It is a project from the governmental organization, where they were acknowledging the medical partitioners in Taiwan about the newly-legalized law on the Organ Donation after Circulatory Death (DCD).

(A clip from the final animation of the surgical tutorial.)

My role in this project was the project manager, where I communicated between the client, the surgeons, the film-making team, including the director, the producer, and the animation team.

Since the surgical techniques and the law were both rather new in Taiwan, there weren’t many people aware of or familiar with the knowledge. I worked closely with the consulting surgeons and nurses to learn every detail from how to identify the critical criterias of a donor candidate, how to approach the donation potential to the family, whom were usually under vulnerable condition, and most of all, learned all the steps from organ retrieval to preservation, and how it was different from the surgical procedures for Organ Donation after Brain-death(DBD).

It was challenging at first, looking through all the medical terms, and the bloody scenes from previous surgery footages. Thanks to the training back in psychology, where we learned all about science, human brain, and biology, I picked up the knowledge rather fast. The biggest challenge for this project is the communication between the client and the animation team.

Before I got to the final target audience, which were the rather easier audience, the surgeons, I needed to get through the client and committee first, and then explain everything down to every detail to the animation team.

I read through all the documents and external resources handed to me, and studied the anatomy and physiology. I used sketch to help communicate visually with the surgeons to ensure we’re on the same page, that we were talking about cutting the same blood vine!

Then, I created a rather detailed visualization as storyboards to examine, 1) was it clear enough for the surgeons to map the surgical knowledge from simulation to reality? 2) whether the clients were happy with the form we proposed, 3) that the animation team was able to capture every detail, and procedure precisely.

On the day we were meeting with the animation team, I showed up with clays and toothpicks. They were terrified by what was given and required, and expressed worries on how to make it accurate without really being able to see it?

While they were anxiously flipping through the anatomy and physiology, I sat next to them making this clay model of the organs we’re highlighting:

Then, we operated on this clay model with toothpicks and strings, as the tube you were to pump into or suck blood out of the veins and the strings they used to loop through the veins to tie a knot.

After this quick prototyping and demonstration, everyone was more clear on what we were doing, and eventually created a clear and accurate surgical tutorial for the learning sessions in the hospitals in Taiwan.

I put together a video, showing how the storyboards and prototypes helped visualized and realized the final outcome:

Comparison: See how my storyboards helped develop the final animation.