Tabletop Whale is an original science illustration blog.

Made with love by a designer with a molecular biology degree. New charts, infographics, or illustrations published every two to three weeks.

How to build a human


It's been a while since I made a science infographic! But hopefully this month's post is full of enough biology to make up for the wait.

I've actually wanted to do an embryogenesis GIF for months, but I couldn't quite figure out how to make it work. Then I stumbled across this awsome GIF on Reddit and got the idea to use a spiraling animation style. (Incidentally, if anyone knows who made that GIF I'd love to know).

I'm actually really happy with how this turned out. I made this using 44 animations that are 9 frames each. That's 396 sketches total - probably the most complicated GIF I've made so far. I am a little sad that I wasn't able to show size properly though. For example. the 24 week fetus is about 40 times heavier than a 12 week fetus (but you can't tell that from this drawing).

This is my last post for 2014, so happy holidays everyone! Thanks so much for reading Tabletop Whale and supporting my art :)

  • Sources

  • Gilbert, Scott. Developmental Biology, 9th Edition. Sunderland, MA: Sinauer Associates Inc., 2010.
How to build a human

What you need to build your own computer


I've been really busy this month working with some awesome science writers! Because of that I haven't had much time for GIFs, but I did manage to fit in a non-moving infographic for this month's post.

This month I also replaced my 5-year old Mac with a custom PC, so I decided to make something with a computer theme. There's already tons of tutorials on the internet about building computers, so this poster's more of an illustrated list than an actual set of instructions.

It was really fun putting the computer together, and my new PC is awesome. I have dual monitors now, and I can finally run all of my design programs at the same time at max speed :)

But it was harder than I thought to set up a computer - kind of like Ikea furniture on extra hard mode. My boyfriend helped me out a lot, but it still took 5 hours because we forgot the motherboard spacers the first time around.

Anyway, thanks for putting up with the slow updates to this blog. This month has been really hectic and I'm looking forward to having the time to animate again. I do have something already in the works, so stay tuned for a science packed GIF for my next post.

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Tabletop Whale's guide to making GIFs


Recently I've been getting a lot of emails asking for a tutorial on how to make animations. So this week I put together a quick explanation for anyone who's interested. I archived it as a link on the menu bar of my website, so it'll always be easy to find if you need it.

This is just a run-through of my own personal animation workflow, so it's not a definitive guide or anything. There are plenty of other ways to make animations in Photoshop and other programs.

I've never tried making a tutorial about my own work before, so sorry in advance if it's confusing! Let me know if there's anything I wrote that didn't make any sense. I'll try to fix it if I can (though I probably don't have room to go into detail about every single Photoshop function I mention).

Tabletop Whale's guide to making GIFs