The Centre for Cognitive and Brain Sciences invited Rafeeque Mavoor from the Science and Media Centre of Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research, Pune to conduct a workshop on Scientific Illustration.

The 7-day workshop was conducted online from 9 to 16 July 2021. Fifty students from various backgrounds, such as biosciences, psychology, computer science, and archaeology were selected for the workshop.

The first day began with an introductory session on ‘Fundamentals of Graphic Design’ followed by an introduction to Blender (Modelling, Materials, Lighting, Modifiers, Rendering). The workshop was designed to equip participants with the know-how of developing scientific illustrations through a project on Synapse.

Participants built their skills throughout the week by developing individual elements, with the goal of making a final image explaining a synapse.





Left to right: 3D image of Pre-synaptic neuron, 3D image of Synaptic cleft

Throughout the workshop, introductory sessions on Blender, Inkscape, and GIMP were followed by projects. The introductory sessions helped participants grasp the fundamentals of 2D and 3D illustration and were an opportunity to interact and clear their queries.

Final illustration developed by a participant. It shows the neuron and a zoomed version of the synapse where vesicles are transferring neurotransmitters to the postsynaptic neuron. The second images shows a zoomed version of the same where reuptake of the neurotransmitters are visible

Final illustration developed by a participant


The participants also worked on a bonus project of a 3D brain shown below.

3D model of the Brain made by one of the participants. There are two brians, they are primarily pink in colour with a multicolour background

3D model of the Brain made by a participant

The workshop ended with the final submissions and an interactive session where the participants shared their experience of being part of the workshop. Kaustav Mukhopadhayay shares his experience: “This was the first time I am attending a workshop on scientific illustration and this was my first exposure to this field. I must say the way this workshop was organized, couldn’t have been a better dive into a new field. Now I just have to dig deeper into this. it was a wonderful experience for me. Learning from Rafeeque firsthand was amazing and also the interaction with other members helped a lot during the illustration-making part. Glad I applied to this and thank you for selecting me out of many potential applicants! Looking forward to many more workshops by this. Also kudos to the organizing team also for executing the program efficiently!”