈ $20,000-$22,000

11
Jun

Sinuplasty Animation Case Study: Medtronic NuVent

Project: Sinuplasty Animation for Medtronic

MISSION: Build a series of individual 3d-animated segments to be used in a Maxillary Sinuplasty video that promotes the features/benefits of NuVent in context with accurate 3d internal sinus anatomy. This series will show three applications of the NuVent system: Maxillary, Frontal, and Sphenoid.

SOLUTION: We were faced with a pretty tight timeline for this animation coupled with one of the busiest production schedules in our history. Despite these challenges we delivered a really compellingly beautiful animation. One of the main goals, presented by the client, was the accuracy of the anatomy and it’s relative context to the NuVent engineering data. This goal was realized quickly as we were able to draw from our previous experience with Maxillary Sinuplasty visualization.

Sinuplasty NuVent product shot Sinuplasty sphenoid ostium

We were able to work closely with Medtronic’s ENT, Neurologic Technologies & Navigation engineers to reference 3d anatomic scans used during the R&D process. Since the context for our 3d sinus anatomy model was primarily Maxillary focused, we were able to improve the deep sinus in the sphenoid region. We then build a really capable rig to react to the NuVent tooling model we adapted from the engineering files.

Technical detail met with creative adaptation and resulted in delivering our final piece not only on time but also with beautiful results. This Sinuplasty animation as met with very positive acclaim from our ENT clients. We’re looking forward to working more with the Medtronic’s ENT, Neurologic Technologies & Navigation division and expanding our animation coverage for this area of medicine.

COMPLETED: September, 2014

BUDGET: ≈ $25,000-$30,000

11
Jun

Spinous Process Fixation Animation Case Study: Spineology VIA

Project: VIA Spinous Process Fixation Device Animation for Spineology, Inc.

MISSION: Create an animation of the features and benefits of the VIA spinous process fixation device in context with posterior spinal anatomy. Special emphasis will be put to focus on the adjustable width clamping anchors and use with and without the interspinous and supraspinous ligament.

SOLUTION: Working closely, and discreetly with Spineology’s Garrett Ganske, we conceived of an animation that would break the visual paradigm for previous animations. When Garrett brought his concept of building a feature focused animation of their latest offering for Spinous Process Fixation, VIA, we couldn’t wait to get started. Blending some really skillful anatomic modeling and texturing by Allison Howle with the technical creativity of our lighting/shading dept resulted in a finished animation that did more than break paradigms.

Spinous Process Fixation Device Product Shot Spinous Process Fixation Device in Anatomy

The special attention to anatomic detail and contrast sensitivity, along with a really appropriate music track had dramatic effect. With this piece as a foundation, we have now evolved Spineology’s animation solutions to successfully integrate focused storytelling with beautiful visuals. Since producing VIA we have completed a number of new animations in this way, and are looking forward to the next.

This animation is a solid example of the creative power of collaboration between our client’s and our animation production team. When we are able to dream with our clients, beautiful things happen.

COMPLETED: July, 2014

BUDGET: ≈ $15,000-$20,000

4
Jun

Varicose Vein Treatment Ad Case Study: CIS (Cardiovascular Institute of the South)

Project: Varicose Vein Treatment Ad (Our 5th) for CIS (Cardiovascular Institute of the South)

MISSION: Provide the Cardiovascular Institute of the South with another beautifully rendered 30 second animated commercial spot highlighting varicose vein treatment

SOLUTION: Combine beautiful renderings of pathological legs in 3d before varicose vein treatment, with existing still images of actual patients, also before varicose vein treatment. We carefully isolated the visual content provided in the still images and added 3d post effects to make them cohesive with the 3d rendering. Our creative post-effects specialist, Mike Ackerman, also used sensitive color balancing to make all the visuals cohesive.

varicose vein treatment widget varicose vein treatment CIS logo

Additional focused attention by our creative lighting and shading department lead by Jas Bajric did a wonderful job. With real care for contrast sensitivity and tuned subsurface light scattering make these 3d legs come alive.

It’s hard to believe but this is the 5th animated ad we’ve produced for CIS and each time the results are creatively fulfilling and really effective for our client. Our previous efforts are just as compelling and not only convey the wide range of services offered like varicose vein treatments offered by CIS but really feel like a cohesive series. Great job, team!

COMPLETED: March, 2015

BUDGET: ≈ $15,000

2
Jun

Ghost Productions is Hiring! – Senior 3D Animator

Join the Team! Ghost Productions is looking to hire a creative and hard working Senior 3D Animator to join our production team.

