Using Animation for Scientific Visualisation

Around the world, researchers are involved in groundbreaking research that will be used to drive innovation and change, whether for the betterment of people or the planet. Yet, without effective translation into easily digestible formats, the impact of the insights gained from this research can easily be lost.

Effective visual translation is key to unlocking the full potential of research and creating a lasting impact.

Over the past few years, our team has collaborated on diverse research-based projects, ranging from scientific inquiry and data analysis to social science and climate change studies. Through these collaborations, we've witnessed firsthand the power of translating these years of research into engaging, memorable, and reusable visual content.

In this article, let's delve into the significance of scientific visualisation, explore the pivotal role of animation, and examine a case study from one of our recent research-based animation projects.

What is Scientific Visualisation?

According to Encyclopedia - ‘scientific visualisation, refers to the methodology of quickly and effectively displaying scientific data.’ It involves representing raw data output as images to aid in understanding the significance of research findings.

How is Animation used in Scientific Visualisation?

Animation’s ability to quickly and clearly distill information as well as its ability to portray abstract concepts plays a pivotal role in scientific visualisation. Here are some of the ways animation is used: 

Dynamic Data Representation: 

Animation has a remarkable ability to transform complex and potentially mundane information into dynamic and engaging visuals for audiences. Through movement, simplified representations, and the extraction of key information, animation achieves what static images, lengthy textual descriptions, and charts alone cannot: it captivates and retains the audience's attention.

By targeting kinetic, auditory, and visual memory, animation creates a multisensory experience that fosters deeper engagement and enhances retention of the material.

Provides Visual Reference:

As humans, we all struggle to visualise raw data, especially when it involves large-scale numbers or specialised research. Animation bridges this gap by providing visual references that aid comprehension and make abstract concepts more accessible.

Guiding Audience Understanding: 

Thanks to the meticulous scripting and storyboarding involved in crafting animations, the information shared with viewers undergoes thorough iteration and curation alongside the researcher's input and feedback. This meticulous process ensures that the narrative effectively communicates key information in a simple and clear manner, enticing the audience to delve deeper. 

In essence, the animation serves as a lead capture, guiding viewers towards the full research document/website.

Highlighting Key Findings: 

Animations are also used to highlight important findings or trends within research data. By animating specific data points or patterns, researchers can draw attention to crucial insights and make them more memorable for the audience.

Facilitating Collaboration: 

Animation facilitates collaboration among researchers by providing a common visual language for communicating complex ideas. By creating animated visualisations, researchers can share their findings more effectively with colleagues, enabling interdisciplinary collaboration and knowledge exchange.

CAST Case Study Example:

We worked with the Centre for Climate Change and Social Transformation researchers to bring their five years' worth of research to life in a simple and engaging way and to drive the audience to want to find out more on their website.

For more details on our creative behind-the-scenes process of this project, visit our Case Study page here.

Putting People at the Heart of Climate Change Animation


Animation serves as a crucial bridge between complex research and audience comprehension.  By offering visual references and simplifying abstract concepts, animation empowers viewers to engage more deeply with scientific data. As we continue to harness the power of animation in scientific visualisation, we pave the way for greater understanding, collaboration, and innovation in research fields.

Looking for animation that can transform complex or abstract concepts into scroll-stopping stories…let’s chat.

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