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Sci Ani Case Studies

Case Studies

Not everything is too good to be true

Here at Sci Ani, we genuinely are a ‘what you see is what you get’ company, but we appreciate you might want reassurance before starting work with us.
That’s absolutely fine – so let our previous case studies show you what we’ve done before.

Case Study #1 – Dr Christine Wekerle

Child sexual abuse, or CSA, is often the elephant in the room.
Everyone knows it’s a serious issue, but it remains a difficult conversation to have. Research is one place to start..

Dr Christine Wekerle’s research focuses on child sexual abuse, looking to provide a platform for male sufferers to speak out and start a conversation that tackles abuse head on.

Looking to create an engaging video which showcased her work to a wider audience, Dr Wekerle at McMaster University approached us at Sci Ani to see what we could do. She wanted to use the video as an entry for the IHDCYH Talks competition in Canada, run by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). After being a runner up in last year’s competition, she was hoping to go the extra step and win with this year’s entry. No pressure.

After being passed on Dr Wekerle’s contact details by a sales colleague, a member of the Editorial team arranged an initial phone conversation with her over Skype. During this call, Dr Wekerle clarified what she wanted the focus of the animation to be and made clear any areas she wanted us to highlight or avoid. One key area was the sensitivity around the topic of ‘child sexual abuse’ – she wanted to ensure that we conveyed the animation in an effective yet appropriate manner. She also mentioned that she wanted the animation to use the same colour scheme as her research’s affiliated CIHR newsletter – no problem.

Following this initial conversation, Dr Wekerle sent the Editorial team any appropriate images or information that they could use to create the animation’s voiceover script. This was then designed and sent back to her for feedback and approval. After a few rounds of edits to the script, Dr Wekerle approved it and an appropriate voiceover artist was sourced to record the animation’s voiceover. As her research was based in Canada and especially focused on males, we at Sci Ani felt that a Canadian male voiceover would fit the animation’s theme well. Using an excellent voiceover artist called Seamus Morrison, the voiceover was recorded and sent back to the Editorial team within a few days.

Now that the voiceover script had been approved and the voiceover itself had been recorded, the Editorial team passed on all the information to the Animation team. Sitting down with them, visual ideas were conceptualised focusing on how to bring the script to life. It was decided to design the animation with a 2D flat design, with a nice flow throughout – highlighting the positives of Dr Wekerle’s research rather than the negative connotations often associated with sexual abuse.

Once the animation had been designed, it was then sent back to Dr Wekerle who spread it around her research team to gather feedback. This feedback was then passed back to the animation team who made any changes required, before re-submitting back to Dr Wekerle and her team for approval. After a few rounds of edits, the animation was finalised and completed.

Normally at this stage, the animation would have then been published across various Sci Ani social media channels and download links would have been sent to Dr Wekerle. However, as the video was to be used as a competition entry, we held off publishing until the competition deadline had passed, allowing Dr Wekerle to publish the video herself on the IHDCYH Talks YouTube account.

From the response she had, the video was a resounding success with many commenters praising how a highly important modern-day theme had been conveyed in such an effective, engaging and visual way. One commenter even said that the video had helped educate her as a Psychology student on an area she didn’t know much about beforehand.

The competition is due to announce its results at the end of January 2018. However, the video picked up more views and comments than the other entries and is looking on course to be highly successful.

It has even been mentioned by Dr Wekerle herself in a recent The Conversation article, on her university page and on her research team’s Twitter page too. Since the competition deadline has now passed, you can also now watch the video on our YouTube account as well.

Please feel free to contact us if you would like an animation of your own.

Case Study #2 – Dr Namkee Choi

Dr Namkee Choi’s research at the University of Texas focuses on using videoconferencing to administer behavioural therapies, increase access and improve outcomes for older adults suffering from mobility impairments.

She came to us at SciAni, asking for an animation that presented her research in an engaging, visual, yet informative format – aimed at a general audience. She provided us with a short 500-word summary of her work, as well as several related images and other multimedia. This helped our editorial team better understand her work before starting on the animation’s voiceover script. This script used a character called Sarah to help personify and clarify how Dr Choi’s research affects certain types of patients.

