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  • Writer's pictureBrittany Bennett, Stream Studios

Educational videos for Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Updated: Feb 24, 2021

In Fall 2019 the Studio began a collaboration with Penn Medicine's Director of Sleep Surgery, Dr. R. Dedhia. The large-scale project included 6 videos to educate adult patients about the causes of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and treatment options. Production started in earnest in February 2020 and wrapped in December that year.

The videos are posted on the Penn Sleep Surgery's Youtube channel and social media and used to explain complex surgical procedures to patients visiting the clinic.

Existing videos on OSA explained how the tongue collapses backwards and obstructs your airway during sleep. This video series explains that there are actually many other sites of obstruction. Collapse can also occur in the nasal region, soft palate, side walls of the throat, and the epiglottis.

This is the first series of videos from Stream Studios. We navigated new workflows, learned new software, and found a way to collaborate virtually during the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic. For this project, Eo Trueblood created the original illustrations, I sculpted the 3D anatomical model, created the animation clips, wrote the script, and edited the videos.

The process of creating an educational video series

Step 1 - Storyboarding: Get the story straight.

A video project begins with a rough 'storyboard' where you get an idea for the imagery, pacing, and narration. We used Google Slides to click through reference pictures while I read through the narration as if it were the video.

Step 2 - 2D artwork

Our lead illustrator, Eo Trueblood, created the 2D illustrations for the video on Adobe Photoshop. Dr. Dedhia has a great eye for detail and helped refine the illustrations to be highly accurate, but also simplified for a general audience to understand. The 6 videos include 51 original illustrations all together.

Step 3 - 3D model and animation

The intro video (above) and the Side Wall video (below) feature a 3D anatomical model that rotates to give the viewer a better understanding of the structure and volume of the airway. The skull was sculpted in C4D based on the Visible Human Male Skull from the NIH 3D Print Exchange ( and the rest of the anatomy was sculpted from scratch.

Step 4 - Video editing & revision

Once the animation clips were exported and all the 2D artwork was approved, I started putting the videos together in Adobe Premiere Pro. I enjoyed working on Premiere Pro much more than Adobe After Effects. Premiere Pro has a very intuitive interface with drag-and-drop transitions and other effects, but still allows enough precise key-framing and customization where necessary.

At the end of the day...

Dr. Dedhia reports positive feedback from those who have seen the videos so far. We are also proud to put out such a comprehensive series that was able to combine the aesthetic of Eo's 2D illustrations and my 3D animation. We hope that this helps viewers understand more about the anatomy of Obstructive Sleep Apnea, and surgical treatment options available to them.

Thanks for reading!

Brittany Bennett, MA

Stream Studios

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