With #Listerweek in full swing, I was reminded of an animation I made a few years ago, so I decided to go and dig it up from the archives to share!

In November 2017, I attended a medical visualisation and writing workshop run by the author E.S. Thomson and Kirsty Earley, the Digital Heritage and Engagement Officer of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow. It was a fantastic event where I got to challenge myself with a number of activities, including some creative writing – having not written anything fictional since primary school! In fact, the story that I wrote the introduction for is still on my list of things to develop when I’ve got a bit of time (probably something the pandemic isolation should have facilitated, but hey ho).

During one of the tasks I storyboarded a short animation and, taking inspiration from the beautiful surroundings and fantastic collections at the RCPSG, I chose to demonstrate how the famous Lister Steamer works. When I got home, I was itching to make it a reality – so I took to 3DS Max and got to work with some reference images and a visit to the Hunterian Museum at the University of Glasgow. In truth, I think this was the first bit of 3D modelling for a personal project I had done after finishing my masters, so I was a bit rusty! Here are some work in progress shots:

The one thing I wasn’t prepared for was how long the rendering would take!! No matter how much I tweaked the poly count (if you know, you know) or the renderer, it took almost an entire month on my ageing, much put upon home PC. Despite my impatience and the constant prodding of my PC, it was worth the wait – I was fairly happy with how it turned out even if I do say so myself.

As has become worryingly usual, the finished article sat on my hard drive for a long while before I posted it to YouTube and then did precisely nothing with it. Looking back at it I had a lot of fun creating the video, although listening to my narration makes me cringe until I implode (does anyone like the sound of their own voice??).

I really wish I had more time these days for pursuing wee projects like this – but who knows what the near future may bring. However, in the meantime, I can’t wait to see the rest of the events during Lister week!

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