Cameron Slayden, CEO of Microverse Studios, believes that scientific animation’s future looks more outstanding than ever. Over the past decade, the field of scientific animation has grown significantly, and Microverse Studios has played a major role in this growth.
“We’re at the doorstep of a new era in medicine,” says Slayden. He’s casually dressed before a standing desk in his home office, a tattoo of a molecule on his arm. His love of biology comes through in his body language as he talks. “Since I started in this field, we’ve gone from sequencing the human genome to designing and writing new genes from scratch. Our understanding of how life works is so much deeper than it was back then, and the roller coaster has only just gotten started. We’re at the top of the first hill, and it’s about to drop.”
Slayden is referring to the involvement of AI in the discovery process. In the last two years, there has been an explosion of new technologies as life itself has begun to open up its secrets. Many of these stories involve completely new science, and communicating both the scientific concepts and why they matter is where Slayden and Microverse Studios come in. Slayden and his animators all have graduate degrees and years of experience communicating biological concepts, something he believes is necessary in order to be able to adequately understand the stories they have to tell.
AI isn’t just impacting his clients, either. The entire scientific visualization landscape is changing as AI tools become more prevalent.
“First, Midjourney landed, and massively improved the efficiency of our style exploration process. Now we’re using AI processing tools to play with and refine how our animations look, to sweeten and sharpen the imagery and change resolution or frame rate on demand. AI has reduced the cost of rendering by 80%, and improved our research process. Our animators can design plugins for our software on demand. It’s creating efficiencies in every step of production. Staying abreast of these new technologies is critical.”
Slayden sees scientific animation’s future as closely linked with that of AI, as it drives advancements in Microverse Studios’ capabilities and their clients’ stories.
“In some ways, it feels like sorcery. We’re literally speaking things into existence.”
Slayden believes that the future of scientific animation is incredibly exciting and has the potential to change the way we understand and interact with the world around us. The tools for producing scientific animation have improved by leaps and bounds over the last decade, enabling Slayden’s team to continuously improve their production value.
“It feels like every project is the best that we’ve ever done. From an artistic standpoint, that’s very fulfilling.”
Their clients seem pleased as well. Microverse Studios enjoys an incredible amount of repeat business and has won dozens of film awards over the last few years, including sought-after Marcom and Stevie awards. The future for all of us is becoming harder to predict, but if Slayden’s perspective is any indicator, it’s guaranteed to be exciting.