Moving Knowledge - RNS Berlin molecular storytelling for your science communication
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As a scientist, you communicate your work all the time with communication partners ranging from highly specialised peers to the general public. The occasion may be an individual discussion, a presentation or a peer-reviewed publication. The more complex the topic the more important the quality of the visualisation becomes, especially when looking at molecular detail. RNS Berlin takes your data, and where necessary other available data, and transforms it into the molecular story with the appropriate levels of detail for your communication purpose, giving you the tools at hand to bring your point across to the chosen target audience.

The production of a scientific animation that goes beyond rotating a simple protein representation can be highly customised, complex and time-consuming. A professional concept and look that adequately reflects the high standard of your research does require specialised skills and professional software with steep learning curves, and it is hard to maintain this in a group on the side of the day-to-day research.

RNS Berlin does not only bring those qualities to the table but also posseses the mind of a scientist who understands what you are actually talking about. Interested? Then get in touch with your project now!


Your Science

You have exciting data from the latest experiment, novel concepts and ideas, breathtaking hypotheses or methods. Or you need to give an overview and explain the principles of your field of work. All available resources and models can form the basis of a scientific animation. This may include an educated guess or even a speculation that needs to be visualised.
Structural biology expertise at RNS Berlin allows access to the molecular dimension of processes, a broad education the coverage of virtually all scientific fields.

RNS Berlin Animation

The main characters take the center stage and interact with the side characters and within the environment. This could be an enzyme environment where the active site amino acids react with the ligand or a monomer polymerising around a membrane tube. Obstacles are overcome, like a reaction energy barrier, the availability of reaction components, the creation of precursors or conformational changes. Solving all problems creates the conditions for a molecule to fulfil its purpose, the story comes to a conclusion. Tangling with the system however may lead to a dismal end, a course of disease for example. You can be the director and even stir through alternative approaches.

Your Communication

High quality animations contribute to better science communication and ultimately empower you to create further hypotheses and smart experiments to increase knowledge in your field. Knowing your target audience best, you determine the specific goals of your communication activity. In close cooperation RNS Berlin provides the audiovisual building blocks of your science communication strategy. This brings the actual points across to each of your specific target audiences. You may want a general introduction to the topic first and then zoom in on the details later. Or you need a set of specific molecular details to compare the differences of several possible alternatives. The possibilities are endless.




Scientific Authenticity

All relevant data available can be used as input for an animation, be it structural data from X-ray crystallography, NMR spectoscropy, electron microscopy or molecular dynamics simulations, results from chemical, molecular, cellular or genetic experiments. All together they form a data and fact driven model for the behaviour of molecular components with the best and comprehensive experimental basis available at the time. Also, the model can reflect an idea, a hypothesis, alternative models, etc. The level of artistic licence and the handling of experimental gaps can be judged through transparent documentation. This ensures reliability and objectivity. For RNS Berlin, scientific authenticity is the ultimate driver of any visualisation.



Consistent Complexity

There are a plethora of representations available for biological macromolecules, ranging from schematic 2D symbols to 3D cartoons and quantum mechanical detail. However, the most complex detail is not necessarily the appropriate representation for a specific communication goal; and simplicity is key to understanding. Also the levels of detail for the main character, side elements and the environment need to be balanced. In an animation, this is also ture for the complexity of different movement. The latter is represented through the degree of directional changes, not necessarily through the (changes in) speed. RNS Berlin determins and visualises the appropriate levels of detail for biomolecule representations in order to maximise the comprehension of the specific target audience.



Professional Design

Movement on the molecular nanometer scale differs from the directly observable macro world, and so do the principles of animation of molecules. Molecules move according to the principles of Brownian motion, diffusion and thermal motion. Internal motion is dependant on the degrees of freedom around chemical bonds and the flexibility of protein chains. For this type of nanoscale motion, the human brain does not have a set of experiences to compare and cannot unconsciously deduct motion patterns from material properties (and vice versa), like it can in the makro world e.g. for the throw of a tennis ball.
RNS Berlin applies general design principles to guide the eye and attention of the viewer, to express the dynamic of a system and the relationship between components. Lessons from interface design, character animation and cinematographic storytelling are used to create a professionally designed molecular animation with realistic motion.




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Pre-production Phase

Based on your requirements, we agree on the goals and specifications of the molecular storytelling project. This includes the data and models available, the story to be told, specific communication goals for specific audiences, potential alternatives, the efforts needed and the copyright and usage rights involved. RNS Berlin speaks Science AND Design.

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Production Phase

Over the course of production, frequent feedback on the project progress ensures scientific authenticity as well as the concentration on the actual communication goals. The phase includes modelling, animation and fine-tuning of the overall animation(s). RNS Berlin uses the Vimeo platform for video review and is available for communication, for example via Slack, Skype or Zoom.

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Post-production Phase

In the final phase, video compositing integrates all parts produced and you receive your customised solution for your specific communication requirements in the form of a standalone video or a set of video blocks that you can combine yourself according to your needs. High-quality videos of at least fullHD resolution are provided for embedding on your website or in your presentations. 



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