Dec 03, 2020 · Drawing Differently: How Medical Illustrations Can Impact Your Diagnosis. A diagnosis isn’t always an easy thing to get, especially when it’s a difficult one. You can be bombarded with information, and sometimes this can be difficult to process, especially when you can’t visualize what the problem is.
- SA-CME Learning Objectives
- Simplified Illustrations
- Three Accessible Vector Illustration Programs
- Three Frequently Used Illustration Tools
- Artistic Tips
- Saving and Exporting Images
After completing this journal-based SA-CME activity, participants will be able to: 1. ■ Discuss the benefits of digital medical illustration. 2. ■ Describe illustration programs and applications, their tools, and their file formats. 3. ■ Explain how radiologists can use original illustrations.
Radiologists can attest to the power of a picture. A single image often conveys information more quickly and clearly than does a paragraph of text. Artistic depictions are used to clarify, highlight, and simplify material. The multimedia learning principle suggests that we learn more from text and pictures than from text alone (1). Studies have shown that retention of learning varies significantly depending on the method used (we retain 10% of what we read, 20% of what we hear, 30% of what we see, and 50% of what we see and hear) (2). Because of this, illustrations as supplements to text have become integral in medical education and are sought after for publications. Thus, the ability to create original artwork is a valuable skill for academicians. The medium is up to the artist, but since access to computers and tablets has become ubiquitous, accessing computer-based illustration programs is easier than ever. Our aim for this article is that it will serve as a guide to generating c...
A lack of formal training or a perceived absence of skill should not discourage radiologists from using drawings either at the workstation or in the classroom. In fact, learner comprehension is improved when simple diagrams are used instead of more complex drawings (13). The added detail of a more anatomically correct drawing may distract students from the most important anatomic features. Digital alternatives such as PowerPoint or Microsoft Paint can be used and are better suited for large audiences because the results can be readily projected. The steps in making a simple diagram are the same, whether analog or digital techniques are used: (a) abstraction, (b) simplification, and (c)exaggeration. Abstraction involves deciding which anatomic features to include and, perhaps even more important, what potentially distracting structures to exclude. Because these drawings are intended to be done rapidly, included features must be rendered as simply as possible. Simplification also resu...
A variety of software programs are available to those interested in computer-based illustration. These include programs and applications for both desktops and tablets, the majority of which create vector graphics. Which one to choose depends on artist preference, price point, and familiarity. Our advice is to pick one platform and run with it. The following three programs are our personal preferences (Table 1).
Illustration program tools overlap. Most have a a pen tool that creates a freeform vector shape, a fill tool that fills in vector shapes with color, and a brush tool that paints raster colors onto a digital canvas.
There are many different ways of using layers that depend mostly on the individual artist’s preference and style. An illustrator can start by creating two layers, one for background and one for a general sketch. After the illustrator finishes a sketch, the opacity of its layer can be lowered and a third layer can be created for a more detailed drawing on top of the second layer, and so on. Subsequently, more layers are created for other components such as colors, shadows, highlights, and subtle finishing adjustments. By having parts of an illustration on separate layers (complicated illustrations can consist of dozens or even hundreds of layers), an artist can control different features of each layer at any time during the painting process—a function that is not available with traditional media. Layer management is key to organizing complex illustrations. Developing habits of appropriately naming layers and constantly checking which layer is currently selected are crucial for effici...
The standard brush in Photoshop is a simple solid round brush. Adjusting the hardness of the brush to 100% will provide a crisp and well-defined edge, while moving the hardness to 0% will feather and soften the edge. A soft standard brush with low opacity is often used to add a smoothly shaded or highlighted region. When texture is needed rather than a smooth addition of color, shade, or highlight, a variety of other brush presets in the brush preset menu are available, many designed to mimic...
Highlights and Lowlights
When using the brush tool to add highlights and lowlights, an illustrator must make an important decision first: from which direction is the light illuminating the object? Determining this will help achieve consistent lighting throughout the diagram (Fig 9). For example, if you decide that light is coming from the upper left, then all objects should have highlights at the upper left of their convex surfaces and shaded regions on the right as they curve away from the viewer (Fig 4, Movie 3). A...
Converting Sketches in Photoshop
For artists who prefer creating with pen and paper but still want digital illustrations, one option is to sketch with traditional media, scan and save the illustration, and then modify and convert it to a computer-generated illustration (Fig 10, Movie 5). As an alternative, the artist can (a) create an initial pen and paper sketch to establish the overall shape and proportions (Fig 10a); (b) scan it into Photoshop; (c) lower the transparency of the initial sketch drawing to approximately 20%–...
Digital illustrations can be saved in many different file formats (Table 2). Each format is associated with distinct advantages and disadvantages (12,16). The main differences among these file formats is the way data are compressed. In circumstances in which users wish to save and maintain the editable layers of an illustration with vector graphics, works should be saved as EPS, PSD, or SVG files (10). Other file formats allow layers to be combined into a single fused layer. PNG and TIFF imag...
Photoshop and PowerPoint offer a variety of options for saving and exporting files. Files may be saved at different resolutions in both Photoshop and PowerPoint. Higher resolutions will be necessary for publishing, usually 300 pixels per inch for most radiology journals. This can be achieved by changing the image size when saving or exporting files from Photoshop. As an alternative, in PowerPoint the size of the slide for the entire slide show template can be changed by selecting “Options” at...
Computer-based artwork is an excellent supplement to educational and research material. Thus, academicians are well served by the ability to create digital illustrations. Most radiologists have access to the tools needed to create high-quality digital medical illustrations and, with a little practice and the right guide, can make their own works of art to share.
- Jennifer L McCarty, Piotr Gołofit, Stefan Tigges, Matthew Skalski
- Lots of beautiful illustrations and drawings to color, and more are coming in next bi-weekly update! - Real drawing by using brushes and pencils. - Use stickers of flowers, hearts weather icons and many many more to illustrate your artwork. - Easy to save your work and share them with all your friends. - Pinch to zoom in/out, easy coloring games!
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Dec 20, 2021 · The last thing on 25-year-old Chidiebere Ibe’s mind when he uploaded his medical illustrations to Twitter was that his drawing of a Black fetus would go viral. “I was shocked, and I was quite ...
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