Here is a brief description of the technology and methodology we have developed for constructing this library of procedures. Our workflow is constantly evolving and improving with technology. Constant communication between expert surgeons and biomedical communication specialists at every stage is what ensures high medical accuracy and educational value of every video we produce.


A “surgical script” of the procedure and access to patients CTs are required before production can begin, as well as an agreement as to the desired length/runtime, amount of 3D animation content, and focus of the video. The surgeon who will be performing the surgery will need to provide a script outlining the procedure. This script helps us to understand and follow the procedure and allow us to advise the surgical team on positioning the camera to capture key steps during the surgery. We also need patient's CTs for patient-specific model reconstruction. We use patient-specific models because the anatomy of the liver and major vessels are highly variable, especially in the presence of pathology.


Communication between the video team and the surgical team during filming is key for capturing good footage. Two mini HD cameras (SONY HXR-MC1 Digital HD Video Camera Recorder) with powerful optical zoom are used for filming open procedures. Multiple cameras are used to minimize the potential for missing crucial recordings in case the view is obstructed by the surgeon. We also note down important actions and teaching points while filming , making sure we understand each step in the procedure.. Please contact us if you have specific questions regarding camera set up for an open procedure.


A “rough cut” is produced by editing down raw footage to key shots. A narrative is constructed by provided script and combined with rough video cut into a cohesive story.Strategic points in the video are identified to demonstrate crucial anatomical or surgical aspects. The video is often paused, as we plan to utilize our patient-specific computer animations at these strategic points to deliver educational messages. These are termed ‘educational overlays’ in our workflow. The rough cut and narrative is reviewed by the surgeon. Once finalized, the footage is colour corrected and visually refined.


3D models reconstruction will not begin until feedback is provided on the rough cut. The feedback will indicate which structures are important to highlight and therefore to be reconstructed. 3D surface meshes of important structures are reconstructed from patient CT scans using medical imaging software. The raw surface meshes are imported and rebuilt in a 3D animation software. Medical accuracy of the models is reviewed by surgeons before camera movements and animations are added to the models.


Shaders are applied to animated model in the 3D animation software. 3D lights are applied to mimic lighting set up in the operating room. Shaders of important structures are unique to reflect various pathology. Test renders of selected frames are produced and medical accuracy of the shaded structures are reviewed by surgeons before the entire sequenced is rendered out.


Once the content of the video is finalized, textured 3D models are animated and edited video segments are combined with 3D animation at strategic spots determined during video editing. Further labels and special effects are added. A few rounds of revisions are necessary to ensure overlaid structures are anatomically accurate. Once the script is finalized, the script is be recorded by our narrator and incorporated into the final video. Only minor revisions are incorporated at this stage and the video is rendered out at high quality.


Curious to find out more about our video production process?