– Primary Responsibilities:
Create and animate content
Review and refine animation quality with team for better animation quality
Learn and bring new ideas/solutions to improve the look of Ghost.
Collaborate with other members of the team to best plan productions and facilitate storytelling
Increase skills and usefulness of new employees added to your group.

Essential Functions & Responsibilities
Create visually engaging content from pre-production assets
Delegate organizational tasks to maintain and promote production workflow
Effectively communicating client ideas through a visual medium
Coordinate asset delivery
Coordinate project status, client revisions and technical revisions
Promote a positive work environment and contribute to the positive workplace morale
Update project management software on a daily basis and accurately log time on projects utilizing SOP (Standard Operation Procedures) to coordinate projects with other team members.
Incorporating 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.

Knowledge Requirements
Autodesk Maya
Adobe Photoshop
Adobe After Effects
Basic Compression and Authoring Software.

Special Information (Travel required, on-call schedule, etc):
– Occasional need to put in greater than 50 hours per week during heavy production and/or short deadlines.
Continuing education opportunities may require travel to other cities, SIGGRAPH etc.

We offer medical, 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, and absolutely NO CUBICLES!!!

If you are interested in this position, and want to join the Ghost Team, please send your resume, cover letter, and portfolio to laura@ghostproductions.com

1
Jun

Ghost Productions is Hiring! – Creative Director

Creative Director – Ghost Productions:

Animation Experience? Yep. Design Experience? Got it. Concepting? Pitching? Directing? Check, Check, and Check. If you’ve made it this far you’re headed in the right direction. As the Creative Director at Ghost you’ll need to be well versed in visual communication. You’ll need to be able to develop concepts, turn those ideas into tangible assets, and guide the production team through execution to final delivery. You will be the driving force of creativity and artistic expression at the company. Your vision is the product. Its what sells work and keeps clients coming back. You need to constantly be pushing the boundaries of what’s conceptually comfortable and technically possible. It is critically important that not only can you develop your vision but you can inspire it in others. You will lead a team of talented 3D artists who will become your pen, your brush, your ruler. Your name is on every project and they sink or swim because of you. Story and concept are King, but execution is Court.

Stats/Intangibles:
Strong Art Direction Portfolio/Reel (should contain animation, storyboards, concepts, color keys, etc)
5 years experience in animation
Creative team management experience is a must
Able to speak “client”
Able to speak “creative”
Ability to Pitch, (sell your vision to both creative and non creatives alike)
Strong storyteller
Highly Organized
Strong Multitasker
Strong Critique skills
Strong sense of motion/timing
Good with numbers (budgets/time)
Work well under pressure (Calm, Cool, and Collected)
Possess an Intricate knowledge of production pipeline (Modeling, Animating, Texturing, Dynamics, Lighting, Compositing, Motion Graphics)
+Bonus Points for familiarity with medicine/technology

Technical Skills Required:
-Strong Written and oral skills
-Storyboarding
-Illustration
-Keen eye for composition and design
-Extensive knowledge in Typography
-Extremely knowledgeable in color and light theory

Software:
-Photoshop -Illustrator
-Maya
-After Effects
-ZBrush
-Keynote/Numbers/Pages
-Powerpoint/Excel
+Bonus Points for familiarity with Management/Productivity Software

We offer medical, 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, and absolutely NO CUBICLES!!!

If you are interested in this position, and want to join the Ghost team, please send your portfolio, cover letter, and resume to leo@ghostproductions.com

26
May

Cannulated Screw Animation Case Study: FlowFX

Project: Cannulated Screw Marketing Animation for FlowFX, LLC.

MISSION: Provide Orthogen with a series of short promotional animations of the FlowFX cannulated screw systems for AAOS. Two involve femoral neck fracture that can be leveraged from the previously produced FlowNail animation. The remaining two are depicting the Flowfx technology in Tibial and Foot fracture applications. All of these animations will follow the same high level of visually compelling quality produced in the first FlowNail animation.

SOLUTION: We needed to show the infusion of bone void filler and biologics through the cannulated screw systems offered by FlowFX, LLC. We did this with a creative particle solution developed by Sam Gannaway, Technical Fx lead. It combined a number of dynamic fluid effects that did a great job of showing the progressive intrusion of BVF and biologics through the cannulated screws: Flow Nail, Flow Screw, and 2-Can.

cannulated Screw flow screw cannulated screw flow nail

We were really cut loose by our client, Patrick Sweeney. Patrick’s openness to creative ideas and camera angles helped our creative animation team and 3d techs deliver a really cool and dynamic animation that could have been sterilized by reigning in the swooping camera direction by Josh Lynch, Creative Director. Swooping cameras and sensitive focus on the subject helps this piece hold focus and show the innovative solutions, including the cannulated screw systems, created by FlowFX, LLC. and OrthoGen. Thanks Patrick!

