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Digital Life Team Creates Animated 3D Models of Sea Turtles From Live Specimens


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A digital image, and the resulting three-dimensional model.

The Digital Life team at the University of Massachusetts Amherst says it has released two new animated three-dimensional models of a loggerhead and a green sea turtle.

Credit: University of Massachusetts Amherst

The Digital Life team at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst (UMass Amherst) has unveiled three-dimensional (3D) models of a loggerhead and a green sea turtle, created in a joint effort with sea turtle rescue and research institutions.

Digital Life's photographer captured images of live sea turtles using a custom multi-camera system created in biologist Duncan Irschick's laboratory at UMass Amherst.

To create the models, the team used specialized software and a process called photogrammetry, in which multiple still images are integrated to create lifelike 3D meshes with photographic colors.

Irschick says the researchers believe their project marks the first time 3D models of sea turtles have been created from live animals.

The team says the models can be downloaded and 3D-printed for classrooms, and used by scientists in a computer-modeling environment, for example, to test migration models.

From University of Massachusetts Amherst
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