By Gene Russo, contributor
Using animation to bring to life the mechanisms of one’s science can be an incredibly effective means of communicating ideas and complex concepts – whether to a specialist or lay audience. As bandwidth continues to increase, visual tools are becoming more prevalent online. Scientists may look to them in hopes of expanding the reach and impact of their work.
In October, science animator Quintin Anderson detailed various tips on how to create an effective animation – describing how to write a script, compose narration, model different science phenomena, target the proper audience and use music most advantageously (see Nature, 502, 259-260; 2013). Anderson attempted to demystify science animation, to pull back the curtain and show how appealing images and movies can bring science research to life.
Here we supplement his Column with a brief video demonstrating some of the key steps to an effective animation. The video features snippets from an animation that Anderson crafted for Chad Mirkin, the director of the International Institute for Nanotechnology at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. Anderson, in consultation with Mirkin, had to make important aesthetic and animation choices.
Check it out:
And here’s the original animation on which our instructional video is based:
Gene Russo is the Careers Editor at Nature