© 2017 by Cristina Sala Ripoll, unless otherwise stated

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THE CELL CYCLE

An eLearning animation

In a tiny world...

...a journey begins.

The cell cycle is a very complex process that involves many components and the images used to represent it can often seem too overwhelming.

Dr. Oparka from the University of Dundee School of Medicine needed a way to  present the most relevant features of the cycle in a clear and simple way to first year medical  students. 

In its simplest form, the cell cycle is usually represented as a circle. This way of representation is very visual and concise, and has been extensively used. We wanted to find a different way to represent the key aspects of the cycle and at the same time make the resource appealing to students.  

We decided that a short animation would be suitable to present a dynamic process such as the cell cycle. To make the animation more attractive, we thought that it might be a good idea to make the cell cycle look like a video game. 

 

JOIN THE CELL IN HER MICROSCOPIC ADVENTURE!

The journal paper on this project was published on the Journal of Visual Communication in Medicine and it was the winner of the New Author Award on October 2017

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PROCESS

First of all, a series of key learning messages and outcomes were defined in order to keep our efforts focused on them and avoid including too much information.

After extensive research, I produced a few sketches including all of the details that relevant to show. Based on this, a text was witten for the voiceover of the animation. The aim was to keep it under 5 min; long enough that a lot of information can be presented but short enough that the viewer's attention is not lost in the process.

The next step was to come up with a way to represent the cell, phases of the cell cycle and proteins in a video game world. We decided that the cell would be a character advancing through the different levels (representing the phases) of the cell cycle.

Once the metaphors were clear, I designed the characters, objects and worlds and created a storyboard to show the whole story step by step.

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Watch the teaser here