QA'ED MAI
Animator, Graphic Designer, Multimedia Specialist
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NOVA: RNA Project

NOVA RNA Project

I've always been a science-geek (just without the attention span or grades to be a real scientist), so I was thrilled when NOVA reached out with the opportunity to work on some scientific videos to talk about RNA and the latest developments in the field. The videos would be part of a package, along with games and interactive features. 


Protein Synthesis

Explaining science, whether to kids or adults, requires striking a balance between clarity and accuracy. After all, drawing an orbiting electron around a planetary proton is very demonstrative and helpful, though completely inaccurate.  I spent quite a while firing emails and drawings back and forth with the director, Alex Rosenthal, on how best to approach this subject. To differentiate RNA from proteins, I used a very scaffold-like look for the RNA while utilizing a more sophisticated and mechanical image for the proteins. 

Virus Wars

What's more fun than studying the wars of the immune system? This was a childhood dream come true for me. What happens at the molecular level rarely gets the nuance and dramatic storytelling it deserves. 

RNA Origin of Life

It took quite a bit of tinkering to finally develop a graphics solution for constructing RNA. It was a fun learning process and rather reflective of the flexibility and complexity of RNA. I code a bit, so I appreciate the beauty of automating processes and doing something in 10% of the time it would've otherwise taken, if done manually. The RNA was created with just a few layers of objects stacked on each other, their parameters linked to each other. I just tweaked their motion path to get them to do what I wanted.