COMPLETED: November, 2014

BUDGET: ≈ $20,000 – $25,000

18
May

Shoulder Arthroplasty Animation Case Study: Integra Lifesciences

Project: Shoulder Arthroplasty Marketing Animation for Integra Lifesciences

MISSION: Build an engaging animation of Integra’s line of shoulder arthroplasty devices highlighting the features and benefits of the Modular Shoulder, Reverse Shoulder, and Proximal Humeral Plating Systems.

SOLUTION: Tie in cues from the branding using color and shape from the logo and style guide as reference. We also kept that theme focused and attractive by limiting the colors of the anatomy to be similar to synthetic materials like titanium and carbon fiber.

Shoulder arthroplasty proximal humeral plate Shoulder arthroplasty modular and reverse

By limiting the focus of the anatomic color we were able to utilize the contrast sensitivity to focus attention on the shoulder arthroplasty implants and devices; Integrating their visual reference qualities as they related to the context. We were able to build this really cool aesthetic by integrating lots of creative coordination with the forward thinking marketing team at Integra Lifesystems. Without that kind of open client support, we would never have been able to achieve something with such focused aesthetic style. In the end, it turned out to be a really collaborative experience that rewarded both us and our clients. Thanks guys!

COMPLETED: March, 2014

BUDGET: ≈ $15,000 – $20,000

15
May

Now Hiring – Lead Compositor

Join the team! ghOst Productions is looking to hire a creative and hard working 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 a HUGE plus.

Job Summary

-Checking rendered frames, looking for glitches, missing frames, and poor quality footage.
-Putting together rough composites, blocking out timing, transitions and making sure everything flows smoothly within the AE composites
-Creating assets to be utilized within AE projects, for example; cutting out images, creating widgets, labels, background elements, music/sound effects.
-Willingness to learn and bring new ideas/ solutions to improve the look of ghOst.
-Keep AE files organized.
-Learn and comprehend the 3D stereoscopic workflow.
-Have the basic skills to move around in Maya, for creating color mattes, exporting 3D cameras, 3D logos and anything else that might be needed.
-Rotoscoping of video if not key-able.
-Able to troubleshoot and problem solve.
-Meet deadlines, even when it requires you to stay late to get it done. This position may require you to occasionally work +50 hrs per week.

Experience

Knowledge and competency with 3D software, matching audio to the timeline in AE

2-5 years of experience as a compositor

Skills

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

Programs
After Effects
MAYA
Photoshop

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

We offer medical, dental 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, and absolutely NO CUBICLES!!!

If you are interested in this position, and want to join the Ghost team, please send your portfolio, cover letter, and resume to leo@ghostproductions.com

11
May

Endoscope Animation Case Study: Aesculap MINOP InVent

Project: MINOP InVent Endoscope Marketing Animation for Aesculap, Inc.

MISSION: Produce a dynamic and visually compelling animation to show the flexibility and versatility of the MINOP Endoscope for use in advanced neuroendoscopy for neurosurgery, utilizing multiple ports in an application that will highlight benefits with multiple tooling.

SOLUTION: This project presented a number of challenges for us to rise to. One important detail was for us to draw attention to the unique, large ovoid working channel in the endoscope. We also needed to highlight other features that would be recognized by the neurosurgeon audience. We blended the use of 3d motion graphics and text to follow the key features, draw attention to them, and keep the core audience engaged to show the subsequent benefits.

MINOP endoscope working channel  Distal tip of MINOP endoscope

Exaggeration was used to convey the concept that the endoscope’s large ovoid working channel offers a much greater range of motion for the tooling, and that more than one tool can be used in the same channel. We used the camera angles to hide that we were actually passing through the side of the endoscope’s working channel to help better outline the messaging about the improved mobility. We were careful not to take this too far though, just enough to clearly tell the story but not to visually promise more than is possible. We did this by quantifying the angle of access available with the actual numbers.

A number of special tools were used to model and animate parts of the anatomy in the brain. The choroid plexus, near the colloid cyst being dissected, was built using a Maya nParticle emitted from a bundled spline, then converted to poly’s. The colloid cyst was deflated using nCloth. Special attention to shading helped make this animation really great.

COMPLETED: May, 2014

BUDGET: ≈ $30,000