MSc Medical Art

Emily Adams

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Emily Adams is a BioMedical illustrator from the United States, Southwest. She is in the final stages of completing a Master’s degree in Medical Art. Before starting her Master’s, she received a Bachelor’s in Biological Illustration from Iowa State University where she participated in multiple internships and worked consecutively with her studies as a graphic designer for three years.

This project aimed to identify successful methods for creating high quality anatomical visualizations through an analysis and comparison of past medical illustrator’s techniques. The creation of 3D models for anatomical education has shown promising acceptance among instructors and students indicating that digital 3D would be a good medium choice for this project. The posterior cervical triangle was chosen as the anatomical region because surgical injury during operations in this area is high, indicating a need for more accurate visualizations of this area. Additionally, the posterior cervical triangle was well-suited to building a 3D model because understanding this anatomical region is dependent on spatial orientation and the spatial relationships between structures. As a part of the survey, participants compared two artistic styles partial grayscale and full color, a 2D and 3D version of the model, and the new visualization to past illustrations. The 3D model can be accessed at

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Image Descriptions 1-9 (does not count header image or picture of self):

1) 3D Model with transparent sternocleidomastoid muscle (Partial Color Right | Full Color Left)

2) 3D Model from front (Partial Color Right | Full Color Left)

3) 3D Model with sternocleidomastoid muscle retracted to show cervical plexus (Partial Color Right | Full Color Left)

4) Erb’s Point, region of surgical significance for identifying the Spinal Accessory Nerve (CNXI)

5) Still render of 3D model’s Posterior Cervical Triangle, focuses on the cervical plexus and other significant structures in this anatomical region

6) Link to interactive 3D models on Sketchfab

7) Process work collage showing ballpoint pen studies and mechanical pencil sketches of the region in preparation for building the 3D model

8) A more detailed guideline sketch created before beginning the 3D model to help guarantee the anatomical accuracy on the model, the sketch underwent several rounds of revisions before reaching this stage it received feedback from anatomists and a medical doctor (this version focuses on the nerves)

9) Finalized digital guideline sketch with just the veins and arteries labeled no nerves present


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