<i>Heal</i> <i>Heal</i>


Here’s something we don’t post much on Cartoon Brew – medical animation:

Minnesota based Ghost Medical has been producing medical animation for 15 years. Art Director/Animator Joel Erkkinen writes:

We wanted to make something that pushed the limits of medical animation. This short was created from the ground up to showcase the talents of ghOst Productions at the 2009 American Association of Orthopedic Surgeons in Las Vegas. Instead of showing pre-existing client work in our reel, we thought it would be more fun to make a character animation, break nearly every bone in his body and then surgically repair him in under 3 minutes.

Heal was the result. While it may not win awards at Annecy or Ottawa, it’s a clever way to present a demo reel for specialized work.

  • From the very beginning of this I was skeptical and critical, but when it quickly transformed into the the crystal clear analysis of simply mind blowing medical procedures, it had me transfixed. IThanks, its a good find.

  • Medical animation is quite a criminally under-rated area of the animation industry. It doesn’t deliver the most entertaining of character animation, but it does deliver excellent simulation for many purposes, like medical dramas, for example.
    Thanks for sharing that, and that is certainly a good way of showing off their work in an original manner, instead of just clips of their best work, with some music track over the top of it.
    As a budding animator/artist/filmmaker, I was intrigued of representing your work within a reel; so that has given me ideas to play with for my next reel, due soon.

  • timmyelliot

    Didn’t care for animation at the beginning or end, but when the machines kicked in, I was completely transfixed.

  • FC

    This was very informative but I cant feel just a little creeped out about all the hole drilling and screwing.

  • OUCH!!! DO NOT WANT!!!

    …all that bone breaking, that is. The animation is pretty nice and clear – what a great way to showcase medical procedures, and not a bad demo piece as a whole. When I was a student in science classes…being a very visual learner meant these kind of things really stood out to me, and I wish more instruction was like this short piece.

    That huge rod through his whole femur though!!! UGH!!! No more ladders for me!

  • Paul N

    I saw a clip in SIGRAPH electronic theater a few years back that showed how bones break under stress. It was no less cringe-inducing than this was :0) Very cool clip.

  • Having just had surgery, I have to say that the procedures set my teeth on edge a little but they where indeed riveting ……wait did they use rivets?

  • As the writer and director of this piece it was an honor to read these reviews. We took a great risk dedicating so many resources to one reel. It was a calculated risk that appears to have raised the bar for this industry and paid off for ghOst considerably. Many of our clients have now begun requesting character animation as a major portion of their projects. This is a request that we are more than happy to oblige and make a standard in the medical industry.

  • Jay Sabicer

    I wish I could sympathize with the victim, but he was standing on the top two rungs of the ladder, he had it coming. He would have been much safer if he did the ceiling just like Michelangelo did, with a scaffold, lying on his back, but then we’d have no fancy CGI CSI-style rebuild now would we?

  • Jay Kormann

    Wow, that was pretty neat.

  • Jett

    The character stuff was pretty weak but I was slackjawed once the “healing” began. Really amazing stuff and what a terrific way to showcase what the company does.

    Hopefully since more clients are now requested character stuff that will also improve in later reels! Way to go ghOst!

  • The funniest thing was that after all that implanting and screwing he was NOT turning into a superhero, good or bad, as he would be supposed to in standard Hollywood animation …

  • Fascinating piece. I enjoyed watching the mechanics of the surgery – but the recap fly-around showing the implants in use, really brought the message home.

    But OUCH – as a guy who’s afraid of needles…

  • Tekena

    it’s hilarious hearing everybody’s reactions to needles. I fear the surgery in general, so I don’t want to fall from that height, although watching this guy half die is pretty awesome

  • Kevin H

    Very impressive.

  • Work like this should be better represented at festivals, along with forensic animation and anything that serves an informative or instructional purpose. It’s an important and much-overlooked part of the industry. I’d love to see screenings at Annecy specifically for instructional and educational animation.

  • Adam Van Meter

    Any painter could tell you that it’s courting disaster to stand on the top of a ladder like that. It’s only a matter of time before you fall. …As I know too well.

    The character animation was a little weak, but honestly speaking, it isn’t the point – the procedural part of it was amazing. What a treat.

  • Dave

    The surgery portion was quite amazing, and the earlier part certainly helped to give some context to what was happening. Nicely done.

  • Awesome reel. It’s pretty mind-blowing to know that all of this and more is possible with modern medicine… at least, for those of us who prefer to stay clear of hospitals and the like.

  • Medical animation is pushed a lot at IUPUI here in Indianapolis.

  • Enjoyed it from beginning to end. Sure as heck beats Shrek XXI.

  • Anna

    wow! All the pins, screws and drills were informative & fun to watch!

    …even if the lil drill~y noises & the idea of bones having the need to drill lil holes into them for pins made me twitch (and this is coming from someone with that metalwork in 2 bones!)