MSc Medical Visualisation & Human Anatomy School of Simulation & Visualisation

Felicity DeBari Herrington

Black and white image of Felicity Herrington

An Immunologist embracing the world of Medical Visualisation.

Felicity has an extremely strong scientific background, with a PhD in Immunology and several years experience as a post-doctoral researcher. Throughout her time in research, Felicity developed an interest in science communication and found that visualising information consistently resulted in the most effective audience engagement.

In 2018 Felicity decided that the time was right to move away from the lab environment and pursue a new direction. After a fascinating detour working for a Product Design Consultancy and an Ag-Tech start up, Felicity returned to her main love (science!) to pursue an MSc in Medical Visualisation and Human Anatomy.

Over this past year Felicity has developed her skills, exploring how to utilize novel digital technologies and cutting-edge visualisation techniques to create engaging and interactive scientific resources. She has experience creating bespoke 3D anatomical models and volumetric visualisations of patient data sets, as well as scientific illustrations and animations. She has also developed a number of interactive educational applications covering a range of bio-medical topics.


Instagram: @herrington_visuals
LinkedIn: Felicity Herrington
HoloAnatomy Application & HoloViewer
3D Modelling & Retopology
Volumetric Visualisation
SuperCell Creator
Black and white image of Felicity Herrington

HoloAnatomy Application & HoloViewer

Early exposure to science, technology, engineering and maths has been suggested as a key way to encourage young people into STEM fields, and incorporating novel educational resources, such as 3D visualisation technologies, alongside more traditional teaching pedagogies can be an efficient means to engage young students with learning.

Digital visualisations have been used to help educate young people on a variety of anatomical topics, and can be beneficial to students’ learning experience, both in terms of knowledge acquisition and student engagement. One such 3D visualisation technology that is now being explored for its educational use is that of holographic projection, however cost has been identified as one of the main barriers to its use. As such, the development of cost-effective approaches to holographic visualisation can help to remove financial barriers to access this novel approach.

This project developed a hologram-based anatomy application in combination with a cost-effective holographic projection system, suitable for educational environments. Innovative visualisation methods were utilised to produce the HoloAnatomy application, which enables students to interact with 3D anatomical models using a voice command system. The app can be viewed on the tabletop HoloViewer, which was built using cheap and readily accessible materials and could be easily reproduced by a person with basic DIY skills. These developments represent a step towards the use of low-cost digital holographic projection in anatomy education, something that will hopefully help to encourage the engagement of young people with anatomy in the future.

Picture of the tabletop HoloViewer in a dark room showing a scene from the HoloAnaotmy app

HoloViewer & HoloAnatomy App

HoloAnatomy App | Heart Scene

To find out more about the function of the heart the user can say “Fact” and a fact box will open in the scene. There are 10 potential fact boxes that can be displayed, with a random box being selected by the application every time the “Fact” command is made.
Pictyre of the table top holoviewer

HoloViewer | Final Build

Using the information gathered through the prototyping and development of the tabletop HoloViewer, a final HoloViewer frame was made.
Picture of the HoloViewer

HoloViewer & HoloAnatomy App | Demo Video

HoloAnatomy | Heart Scene

Anatomical and blood flow labels can be added to the heart model.

HoloAnatomy | Lung scene

Anatomical labels can also be added to the lung model. If the heart model is then rotated, these labels will rotate with model, giving a clearer view of labelled structures.

HoloAnatomy | Rib scene

Models can be rotated in all directions using the voice command system.

HoloViewer & HoloAnatomy App | Final Presentation

3D Modelling & Retopology

3D Modelling: Autodesk 3ds Max was used to create a model of the upper arm from a given reference material. The final model comprises multiple individual muscles, nerves and blood vessels. Photoshop was then used to create materials and textures for these structures and applied to each component of the model as desired.

Retopology: A model of thoracic vertebra was retopologised in 3ds Max to improve the polygon organisation of the model and reduce the total polygon count. Once the simplified model was achieved, a basic material and bump map were applied to give the final textured vertebra model.

Animation: A short animation of the models was created using 3ds Max and Adobe After Effects.

3D model of the upper arm

Upper arm | final model with textures

3D model of the upper armwith the original reference image

Upper arm | final model with reference image

3D modelling & retopology | animation

Vertebra | final model with textures

Verterbra | showing polygons after retopology

Vertebra | final model with textures

Volumetric Visualisation

Volumetric visualisation techniques can be used to create 3D representations of 2D patient data, such as MRI, CT, and PET scan images. 3D Slicer, open-source image computing platform, was used to produce 3D visualisations of complete data sets (Direct Volume Rendering), as well as segmented models of individual anatomical structures of interest (Indirect Volume Rendering).


Pelvis | after surgery

Indirect Volume Renderings of the post-surgery data, showing the surgical pins within the pelvis after surgery. Visualised from the (a) right, (b) front and (c) front-left.

tooth | direct volume rendering (DVR)

DVR was used to visualise the densities of the tooth. The crown is almost fully transparent to show the inner structure of the tooth pulp. Visualised from (a) the front and (b) the back.

Brain tumour | spatial relationship with the surrounding structures

Indirect volume rendering was used to construct models of the tumour (PET scan data), the brain (MRI scan data) and the skull (CT scan data). Once combined, the opacities of the brain and skull were adjusted to show the spatial relationship of the tumour to the surrounding organs.

brain tumour | Appearance: the tumour capsule and internal region

Indirect volume rendering was used to visualise the tumour from both MRI (top row) and PET (bottom row) scan data.

brian tumour | The structure and the surrounding organs

The structure of the tumour was visualised from the MRI scan data using Direct Volume Rendering, allowing the density of the tumour to be visualised and compared to that of the surrounding organs. Cropped views from the (a) right side and (b) anterior to enable viewing of the tumour.

lung tumours | Locations within the surrounding organs

Showing the (a) anterior and (b) top view of the tumours, one located in the right lung and one located in the left lung.

SuperCell Creator

SuperCell Creator is an educational immunology application targetted at children, and the aim of the game is to create a super-charged immune cell – a ‘SuperCell’ – to help the body fight off an infection. It has been designed be played at home or as part of a public engagement activity.

The app was developed from a paper-based public engagement activity where children draw a picture of an immune cell and give it superpowers that they think would help it fight off an infection, regardless of whether those powers exist in real life or not. In this version, players choose from a range of defence mechanisms used by real immune cells and combine these in any way they want to create their own, personalised SuperCell. Information is given about each of the defence mechanisms, including what it is, how it’s used in the immune system and which immune cells use it. Players can then decide to add it to their SuperCell or not. Once the SuperCell is complete, it goes up against an invader and the player gets to see whether it was successful in fighting off the infection or not.

supercell creator | storyboard

supercell creator | main game scene

supercell creator | information panels

supercell creator | some possible supercell variations

Supercell creator | cell stats game scene

supercell creator | fight outcome game scene