Enterprise Therapeutics is a UK-based drug company developing treatments for respiratory diseases.
Its cystic fibrosis drug has recently been acquired by the Swiss Roche healthcare company, which is a huge success.
Respiratory diseases are one of the leading causes of death and severe illness around the world. The recent COVID-19 pandemic has increased these risks even more. It’s been shown that patients with COPD or cystic fibrosis have much more severe COVID-19 symptoms and prognosis.
Enterprise Therapeutics has asked us to show the background of these diseases and the mechanism of action of their drugs in an animated, easy to understand way.
Our medical animation explains how the lungs work and protect us from viruses and bacteria, the reasons for some of the respiratory diseases (asthma, cystic fibrosis, and COPD) and how the drugs developed by Enterprise Therapeutics help treat these disease and improve the life quality of the patients.
THE STYLE OF GRAPHICS
The style used in the video is a pencil-based hand-drawn style, which is very unique in the medical animation industry. The client had a preference for this visual direction after seeing our first rough pencil-based sketches made for the storyboard.
As this was the first time we’ve ever made a medical animation in a pencil-based style, this was quite a challenge at the beginning, as animating non-vector graphics has its limitations.
Basically, all the sketches had to be divided into layers in Photoshop and retouched, so they could be animated at a later stage. Unlike vector graphics, which are very easy to modify and scale up without any loss of quality, hand-drawn images are limited in their flexibility. For example, when you want to show a 10x close-up of lungs, you can’t just simply zoom in to the bitmap lung image without losing the quality. You need to redraw the lungs from scratch in a 10x resolution.
THE ANIMATION PROCESS
Also, animating non-vector elements comes with similar challenges – you can’t easily change the shape of elements by just pulling anchor points. Every change of shape has to be generated using memory-heavy effects in After Effects such as distortion or liquify effects.