Zinosal by Exeltis | Mechanism of action of tianeptine

Explaining the depression at molecular and cellular level,

Zinosal by Exeltis | Mechanism of action of tianeptine



Exeltis is the result of the sustained growth of Insud Pharma, a multinational pharmaceutical company with over forty years of history with a strong position in the primary care and Central Nervous System sector, featuring drugs used to treat insomnia, epilepsy and depression.


Our client needed to explain the singular mechanism of action of their tianeptine, Zinosal, and its neuroprotective and antidepressant effects. From 3DforScience, we produced a 3D scientific animation explaining basic concepts of the depression at molecular and cellular level, ultimately causing cellular death.

3D animation of a neuron and accurate depiction of its parts

Tianeptine is an atypical antidepressant which operates in a contrary way to continued stress, reduces the release of glutamate and protects the neurons. Also has antidepressant and anxiolytic effects with a relative lack of sedative, anticholinergic, and cardiovascular side effects.

Once we received the description of the mechanism of action of his molecule and the rest of the client’s briefing the conceptualization phase begun by elaborating a script. This will be the base of the rest of our work. In it, we will decide the number of scenes, the voice-over locution, and information for animator’s guidance.

To have the best understanding of the scenes a storyboard is needed. It will be the base of the animators’ work and the Rosetta Stone that will translate the written information into a more stunning visual one.

The storyboard is fundamental to the animator’s work

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Meanwhile, we worked on the style of the video by elaborating the moodboard. For this task, we search for related images and make a selection that transmits the style that fits the best with the needs of our conceptualization.

moodboard used by the development team representing the tianeptine molecule, the synaptic cleft, a multi polar neuron and membrane receptor proteins

At this step, we select significant elements of the animation and establish all the aesthetic elements (lights, texturize, size relation, etc.) based on the selected style so the client will have an idea of their appearance in the animation.

We produced different texturize options so Exeltis could choose the one they preferred

When the storyboard and the style are approved, the next process is the visualization. At this point, we recreated all the scenes with the chosen style. This gives the client an overall idea of how the video will resemble before any animation is done.

Once all the still images are accepted the animation process starts. Here is where we establish the rhythm of the animation, scene length, transitions, illumination, camera movements, etc.

We produced different texturize options so Exeltis could choose the one they preferred

During the realization of this project, one of the key points was to represent correctly the synaptic cleft. It was essential to maintain a simple style that did not add confusion to the elements that were shown at that moment and let the molecule be the center of attention while explaining the competitive advantages and the mechanism of action.

3D animation of the BDNF membrane receptors

Lastly, another key point was to correctly represent the increase of BDNF membrane receptors as the cortisol levels are reduced, which had a positive neural protective effect.