Part of my Clinical Sciences course included a focus on pharmacology; specifically, the importance of GPCR’s in drug treatment. G protein-coupled receptors, or GPCRs, are transmembrane receptors that receive an extracellular stimulus and activate a signal transduction pathway inside the cell. Almost half of all pharmaceutical drugs target GPCRs, as opposed to other membrane proteins, to enter cells. I chose to depict the GPCR Rhodopsin. Rhodopsin is a visual pigment in the retina responsible for vision in low-light conditions. Rhodopsin is composed of an opsin (7-transmembrane helices) covalently bound to a retinal (photoreactive chromophore). In my composition, Rhodopsin is the purple protein located within the phospholipid bilayer. Rhodopsin is activated by a photon of light which begins the signal transduction pathway, which I wont get into… Enjoy!
I’ve revisited my Reovirus and Angiosarcoma models to create a 2.5D animation. I arranged my 3DS Max renders onto layers in Photoshop separated depending on their distance from the “camera”. I then took 7 layers into AfterEffects to animate them. Enjoy!
Another project done using Mudbox (yay!) and 3DS Max (Boo!)!!! As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, Mudbox is a wonderful 3D sculpting tool that is as enjoyable as it is challenging; while 3DS Max is just… challenging. The assignment for this project was to create a polycystic kidney and a “normal” kidney and create a 2D editorial piece incorporating the 3D models. The project began in Mimics which is an image processing software that creates a 3D image from multiple, stacked, 2D images (in this case, CT scans). Once the 3D model was extracted it was imported into Mudbox where it was automatically retopologized. Here I sculpted a polycystic kidney from the normal kidney then painted and textured it. Once it looked beautiful and gross I imported it to 3DS Max to light and render. Along with the model, a normal and displacement map were imported from Mudbox which contain the paint and bump layers. This allows you to tie them into the material editor in Max and edit them to get them to look the way the did in Mudbox. So after hours of playing around with different settings on my normal and displacement maps in the material editor I got a 3D model that was almost as nice as the one I had created in Mudbox. Next, I lit the scene with a few standard target lights. Once the lighting gave the right effect I rendered it using different layer passes that I then brought into Photoshop to layer and manipulate some more. I also added some glossy highlights in Photoshop that weren’t showing up well in Max. The intended use for the editorial is to accompany a journal article discussing the genetics of polycystic kidney disase (PKD). So, I went with a family tree theme. Here it is!
One of the software programs I’ll be learning this term is Mudbox (along with Flash, ZBrush, Fovia, AfterEffects, Materialise Mimics, and Edge). It’s not nearly as stressful as 3DS Max and it feels much more like a traditional form of art than other 3D software I’ve worked with thus far. Instead of building with solid geometric polygons, you create a form that respond as if it’s a clay medium, giving it a very organic feel. You can work additively or subtractively, which makes it very forgiving and malleable. What’s really great about Mudbox is you can use a pen tablet to work the fine details of the sculpting. So far, I absolutely love this program! To get used to the sculpting tools, our assignment was to import a Max file of our face from last term and retopologize and edit it in Mudbox. So, here I am with short hair!
Our final project of the term, often referred to as ‘The John-Scott Project’ was to illustrate a physiological concept in 2D (for John’s class) and in 3D (for Scott’s). I chose to do a pathophysiological concept of the reovirus. Reovirus, short for Respiratory Enteric Orphan Virus, is a naturally occurring virus that targets cancer cells and is harmless to normal cells. (You’ve probably encountered reovirus at some point in your life but your immune system has removed it.) Normal cells have Protein Kinase R (PKR) which protects them against viral infections. Cancer cells have an activated Ras Pathway (involved in cellular signal transduction) which blocks PKR activity, thus allowing reovirus to invade, There is a variant of reovirus, called Reolysin, which is currently under Phase 3 clinical trials (final testing) for cancer treatment. What’s so amazing about this virus, is that it has the potential to treat an overwhelming majority of cancers. 75% of primary carcinomas have Ras turned on and 95-100% of metastatic tumors have it on, thus the potential to be invaded and killed by reovirus. I’m very excited to see what happens in the future!
Here’s the 2D illustration using Photoshop. (Note, the reovirus are much smaller than what is depicted)
Here’s the 3D version using 3Ds Max of reovirus finding the angiosarcoma
My second assignment in my computer visualization class was to use Mimics to piece together layers of a 3D model of a female knee to import into 3Ds Max. Once imported, I created a realistic render using the bump and diffuse layers in viewport canvas, an ink’n’paint material render, and an x-ray render with soft tissue added in Photoshop.