Maya software, used by Hollywood filmmakers to create sophisticated animations, has been used to visualize development of diseases in the horse. A team of veterinarians, computer graphic artists, and an educational technologist at the University of Georgia’s College of Veterinary Medicine have succeeded in developing interactive 3D models to show normal anatomy and simulations of pathological changes over time. The Glass Horse is an innovative interactive program delivered on CD. High quality graphics take the viewer inside the body to view internal organs that are the most common sites of debilitating disease and injury.
Understanding complex three-dimensional relationships is one of the biggest challenges in medicine. The Glass Horse allows users to rotate models and examine spatial relationships among essential tissues. In addition, animations demonstrate changes over time as organs transform from normal healthy tissues to disease states. These animations are a significant improvement over traditional educational materials that are limited to images on paper and do not demonstrate the progression of pathological development. As well as educating veterinary students, this product allows horse owners to have an increased awareness of diseases and seek early treatment for common ailments.
The Glass Horse exemplifies trends in effective training that give students control over their learning. Users engage in active participation with their learning materials and have the ability to rotate the models they are studying. The CDs can also be used by animal owners for just-in-time learning, which presents focused modules of information that are accessed at the user’s convenience.