Nirja Desai - biomedical visualization

I am currently a second year graduate student of medical illustration at Rochester Institute of Technology. Most of the work on this blog is from the time before grad school. I started this blog to keep track of my progress when I was applying to graduate schools and was working on my portfolio. But I try my best these days to post things that I am working on in grad school. Posts will include both medical related and non-medical/fine art work. Enjoy! -Nirja
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  • Scintillant Hummingbird (Selasphorus scintilla)

    It was Chris Jimenez’s photography that inspired me to paint one of his photographs. I could not decide which one to paint. His work is phenomenal. He was generous enough to let me use one of his photographs.
    I wanted to do screen capture/record my process for a very long time. Finally got around to it. My computer was acting up at times so not everything is recorded in this screen capture. 
    The goal was to not ‘color pick’ any colors from the original bird and practice some digital painting. It was a lot of fun.

    Reference Photography by Chris Jimenez

    Music by Capox

    This blog turned 3 today! I had no idea until Tumblr told me. It’s been 3 years since I started my journey to apply to Medical Illustration programs. I had started this blog to keep an archive of some of the work I was creating for my portfolio. Now my graduate degree is so close to the end, can’t believe it. Just need to get through the thesis. This is just the beginning, there is so much more to learn. I will more work on here soon.

    (Source: assets)

    Interesting stuff. I didn't even know Med. illustration was a profession until I came across your blog.

    Asked by Anonymous

    I am glad my blog informed you about this amazing field =)

    I had the opportunity of working on a set of illustrations for a ‘Birthing Kit’ that was being put together for Haiti. InterVol, a non-profit organization started by Dr. Pennino ( who was one of my surgical photography professor) at Rochester General Hospital had approached me few weeks ago to create illustrations that would depict how to use the ‘Birthing Kit’ and the steps to home delivering a baby. The illustrations needed to be self explanatory, without any text, as these kits will be distributed in the area where people may or may not know how to read. The flow of the illustrations had to make sense, I played around with few different layouts. But in the end this made the most sense, without placing arrows everywhere to show the flow of direction. They gave me few old illustrations they had been using for reference.

    I had asked them to send me few copies of my illustrations for memory sake (even though now we have every thing digitally saved), they sent me a t-shirt, tote bag, luggage tag and a card with very kind words. Also, few copies of the illustrations. I am very grateful to them for giving me this opportunity to illustrate for a good cause. This is one of the reason why I am in this field of medical illustration, where images are used to educate people without any words. 

    Over 80% of all births in Haiti occur at home and 50% of those without any outside assistance. Birthing Kits, like the ones created by InterVol can help decrease infant mortality rate tremendously.

    Here is a link to the organization

    They are doing an amazing job! I wanted to help put the Birthing Kit together but I am getting ready to fly to India and work on my thesis.

    Bring it on, you crazy chaotic month!

    Common Frog on a Lily Pad

    Early morning lighting scene

    Modeled, textured and painted in Autodesk Mudbox and Maya

    I did this for a class I took with Angela Eliasz, it was wonderful to learn from her. She is an inspiration to the female community interested in CG/3D industry. I learned a great deal about lighting. I can’t wait to apply this knowledge to future medical/scientific animation I create.

    Check out her demo reel.

    You need more sleep, your eyes have very puffy and dark circles under them. Drinking more water helps too.

    Asked by Anonymous

    Well this isn’t creepy.

    Ninja, after talking to you today, I thought I'd do a google search on biomedical visualization at RIT. Congratualtions, you're literally the 1st result #TrueStory. Anyway, great website. Your work looks so lifelike, and that illustration of your grandfather is the bomb digity. Evidently, throwing suriken isn't your only strong suit.

    Asked by Anonymous

    Haha thanks :)

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