We’re artists who love science. We bring a rare blend of artistry, technical skill and scientific knowledge to animations that are as accurate as they are beautiful to watch.
We have extensive experience visualizing medical and biological subjects, including genetics, neuroscience, disease processes, microbiology and nanobiology. Our clients appreciate the value our science expertise contributes to their productions.
We’re artists who love to visualize science! It shows in every scientific animation we make. And we only work on scientific and medical content, which has made us experts in high-end science animation.
Scientific animations are commissioned by biopharmaceutical and medical technology companies to explain disease pathways and novel therapies to healthcare professionals and patients. Well-crafted scientific animations can bridge the knowledge gap between experts and those they depend on for funding, partnerships and sales.
Scientific animations are also used in secondary and post-secondary education and in museum exhibits to convey a wide range of scientific subjects from human genetics to the physics of music.
Scientific animations are commissioned by directors and producers of both factual and fictional programming to explain concepts to lay audiences. Because “seeing is believing”, scientific animation helps convince an audience of the director’s viewpoint and important facts being presented.
The project timeline depends on the volume of animation required.
Broadcast projects often require multiple short (~10 second) clips that are interspersed with live- action footage. The number and length of the clips determine the total project time, which can vary widely from a TV series to a one hour documentary. Most documentary projects we’ve worked on have spanned 3–6 months for the animation production.
On average, a two minute 3D scientific animation takes four months to complete. The exact timeline depends on the review and approval process. For film and television projects, the timeline varies depending on the number and length of required shots. We recommend contacting us at least 5 months ahead of your due date.
Regardless of the nature of the production — short clips or complete animated story — we provide a detailed timeline when we quote on a project, so you’ll have a good idea of how long your animation will take to produce.
If scientific accuracy and credibility matter, then you are best served by a specially trained animator. We create visualizations that stand up to scrutiny by experts, which helps when you have expert stakeholders involved. We get the visuals right the first time, which saves our clients time, effort and money — especially important when working with fixed deadlines and budgets.
We’ve surveyed our clients and the words they use most to describe our work are “beautiful” and “accurate”. We’ve also been told that our scientific content expertise is unusual and a real asset. Being able to speak the same language as the scientists associated with a film project, for example, has saved clients countless headaches and made for better, more accurate visualizations.
Very few studios have expertise in scientific content. At AXS Studio, all we do is science. We employ only scientifically trained animators, each with a Master of Science (M.Sc.) degree in Biomedical Communications (BMC) from the University of Toronto, one of only four programs accredited by CAAHEP. This specialized training is the reason we explain complex scientific processes more clearly and depict them far more accurately than non-scientifically trained animators. For our clients, this translates into accurate visualizations that are on budget.
The runtime (how many seconds/minutes), resolution (e.g. HD vs. 4K) and visual complexity are the factors we use to price scientific animation. We do all previsualization and production in-house in our Toronto studio, so there are no mark-ups to pass along to clients.
This can vary among suppliers. At AXS, our pricing includes content research, storyboarding, 3D modeling, animation, lighting, shading, rendering and compositing. Audio services are priced separately, if needed. These include: professional voice-over talent, recording and editing; sound effects design; and custom or stock music. Script writing is also optional, as many clients come to us with finished scripts.
Yes. A storyboard fulfills two purposes:
1. To pre-visualize the animation for our client, and
2. To act as a shot-by-shot roadmap for our animators.
We will happily take a look at your storyboard to see if our animators can use it in our workflow. If not, we’ll build on it to create a storyboard that works well both for you and our production team.
We do not. All of our work is designed and produced in-house in our Toronto, Canada studio with specially trained scientific animators. This enables tight control of quality and timelines, which is important when working with fixed deadlines and budgets. Also, unlike many commoditized services that can be offshored to cut costs, accurate scientific animation requires highly specialized training.
Our storyboard artists and scientific animators hold Master of Science, Biomedical Communications (M.Sc.BMC) degrees. This specialized training and our many years visualizing scientific topics is the reason we can explain complex scientific concepts more clearly and accurately than animators without formal science training. There are animation companies that do use low-cost offshore animation production. If you’re considering hiring one of these studios, we advise first inquiring about the scientific training of their staff.
Yes. You can use frames (still images) directly from the animation, at no extra charge. These are typically large enough for use in slide presentations, on websites and in smaller print materials. If you require larger images — for use on a poster, for example — we can render those at a larger size and charge only for the output. We can also render individual 3D models from an animation.
We make most scientific animations in the HD (high definition) or UHD (ultra high definition) standards, both 16:9 aspect ratio and 24 fps (frames per second). For broadcast projects, we typically deliver image sequences or Pro-Res, depending on the editor’s preference. For non-broadcast projects, we output video formats (MPEG-4, WebM, Windows Media, etc.) at the file sizes (bitrate and compression) and pixel dimensions best suited to the target devices.
For online video (including mobile) we optimize compression and bitrate settings and can provide multiple versions to work with responsive websites. For every project, we provide an uncompressed master animation file, from which a variety of file types and sizes can be produced.
Yes, we do work with voiceover scripts from our clients. After reviewing your script, we can provide recommendations to optimize the narrative for visual storytelling. A rule of thumb when writing your narration script is 100 words per minute of animation runtime.
The term 3D animation refers to using computer generated (or CG) three-dimensional models in the creation of an animated film. Movie theaters use “3D” to describe stereoscopic films, which are created using a pair of cameras to create the illusion of three dimensions on a 2D screen. AXS Studio makes both stereoscopic and standard 3D animations. Stereoscopic animations must be viewed using 3D glasses and a specialized monitor or projector. When we create a stereoscopic animation, we also deliver a “non-stereo” version that can be viewed on a regular screen without special 3D glasses. This provides our clients with flexibility: stereo for special screenings and non-stereo for standard viewing.