Wow, this is a great question. This person sounds like they are 
seriously interested in applying various skills to a career. Not a 
casual inquiry.  I cannot answer the questions regarding 3-D, but I know 
we have members who have incredible skills. I hope you can take the time 
to offer what advice you can.

Many of us might address the difference in scientific and medical 
illustration, and the crossovers. Especially the passion for biology 
that many of you have degrees in, as well as various applications within 
the field of scientific illustration.

For me, and my career in 2-D, I find the melding of art and science 
provides the strongest base. My expertise is in the field of 
Interpretation, creating educational materials and signage for parks, 
murals for visitor centers, field guide publications. My subject matter 
can be quite broad, from biology, archeology, astronomy, volcanology, 
river morphology, and worldwide ecosystem relationships. I have worked 
with 3-D designers to provide animated educational materials in visitor 
centers. We work directly with scientists to provide accurate 
information in a manner appropriate to the public audience. There are so 
many types of scientific illustration and the same goes for their 
application. It's a growing field, too, with new technology that 
especially includes animation. We have members who are 3-D animators 
with awesome skills, and although their applications/publications may be 
different than 2-D, there are opportunities where the two overlap.

So, please give a few minutes to this response, if you can.
Very best,

Linda M. Feltner
Guild of Natural Science Illustrators, President

On 7/19/17 7:37 AM, Britt Griswold wrote:
> This is on the GNSI Forum. Can someone offer some advice?  These are 
> big questions, so just tackle a piece of it. If you post it here, I 
> will copy it over.
> Britt
> _____
> A submission has been made to the site: 
> Hello! I know this is a forum for scientific illustrators, but I was 
> wondering if anyone here does scientific/medical (what's the 
> difference?) animation, or knows anyone who does. I am considering 
> transferring out of my animation-specific college after one year of 
> classes because I miss learning about biology, my second passion. This 
> is a big decision for me, though, since I love 2d and character 
> animation, and I know that scientific animation would be far less 
> creative, though -- I hope -- still rewarding, and seemingly very 
> interesting and fulfilling. I was wondering, though, what exactly 
> scientific animation entails? How much creative freedom do you 
> generally have? Do you work largely in 2d or 3d, or is there a mix of 
> the two? What kinds of clients do you work for, and are people 
> typically freelance or bound to one specific company? How did you get 
> to this point - a major in biology? minors in art or animation? 
> graduate programs that are more specific?? Any details you can think 
> of about your day to day workflow and path to this career would be 
> greatly appreciated in helping me make my decision.
> Need to leave or subscribe to the Sciart-L listserv? Follow the 
> instructions at

Need to leave or subscribe to the Sciart-L listserv? Follow the instructions at