Summer Placement Experience: Alexander Coutts
2021-12-24

My name is Alexander and I am a fourth year Biomedical Science (Anatomy) student. Over the summer, I worked on a project consisting of creating a learning resource for anatomy students using 3D models and animation. The idea behind the project was to create a more visual and interactive way of learning anatomy outside the laboratory. After an initial survey was completed, animations were specifically crafted to cover the key areas of anatomy which students find difficult.

In the summer of 2020, I had undertaken some voluntary work with my supervisor which introduced me to the field of 3D models and animations. I felt it was only natural that I continued to grow my skills from the previous summer when I applied for the HotStart studentship this year.

A range of 3D photogrammetry models of anatomical specimens were used. The models were animated according to a pre-written script and edited along with a voice over to help cover the key aspects of the anatomical structure. I edited the models in Autodesk 3DsMax, a graphics programme which allowed me to work with the models and animate them to fit the script. With the animation complete, the video and voice over would be overlaid using Adobe After Effects. Some other Adobe software had to be used such as Premier Pro in order to ensure that the animations fit perfectly with the voiceovers.

As well as creating the videos, a survey was crafted in order to receive feedback from students who volunteered to view our videos, this helped us decide what we could improve on in order to make these videos an effective tool for learning in the future!

This year I had the pleasure of working with another student which meant that the entire project was far more collaborative. This was very useful to bounce ideas off of and share tasks with one another if we ran into issues.

Working remotely definitely posed a few issues, including the effectiveness of communication, and the speed at which you can get things done. One thing I did enjoy however is the coffee I made at home! A short caffeine break definitely helped breakup the project into manageable tasks.

Published by The School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition, University of Aberdeen

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