Equinox Graphics is an animation and illustration studio specialising in scientific visualisations. Our philosophy is to listen to your concepts and turn them into compelling images that both matches your idea and captures the public's imagination.
We believe that the trust our clients put in us is important and deserving of great service. Having worked with respected names such as Nature, the European Space Agency, the University of Cambridge and Audi, and a proud supporter of Bloodhound SSC, we consistently deliver on or above spec, and always on time.
All of our artists are Cambridge PhD graduates, with doctorates in science and engineering, so they are the best equipped to translate your technical project into a visually engaging form. We pride ourselves on our attention to detail and commitment to delivering your creative vision. Have a looming print deadline? An impending press release? We will do all that is humanly possible to meet it.Equinox Graphics is based in Cambridge, the home of cutting-edge research, surrounded by the best and brightest, who are constantly pushing boundaries and researching new theories and technologies. In turn, we are constantly looking to step out of our comfort zone and develop areas we've never previously explored, while still delivering the high quality products that we are renowned for.
If you would like more information about our technical expertise, see below, and if you have a project in mind that we can help you with, please do contact us to discuss the possibilities.
We can work with CAD files, material samples or just blueprints to produce visual prototypes which can be animated, rotated and pulled apart into cutaway views. We have an extensive material library, and are happy to make custom textures to give you product precisely the right appearance. We also utilise a series of methods to make the object appear "real" - adding depth of field, motion blurring, photo-real lighting, subtle imperfections, physics-based reflection and colour models, and multi-layered simulation (for laquered effect, metallic car paint, translucency, etc.) All of this helps to ensure that your product looks as real as it will when it rolls off the production line. The image to the right shows the Bloodhound SSC in a hanger environment - but it's not real. Check out the wireframe if you don't believe us! We use CAD models, HDRI lighting methods, global illumination, ambient occlusion (and other nifty tricks), professional quality backplates (up to 7216x5412 pixels) and we can even animate your product moving, rotating, or expanding into cutaway - all of it photorealistic.
With our employees' background in academia we are as happy manipulating raw scientific data as we are producing ground-breaking visualisations. We can process and edit raw data, be it biological structures from X-ray crystallography, or voxel data, detailing the spread of dark matter through the galaxy. We will translate it into a clear, visual form - highlighting to a general audience what you yourselves know to be shown in the data. Our scientific training ensures a high degree of accuracy and conscience when manipulating data - rest assured that we will not compromise the scientific method just to produce pretty images!
Many concepts are nigh impossible to convey verbally, or even in illustrated form. This is where the power of animation comes in: it's possible to visualise mechanisms or abstract concepts, from molecular scale interactions to space exploration. Allow the audience to appreciate the complexity and skill involved in your project, by viewing it first-hand.
Several of our clients have used our visualisations for the bidding stage on a project - bringing a slick animation to the table really helps you stand out as being committed and professional, and we're pleased to claim a 100% success rate on bids using our work.
Public engagementAs we live in an increasingly visual and interactive world, we need to step up the quality of our presentation just to be noticed. Static bar charts are no longer sufficient - to engage the public's imagination they need a helping hand. For example, our Bloodhound video went viral on the web - here was something visual and exciting which the public could relate to. Would they have been so accepting of some aerodynamic modelling data and cardboard cut-outs? Strong visuals make your project stand out, and helps the public separate the wheat from the chaff. Regretably many worthy and scientifically valuable projects fail to recognise the importance of getting this right early on.
We use 3D animation and compositing software in conjunction with Photoshop to produce our artwork. Our primary tool is Lightwave, which is a 3D package used extensively in broadcast television production, film visual effects, video game development, print graphics and visualisation, and is responsible for more artists winning Emmy Awards than any other 3D application. Though we're still to win our first Emmy, unfortunately..... This is augmented with a state-of-the-art sub-patch modelling, sculpting and painting program in Modo, which greatly enhances our productivity to produce high quality 3D objects in a short time-frame.
We also apply certain effects in post-processing with Fusion as this gives much more control and flexibility to the final production and polishing process. We do camera tracking with Syntheyes, which allows us to analyse film footage and augment it with our own 3D elements, such that you would believe they were really there. We have developed our own 3D stereoscopic processing technique, which we believe gives better results than the simple setups that many people use. Our technique avoids keystoning distortions and reduces the effect of window violations (clipping objects in one eye), while still keeping control over the scale of the 3D effect. We also alter our editing pipeline, as fast cuts with different 3D depths make people quite ill. If you're still using red/cyan anaglyph glasses, we'll send you over some of our custom ones, which have better optical quality and fewer headache-inducing properties than the cheap ones on Ebay. They're just a little rough around the edges, but then if you're wearing anaglyph glasses, looking cool probably isn't a priority.
For raw data processing we use the academics' favourite Matlab and Excel/VBscript to process data, and custom scripts to load it into a our 3D packages. We can also handle textures as large as 4,294,967,296 x 4,294,967,296 pixels, should you EVER have the need.