SFX Moulage Increases Patient Realism in Healthcare Simulation
Designing high-fidelity sfx moulage and simulators for healthcare simulation purposes can be an intricate process. While clinical simulation training may often incorporate medical moulage as a way to educate learners on proper injury or wound care techniques, these solutions have also seen increased use within movies and television. Hollywood has relied on a variety of special effects moulage simulations, such as those developed by the company Applied Synthetics, to add realism to their productions. These high-fidelity products can be so life-life, viewers do not even realize they are simulators!
Founded in 2012, Applied Synthetics creates and designs custom medical devices, clinical skill trainers, and healthcare simulation tools to meet customer specifications. The team’s extensive skill sets and design platforms assist in the development/re-development of customer visions and delivery systems. Often, these services cover a multifaceted platform, including sculpture, design, fabrication, advanced materials, silicones and so much more. Typically, these services are manifested as synthetic trainers, medical moulage, lifecasts or molds.
“I love creating hyper-realistic offerings for our clients. The majority of home and self-moulage I have seen just doesn’t cut it from the aspects of fidelity, looks and functionality. We look forward to offering very realistic to students and businesses alike,” said Giancarlo (Johnny) Brajdic, owner and creative engineer at Applied Synthetics.
To create synthetic trainers, Applied Synthetics designs, develops and fabricates life forms to the customers’ exact specifications and in multiple material applications. Some of the company’s most popular applications are created in platinum silicone, urethane rubbers and vinyl. All synthetic trainer applications can be colored and painted to match the highest level of realism for both learners, educators and other medical simulation professionals.
Medical moulage solutions are custom-sculpted silicone appliances created and developed as state-of-the-art training tools. Applied Synthetics has created several custom trauma wearables, with additional variations able to be created to any customer’s specifications. In addition to contributing to Hollywood productions, medical moulage is especially useful as an educational tool across healthcare, trauma, military, veterinary and epidemic/pandemic training agencies.
Applied Synthetics’ lifecasting and sculpting process consists of creating a 3D copy of a living human body through the use of molding and silicone casting techniques. According to the company, the most common lifecasts are torsos, pregnant bellies, hands, faces and genitalia. Ultimately, an experienced lifecasting practitioner has the ability to produce a copy of any part of the body. Compared with other 3D representations of humans, the standout feature of lifecasts is their high level of realism and detail. Lifecasts can replicate the smallest of details, such as fingerprints and even pores.
Molding and casting are an integral and exact skill set in the development and fabrication of Applied Synthetics’ healthcare simulators and trainers. The company’s in-house mold makers provide extensive skill sets in numerous applications, possessing masterful chemical, design and engineering knowledge. All Applied Synthetics’ molds are built for productions with the highest quality in mind, for which multiple molds can be produced upon request.
Applied Synthetics’ moulage and trauma training
To help offer education on the next generation of medical devices and medical simulator development, Applied Synthetics provides several healthcare simulation training opportunities. For example, during one of the company’s sculpture and design classes, learners can embark on a journey to bring their imaged injuries, traumas and ailments to life. Applied Synthetics will educate each learner on utilizing types of clays, blocking, design, skin detail and hyper-realism to prepare them to sculpt for molding.
During a mold-making course, learners will receive instruction on various molding techniques and materials. Molding materials discussed and demonstrated include silicones, urethane rubbers, plasters and epoxies. Alternatively, during a course focused on the creation of appliances, learners will encounter a variety of different techniques and chemicals. They will learn possible applications using gelatin, 3D transfers (used in film and television), rubbers, waves and more.
An application and painting class further introduces learners to various painting and coloring techniques used to create realistic medical moulage and body parts. Applied Synthetics’ instructors cover intrinsic application, washes, and oil- and alcohol-based paints. Using this foundation, learners can begin to practice more advanced application techniques.
Within a specialized lifecasting course designed by Applied Synthetics, learners can practice the duplication of any subject down to the smallest pores. This is a hands-on course and requires direct learner participation to acquire the ability to perform this state-of-the-art technique.
“Our feedback has been wonderful! I am an instructor of mufx and wrote the mufx program for the Georgia Film Academy here in Georgia. I have been teaching advanced materials and molding techniques (just to name a few) for over 10 years,” Brajdic shared. “As an instructor, my emphasis is on quality, realism and shock elements. Can’t look like colored Kool-Aid when making medical realism. Has to leave an impression on all involved.”
More about Applied Synthetics
Applied Synthetics, a subdivision of Skull Asylum SFX Studio, is a specialty group of highly-skilled sculptors, mold makers, chemists and educational specialists providing hyper-realism in the development and design of healthcare simulation manikins. Headquartered in Fayetteville, Georgia, the company’s products can be seen throughout numerous industries and creative platforms, such as feature films, television, theme parks and medical devices. For example, Applied Synthetics’ work is featured in the productions of “Doctor Sleep,” “Jay And Silent Bob’s Reboot,” “The Haunting of Hill House” and “Stranger Things.”
“We are a small group of four highly-trained and skilled artists,” explained Brajdic. “[Applied Synthetics] is very good at following directions from business owners to doctors, surgeons, veterinarians, nurses and any medical professional that has been in the trenches eyeballs-deep; 100% of anything and everything that is created at our studio is from hands-on and experience from medical professionals.”
Lance Baily, BA, EMT-B, is the Founder & CEO of HealthySimulation.com, which he started while serving as the Director of the Nevada System of Higher Education’s Clinical Simulation Center of Las Vegas back in 2010. Lance is also the Founder and acting Advisor to the Board of SimGHOSTS.org, the world’s only non-profit organization dedicated to supporting professionals operating healthcare simulation technologies. His new co-edited Book: “Comprehensive Healthcare Simulation: Operations, Technology, and Innovative Practice” is available now. Lance’s background also includes serving as a Simulation Technology Specialist for the LA Community College District, EMS fire fighting, Hollywood movie production, rescue diving, and global travel. He lives with his wife Abigail in Las Vegas, Nevada.