Once this had been written up, it was then sent to Dr Choi for her approval and feedback. She requested a couple of minor changes to be made, which were duly delivered, before approving it.
The script was then sent to a professional voice actor, named Matthew, who recorded it in the allocated timeframe of three minutes.

Meanwhile, the editorial team created an on-screen animation script, using the voice over script as a template, highlighting the key points to make clear on the animation itself.

The editorial team then packaged all this information together, including:

  • The approved voice over script
  • The approved on-screen animation script
  • The voice over audio file
  • The 500-word summary document, images and other multimedia provided by Dr Choi

This was then passed over to the animation team, who sat down with a member of the editorial team, to conceptualise ideas and ensure that the scientific processes involved in Dr Choi’s work were animated accurately.

The animation team then set about creating the animation, in line with the approved, recorded voice over. A week or so later, the animation was finished and sent back to the editorial team for checking. Once any changes had been made, the animation was sent to Dr Choi for her feedback and approval.

She responded quickly, asking for one change to be made to some of the text on the animation. This was done, and the animation was approved.

From here, the editorial team passed the animation onto the social media team who published it online across various channels (YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, etc.) This will now be continuously monitored over the coming weeks and months to analyse its impact online.

Dr Choi was very happy with the final animation, stating how impressed she was by our work. You can read Dr Choi's testimonial on our home page.

Case Study #3 – Captozyme

Captozyme is a company which produces oxalate-degrading enzymes to prevent kidney stone build-up.

Oxalate is a widespread component of Western diets and is common in many foods, including chocolate, nuts and potatoes. It acts by binding to other nutrients, such as magnesium, calcium or iron, to prevent their bioavailability in the body. Captozyme’s enzymes work by inhibiting this mechanism, binding to the oxalate and degrading it within the gastrointestinal tract – namely the stomach, and the small intestine.

Not only that, but the enzymes can also be added to food prior to ingestion, to remove the oxalate at the first possible moment.

The nature of Captozyme’s research comprised two main components that shaped the animation we created for them. Firstly, their research is highly relatable, due to oxalate’s prevalence in popular foods and kidney stones being a condition that can affect anyone. And secondly, the biological processes involved with the enzyme’s functions were relatively straightforward to visualise and explain to a lay audience.

These ideas were transferred into the voice over script, designed by the editorial team, outlining the fundamental background of Captozyme’s research. After a few edits, this script was approved and sent to a voice actor who recorded the voice over.

Using this voice over, the animation team brought the script to life, working alongside the editorial team to conceptualise ideas and decide which parts of the script to animate or use as on-screen text.

After this stage, the animation was designed within a week and sent back to the client for approval and feedback. They loved it, requesting no changes to be made and approving it to be published. It was then sent to the social media team who uploaded it online across many platforms, including the SciAni website, Facebook and YouTube.

You can read a testimonial from Helena Cowley at Captozyme on our home page.

Case Study #4 – Dr Steven Vigdor

Dr Steven Vigdor is a physicist at Phenix Medical LLC. He and his team have developed a novel gas scintillation detector which utilises advances in radiotherapy treatments to precisely target cancerous tumours.

Due to the complexities of this area of research, it was important to ensure that the processes involved were condensed down into an accurate yet easy-to-understand format. To do this, the editorial team used the metaphor of a sprinkler system to analogise Dr Vigdor’s work, explaining it in a way that was appropriate for a lay audience.

After the script had been drafted, it was sent to Dr Vigdor for his feedback and approval. After the minor edits that he requested were made, it was sent onto the animation team who brought it to life.

Working alongside the editorial team, visual ideas were conceptualised and the style of the animation was decided. One example of this was deciding which font to use – negatively loaded words such as ‘cancer’ were given a more striking font, whereas the remaining text was given a much kinder-looking font.

Once the animation was finished, it was sent back to Dr Vigdor for his final approval and feedback. He sent it around his colleagues, gathering all of the feedback into one place before requesting a few changes to be made to the text and voice over, to ensure its accuracy. We honoured these changes, asking our voice actor to amend the audio, before returning the finalised video to Dr Vigdor. He approved this for publishing, which was carried out by our social media team across numerous platforms including the Sci Ani website, Facebook, YouTube and Vimeo.